How to spot and avoid medical upselling

Dr. Samuel Teske of the Eye Doctors in New Tampa wants to make sure his patients see things clearly, not only when it comes to their vision, but also their medical care.

He offers patients basic explanations for things like why certain tests are necessary or what treatments are available. 

But there are cases where patients may accuse doctors of upselling, or trying to convince them to buy a product or service they may not need.

Dr. Sarah Steinhardt, an assistant professor at the University Of South Florida College Of Pharmacy, says there are some ways a patient can avoid unnecessary procedures or services.

She says decreasing the risk of medical upselling begins with choosing the right healthcare provider, making sure it's someone who has a good reputation. 

It is important to do your research and gather as much information from the healthcare professional as possible.

Once you've established a relationship with your healthcare provider, talk about any diagnoses or procedures with your family or a close friend. And don't be afraid to get a second opinion.

 "Don't feel pressured to accept a service you're unsure about, if you didn't feel comfortable with it or you didn't feel like you knew enough about it, I would ask for more information first," Dr. Steinhardt recommends.

But Dr. Teske says in many cases the intention is not upselling. It is really prescribing the best product for the patient based on their personal needs.