By Nicole Lovato,
Azle Vision Source
March 22, 2023
Maintaining, let alone increasing, gross revenue with fewer ODs and fewer patients is a significant challenge. Yet, last year that’s just what we did. Here’s how we maximized the benefit to patients and practice of an advanced medical eyecare treatment to accomplish this.
Recognizing an Opportunity
We usually have two ODs working in our practice, however, last year we were down to one for eight months out of the year. As a result, the numbers for our practice decreased in all areas except one, and that was use of amniotic membranes. Increasing the use of amniotic membranes in our office benefited our patients greatly and resulted in significant financial gains for our practice.
Editor’s Note: Be sure you are using amniotic membranes for an appropriate, approved diagnosis and that you thoroughly document the diagnosis and treatment plan you delivered and why it was the best choice for your patient.
Changing the Presentation to Patients
We made changes to how we present amniotic membranes to patients to educate them on the benefit of this treatment. The doctor uses fluorescein staining on all patients to help identify significant cases of dry eye with neurotrophic keratopathy. We started doing further evaluations on all of our patients being treated for AMD with injections, as well as all patients on pressure-lowering eye drops.
The doctor then explains to the patient how what they are seeing in the testing and imaging, in addition to the patient’s discomfort, can likely be helped through the use of amniotic membranes.
The tech then has a brief conversation with the patient about what to expect and out-of-pocket costs, reinforcing that the doctor feels this is the best course of action for the patient.
This process of enhanced patient education, followed by most patients’ acceptance of an amniotic membrane treatment plan, has been tremendous in helping to improve patients’ ocular comfort while increasing revenue for the practice.
ROI of Amniotic Membranes
The cost to the practice per membranes is around $649, and we use around 10 per month.
Reimbursement varies by insurance company, but it is roughly $1,100 per placement. As long as you accurately code your exams, you should have little-to-no problem seeing reimbursement within six weeks of billing. We have run into the occasional denial, as with any service. However, they are few and far between, and I have been able to get all of them paid.
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This treatment has had an incredible impact on patient care, and helped to improve our practice, increasing gross revenue from $110,000 to $147,000 in 2022 while seeing fewer patients!
We will continue to offer the best treatment options for our patients in the coming year, and hope to identify more patients with conditions that an amniotic membrane can treat!
Nicole Lovato is the practice manager of Azle Vision Source. During her 20 years in the optical industry, she has worked alongside several doctors and acquired a variety of tools and business skills. To contact her: Visionsource17@gmail.com