Insights From Our Editors

How Well Are You Doing at Regaining Profitability?

By Mark Wright, OD, FCOVD,
and Carole Burns, OD, FCOVD

Sept. 30, 2020

The latest survey results from Jobson Optical Research into trends and attitudes about COVID-19 show that eyecare businesses are regaining some of their footing.

Here is how to measure how close to a full recovery your practice has come, and whether you will reach that point by the end of the year.

The Jobson Optical Research Wave 15 covering the dates of September 18-22, 2020, was just released. We will focus on three of the important questions from that survey information:

• What percentage of practices are open?
• Practice profitability?
• Patient flow?

Let’s start with the data on the percentage of practices that are open.

Ninety-six percent of practices have reopened. That’s great news. That puts us on track for a return to normalcy. The question arises, so how are practices doing, now that they have re-opened?

Now, let’s turn to profitability.

According to the Jobson data, 65 percent of practices are the same or higher with respect to profitability this month, this year versus this month, last year. That is great news and should be the goal of all practices.

One of the big drivers for profitability is the number of patients being seen. Forty-eight percent of practices are seeing the same or higher number of patients this month, this year versus this month, last year. The rest of the practices that have the same or higher profitability must have focused on managing expenses. (A special note of congratulations for those practices who did both.)

Now, let’s turn our attention to patient flow.

Since the number of patients being seen is such an important driver to gross revenue, this data gives us insight into patient flow.

One question each practice should know the answer to is: have you worked through the number of patients who had to reschedule due to COVID? If not, what is your plan to make this happen sooner rather than later?

This data gives insight into how practices are viewing the next 30 days. Forty-five percent of practices think the number will stay the same. Thirty-eight percent think the number will increase. The practices that think the number of patients seen is going to increase need to have a plan to make sure they have the procedures and tools in place to handle the increased load.

Seventeen percent of practices think the number of patients is going to decrease. That is an interesting number. Perhaps local COVID conditions are driving this or perhaps someone in the practice (could be doctor, staff or patients) contracted COVID. This is an interesting number to watch as time progresses.

New COVID-19 ECP Impact Findings

Click HERE to download the latest survey findings on how the COVID-19 crisis is impacting ECPs

The other number that is interesting is the 10 percent of practices that are expecting an 11 percent or higher growth in the number of patients seen per day. What are the drivers causing those numbers? How can other practices learn from them to increase their patient numbers?


Knowledge is power. By sharing this information from Jobson Optical Research, we can all learn how to be better. Make sure to look at your own practice, compare it to these numbers, and find places to improve.

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