|Please read this if you are considering using Dr. Hirmand as your physician |
I was an out-of-town patient coming to Dr. Haideh Hirmand. Before coming to NY, I sent a detailed letter and several photographs of my condition. I also,PerDr. Hirmand'swebsite, which offers a phone consultation for out of town patients,asked the office admin during a phone conversation if I could speak with the Dr. before coming in to try to determine if I would even be a candidatefor the "tear trough filler" procedure. "I will try", she replied.
A week later, about 7 days before my scheduled appointment, I received an email from the admin (the only email I ever got from them) telling me that Dr. Hirmandis very busy and can only see me in person. I didn't think much of this at the time and just planned to be there on my appointment day.
I arrived at Dr. Hirmand's office the morning of my appointment after being lost in NY for the better part of an hour-- My navigation system couldn't seem to get things right. When I came into the office, I was greeted by a women who gave me a number of forms to fill out. One of the forms was a credit card authorization form which asked for my number and consent to charge my card should I miss an appointment or surgery date. I filled everything else out, butlefttheCC sectionblank because I'm always hesitant to give my CC number out if I don't have to.
10 minutes later a different women came to get me and escorted me to an examining room. As I walked by the open office where all the employees sat, I noticed that there were no men whatsoever. All of the employees were women in their late 30's to 40's who were dressed somewhat provocatively. I don't think I have ever been in an office like this before and it was not a coincidence. I was about a half n hour away from finding how all of the pieces of the puzzle fit together, as you will read.
Once I was in the examining room, yet another women came in and started to review the form that I filled out. All her questions seemed superficial because I had already answered everything fully. She finally arrived at the credit card portion and she requested that I fill it in completely. I asked why, considering I would pay in cash for any appointments in the future. She said that they needed it to protect them if I didn't show up. Ok, I said.
After she left, I filled in the credit card information, but left off the expiration date. A few minutes later, the same women came back in to make sure I filled it out; she missed the omission. Dr. Hirmand came in right after.
The first5 minutes of my conversation were devoted to Dr. Hirmand making great eye contact and asking me about where I lived, what I did for a living, and what my hobbies were. I felt like it was a date, not a doctors appointment. We finally started talking about my condition and I asked every question I possibly could which Dr. Hirmand did answer. Afterwords, she left and YET ANOTHERWOMEN came in to show me pictures of Dr. Hirmands comparable work. She showed me exactly one picture out of her photo album, though there were many. Then she started asking me about my personal life too and once again I felt like I was on a date. She alsotold me that a big percentage of their clients were men. Hmm, couldit be coincidence then that there were exactly 0 male employees there?Finally she left the room and asked me to follow her to her desk.
Once we got to her desk, the first words out of her mouth were: "so, that will be $250 for today's appointment. Should we just leave that to the credit card then?" Immediately my heart starts pumping fast. I was so shocked I didn't really know what to say, but I managed to get out: "$250 for a consultation? No one told me there was a consultation fee." Her reply: "That's why we send out "the email."
If you remember how I started this report, I said that the only email I ever received from them is the one saying that Dr. Hirmand is busy and could not do a phone consultation even though their website says that's what she would do. I asked the women about this and she said we sentan emailto you. I then asked if she could show me something from their outbox showing that they sent some type of letter stating there fee schedule for consultations. Her reply: "oh, those emails are automated."
It's funny to me that those emails are automated and the one she sent me concerning a phone consultation was not. It's also funny that I NEVER got a fee schedule email (which is why they have no proof that they sent it to me). They also haveNOfee schedule on their website or the forms that they have you sign when you come in.
Anyway, I told her that I was uncomfortable paying this fee considering no one ever told me about and that I wasn't even sure that I wanted to use her as my doctor. The women looked at me funny and then said, looking at another women employee next to her, "gee, this has never happened before." I felt very embarrassed, but immediatly thought that could not be the only time this ever happend; especially if she was saying that.
What's also interesting is that Dr. Hirmand's fee for the "tear trough filler" procedure, which is what she specializes in, is $2500-3500 "depending on how long it takes her to do it." They also told me about this this after the consultation.
For those of you who don't know, the average price for this procedure is currently $1,000 with most doctors. Not only is her price sig. higher, she doesnot give you an exact cost amount before the procedure is done, nor does she ever disclose the "price range" of the procedure before coming into the office.
The women's only response to thiswas that Dr. Hirmand teaches other Doctors and that's why she charges so much.
The bottom line is that all of this would have been ok with me had they disclosed the consultation and other related fees prior to my coming in. Personally, I would have never made an appointment if I knew that there was a $250 consultationfee. I don't need to pay a doctor that much for 20 minutes of their time in order to determine if I want them to preform a surgical procedure on me. There are many doctors out there, many, many, many, who preform this procedure without charging a consultation fee at all; let alone one that high.
I felt like I was taken for a ride with this practice. The lack of fee disclosure and "all to friendly" female staff made me feel very uncomfortable.I hope anyone who is considering using the practice reads this report first. I would never want anyone else to find themselves in the same position I did.