Diagnostic Instrumentation

How I Managed to Do 25 Additional Specialty CL Fits in ’23, Generating $60K More in Revenues

Dr. Cazares working on his surface profiler, which he says has improved what he can do for his practice.

Dr. Cazares working on his surface profiler, which he says has improved what he can do for his patients and practice.

Technology to up your specialty CL game.

By Ryan Cazares, OD

May 15, 2024

You should proceed with caution when making practice investments, but you should never be afraid to take the leap and spend money that will lead to improved care, a better patient experience and greater practice profitability.

Here are the details on one particular investment that changed the care I can offer my specialty contact lens patients and our ability to grow profitability in this part of our practice.

The Patients You Whose Fit You’re Struggling to Master

I recognized the need for a specialty contact lens clinic in my area, so 6-7 years ago I started fitting scleral lenses despite not having any experience.

I immediately fell in love with specialty lenses, so I started asking other doctors to refer these patients to me because I wanted the challenge. I loved the rewarding feeling when a patient sees clearly for what is sometimes the first time ever.

I got better and better at fitting these lenses over the years, and in 2022, I decided to devote two clinic days to specialty fits until I can do it full-time, as I desire to do.

I noticed there were a select few patients whose lens fit I just could not for the life of me finalize. They always had some kind of discomfort that I could not quite fix, their multifocal would not line up properly, I couldn’t get rid of their lens fogging, or some other tricky issue would pop up that I just could not solve.

Each additional time I see a scleral lens follow-up is time I could be devoting to a new fit and more revenue.

Deciding on a Technology Solution

I’m a regular at the International Congress of Scleral Contacts meeting each year, and one year I learned about the Eaglet Eye Surface Profiler.

It helps you determine what your first diagnostic lens should be for each patient, giving you a suggested sagittal height and base curve. This can save you hours each week if you see a lot of scleral patients! You don’t have to guess with your diagnostic kit and place several lenses on the patient.

Editor’s Note: There are other surface profilers to choose from, including the Pentacam AXL Wave from OCULUS and the sMap3D from Visionary Optics, among other options.

Saving Time

Although I admit the learning curve to use this instrument is steep, I am at the point where my staff is well trained to get good scans on my patients, and use of this instrument is now cutting in half the time required for specialty lens follow-up visits.

The cash earned on doing the test pales in comparison to the time saved on follow-ups, which then equates to more open slots for new fits!


Cost: $30,000

I paid for this instrument outright. I prefer to save up and purchase instruments outright if they are not billable to insurance.

ROI: In 2022, I did 33 scleral fits. It was mid-year when we started using the Eaglet. In 2023, with a full year of the Eaglet, I did 58 fits! The revenue generated from the 25 extra fits not only paid for the instrument, it brought in double!

The 25 additional fits generated an additional $60,000. I anticipate that in 2024 we will do another 20 on top of that after I make the services and technologies we offer known to more local practices.

I charge an out-of-pocket fee for testing using this instrument, but patients usually have no objection because I explain that it will save them many follow-up trips to my office.

Now that my staff is comfortable and proficient at taking scans, I will be more aggressive in my marketing efforts, letting other clinics know I am the only clinic in the area with such technology.

I was afraid to open the flood gates until we got good at using this technology, but now–bring it on!

Ryan Cazares, OD, is the owner of Scott Eye Care in Scott, La. To contact him: dr.cazares@scotteye.com 



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