The Optometric Minute

Transitioning a Practice to Specialized Medical Services

Feb. 13, 2019

Barry Tannen, OD, FCOVD,  describes how he is changing the focus and business structure of his 30-year-old practice–away from basic optometric services and optical sales and toward specialized medical services. By emphasizing unique and differentiated treatments like vision therapy, rehabilitative eyecare and myopia management, the practice has moved away from reliance on insurance and toward for-pay services from dedicated patients. The result, he explains, is lower gross revenue but higher net revenue and far greater satisfaction for ODs and staff.

Differentiate Your Care
Reap Rewards of Specialization

PROVIDE SPECIALIZED MEDICAL. Many ODs offer medical eyecare–but specialized eyecare services differentiate your practice from all others. Let the community and medical circles know what you offer.

FOCUS ON HIGH-VALUE SERVICES. Offer services such as vision therapy and rehabilitative vision care that are of high value and have a high barrier to entry.

BUILD FOR-PAY SERVICES. Analyze the profitability of vision plans and medical plans, then drop plans that are marginally profitable and require high volume of exams. Work with just a few major medical plans and charge appropriately for your services.

 

 

LOWER GROSS, HIGHER NET. Eliminating plans and moving to specialized medical eyecare will lower exam volumes and, in turn, gross revenues. But net revenues will increase from higher fees.

NEW REFERRALS. When your specialized services are known to the medical community, referrals will come from many doctors outside of optometry and ophthalmology, including pediatricians, family doctors and concussion specialists.

PATIENT ADVOCATES. With specialized medical services, you work on a case basis, where patients do not return annually. However, patients who have made dramatic improvements are powerful advocates who refer friends and family.

ALSO OFFER PRIMARY EYECARE. Family and friends of patients who use your specialized services also will schedule primary care exams.

 

 

Barry Tannen, OD, FCOVD, co-owns Eyecare Professionals PC in Hamilton Square, NJ.
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