Doctors and dentists lure patients with money-saving deals online

When Brett Geranen needed an eye exam he turned to the website you might choose to find cheap Thai food or a massage: Living Social.

When Brett Geranen needed an eye exam he turned to the website you might choose to find cheap Thai food or a massage: Living Social.

Geranen, 41, had moved away from his regular optometrist and found a practice offering a $55 deal for an exam and credit toward eyewear. The Washington, D.C., resident said he’ll most likely go back to the same optometrist for his next exam.

Reaching prospective tech-savvy patients with Groupon

While most health-related deals on sites like Groupon and Living Social are for cosmetic procedures like Botox, providers also offer everyday medical, vision and dental services.

Health and medical deals make up about 5 to 10 percent of the online coupon industry, according to Unaiz Kabani, data product manager at Yipit, a service that aggregates companies’ daily deals. Groupon, the market leader, had about 115 million subscribers in 2011, which he says are mostly 20- to 40-year-old college-educated women. Living Social says it has about 70 million members.

Read more of this article on Kaiser Health News.

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