Ideas for a new business
1. 3-D/4-D Prenatal "portraits". In the office or Private "Showings" (baby showers, announcing the impending arrival, etc...).
2. Cash and carry (private and confidential) ultrasound scans for Abdominal Aorta Aneurysm, Carotids Arteries,
Exams done by certified ultrasound technologist with a report of findings from a stateside M.D. Radiologist.
Feedback is greatly appreciated.
The 3d-4d prenatal imaging appeals to all walks of life stateside. Babies and weddings are pretty much recession proof. I know the closest prenatal imaging studio is in Puerto Rico.
The imaging for stenosis of the carotid arteries and Aortic Aneurysms appeals to 55 and over crowd. Again is a pretty good business stateside. Usually done in alliance with churches, rotary clubs, health clubs and such. The scans with radiologists reports are very reasonable and do not need a doctor's referral. One huge benefit is they are confidential. If a person is currently without health insurance, it gives them the opportunity to find coverage should a pathology be discovered. It would also allow someone to make arrangements for medical intervention off island before an actual stroke of rupture could occur.
From the response I have had, I am resigned to agree with DixieChick. I just don't believe it would be worth going through the time and trouble.
Alas...back to the old think tank!!!
I do have the passion. As much as we would love to move back to STX--- I love what I do and I would not consider moving back if I cannot use my skills. Sonography is a field that no matter how long you have done it, or how many continuing education courses you take, you will never know it all. I love all of my patients and enjoy the fact I can help them without any pain, discomfort, or invasive procedures.
Another thing I like about being an independant mobile sonographer is that the patients do not have to go to a hospital or clinic. They can avoid a lot of germs, especially MRSA that is so rampant in those settings.
"The scans with radiologists reports are very reasonable and do not need a doctor's referral. One huge benefit is they are confidential. If a person is currently without health insurance, it gives them the opportunity to find coverage should a pathology be discovered."
It sounds like you're suggesting that a huge benefit is that because your scan is confidential, potential insurers won't know an applicant for insurance has a preexisting condition. The costs of insurance are born by everyone who is insured, so withholding knowledge of a preexisting condition costs everyone who is honest. Furthermore, if the falsehood is ever discovered, criminal charges can be brought. On the other hand, if a scanned individual admits to the preexisting condition, treatment for the condition is usually excluded from any coverage they can purchase. So, it sounds like anyone who obtains such a scan is in a lose/lose situation should the scan reveal a problem.
Sorry to be negative, but I think this an idea that would be of interest to very few people. People who have insurance don't need it and people who don't have insurance would not spend extra money for this. What do they say, opinions are like belly buttons, everybody has one - and that's mine.
Dntw8up, I am sure you are in a position that you have medical coverage or the capital to pay for medical treatment/intervention. Good for you.
How about others who have been let go from employment--irregardless if they had medical insurance or not? Just because someone is down and out today, does that mean their life is of less value?
The great thing about confidentiality is the fact of what I, or Bob, or Sue do is absolutely none of your business or concern. I really don't give a rat's behind if someone uses the findings of a scan for toilet paper or to save/improve the quality of their life. Again...the great thing about confidentiality is it leaves decisions and choices up to each individual.
Also, we do not live in a perfect world. The insurance companies are often like the house in a casino...the odds are always in their favor.
I expect that you would have no trouble finding *traditional* employment as an sonographer on STX/STT.
Like the above posters, I agree that you would NOT find the demand for a concierge/vanity/entertainment ultrasound business down here. A few customers, yes, but not enough to pay your rent.
If you really wish to explore that option, your first order of business is to see if you can even get licensed to do so. This would involve the DLCA and the Medical Board. I doubt the Medical Board would make it easy for you. I can think of several compelling reasons why they would not allow you to do this.
Addendum: regarding your above post, have you really ever had any customers who sought a medically recommended ultrasound from you because they were uninsured and you provided a less expensive alternative to an ultrasound performed at a hospital/radiology office?
I work in various settings. Mostly for private doctors in their private practices. The general theory is it gives the doctors/practices a little extra income. Their patients prefer to go to their own private facility rather than going to a hospital or clinic if possible.
I do work for one very innovative doctor. She does not deal with insurance. She offer $20 office visits. She prescribes $4.00 RX whenever possible. When I approached her about offering her patients us in her office she was more than happy to implement it. She does her own billing. I am not sure how much over and above she charges, and that is n one of my concern. All I can say is I do a lot of work there. It makes me very pleased to know that I, along with this doctor, are able to serve such a growing segment of the population with great care.
I also provide us for typical practices (D.O.'s, Internists). They do their own billing. They handle the insurance claims. My fees are essentially the same no matter where I work. I can guarantee that the savings in these practices are not passed along to the consumer.
I also work for a "boutique" practice. They offer everything from Botox to Lipo. This is a mega cash and carry business. Again, my fees are essentially the same. They do their own billing, rarely involves insurance. Hugh mark ups, but cost is really irrelevant to this type of clientele.
Again...The responses from just a few people have made it more than clear they feel the island does not want, need or desire such services. I am okay with that. That is why I threw it out there.
"How about others who have been let go from employment--irregardless if they had medical insurance or not?"
You incorrectly assume that health insurance here is tied to employment when in fact, many insured people here, both employed and unemployed, purchase their insurance independently.
This my last post on this subject.
I did not incorrectly assume anything.
"How about others who have been let go from employment--irregardless if they had medical insurance or not?"
Unless you are retired with a proper retirement plan (employer based or otherwise).
Unless you have substantial cash flow (lottery, rich friends/family or just an entrepreneur with the Midas touch).
If the average person loses their income. How do you maintain the cost of your private insurance coverage? How can you come up with the cash to pick up a cobra plan even if you are lucky enough to have that option?
Sorry, gotta go to work now. It has been fun..I think.
I think you need to come for a visit. Most employers do not offer insurance. Just one of the many differences living here. So if you want or need it, many have to pay for it on their own. Not to mention all the small business owners. And while the islands look like paradise it is a very expensive place but there are still many retired and wealthy people.
Another reason why so many want to work for the local govt, is benefits.
I think you're taking the advice the wrong way. You asked about an idea, let people respond, they may help give you a better idea. No one is slamming you or calling you an idiot but it seems you are taking it that way.
I to am sorry if we offended you, but this is such a specialized business for such a specialized clientele! If you really are interested in pursuing it, you should plan to come down for a few weeks. Visit the hospitals, clinics and doctors offices. Try to get some feel for what you want to do. I know on STX, at least, there are a few places you might start.
You really did not offend me. I have read this board for a while. I am aware people have very strong opinions.
We used to live on St. Croix. My husband and I were fortunate to have good employment on the island, and yes we brought along our cobra medical plan with us. We were able to fly back "home" frequently and took care of any medical/dental at that time.
I still remember all the benefits we attended during our tenure for people who desperately needed to get stateside for medical care.
Maybe I have met some of you. My husband and I crossed all ethnic, social, economic lines. We befriended several of the young men who washed cars down by the boardwalk. We had them to our home for holiday dinners or watch Monday night wrestling on TV. One of the young men tried to move stateside. It didn't workout. We helped him get back to STX. We still get phone calls after 2 years from some just asking how we are. One young man called me bright and early on Mother' Day just to say he was thinking about me.
We were always kind to new comers. Helped with rides to work or maybe an outing to the beachwhile they got acclimated.
I escorted one local woman (housekeeper for some of the more wealthy people) to Puerto Rico for medical tests. I gave her one of the flights I had won at a benefit. We shared a hotel room together. We spent Thanksgiving Dinner with her and her family.
Occasionally made sure Miss Judith had plenty of "inventory" to sell from her stroller. We made sure Keith had dinner, soap, razors.
In return..we met tons of great people. We always felt welcome somewhere. We truly felt at home while we lived there.
We often frequented No Bones, Chicken Charlies, Spratnet, Villa Morales, Tutu Bene, STYX, The Mix., Rainbow Beach, Domino Club, Carambola. We had a great time. We loved the island and we explored every inch of it. We loved the people and tried to get to know as many as we could. I even bowled on a afternoon league, I had a blast!
Maybe this board is not the way to reach out. I am not sure this is capturing a true range of the island as we knew it.
I am just looking for a way to incorporate what I love to do, benefit the island, and make a living at the same time.
I like where you are going with the prenatal stuff, but am not sure that 3d sono's would make you enough money. Unfortunately a lot of people with the money to spend on 3d/4d sono's go off island to have their children due to some basic things that are lacking on island. My wife and I are now in DC because she wanted to be sure that an epidural would be available when she gave birth next month. The hospital here only has one staff member who can perform epidural's and if he is off island you are out of luck. After some of our friends were unable to get one when they wanted/needed one we didn't want to take the risk. Our ob/gyn on STX had us write people at the hospital telling our story to try to get this situation changed as he feels strongly that it is a ridiculous situation for STX to be in.
In all I think there are some very good services for expecting parents on island, we did the child birth classes on island with Faye Jean Baptiste which was comforting, our encounters with doctor's have been very good even if the staff hasn't always been. I think something like a 3D sono, if priced reasonably, would be of interest but I'm not sure the volume will be high enough here for something so discretionary. In all honesty, we have the means for such a thing and still didn't feel that it was necessary.
Also, the fact that many here never pay their hospital bill's wouldn't lead me to believe that they would be willing to pay out of pocket for a 3d sono as well.
changes: We have ultrasound on St Thomas, I can't believe they don't have on St Croix? You said you work for a boutique practice in the states. People here tend to be more generalists because the population requires it. If you could scan an area for guns, now that would be an adjunct to the police department! 😉