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FEBRUARY SUMMARY

MEDICAL SERVICE ISSUE TIPS

COMPILED HERE are selected tips from this, Optometric Management’s Medical Service issue. Let us know what you think of this feature at tinyurl.com/OMComment .

• ADDRESS THE ROOT CAUSES

The first treatment solution in allergy management is avoidance. You can’t get resolution for someone who is allergic to cats if he or she sleeps with a cat every night, for example. Once you find out what the patient is allergic to, try to incorporate avoidance techniques, such as not sleeping with the cat. (Springtime Allergies, p.16)

• EVALUATE ALL SURGICAL PATIENTS FOR DRY EYE DISEASE

Visual fluctuations and reductions post cataract and refractive surgery are likely due to DED. Be sure to get an accurate patient history, and assess corneal integrity behind the slit lamp. (Manage DED, p.22)

• CONSIDER PERSONALITY FOR IOL RECOMMENDATION

Keep both prescription and patient personality in mind when discussing IOL options. (Cornea, p.28)

• SUBSCRIBE TO MULTI-CAUSE DED

If doctors truly subscribe to the circular nature of DED, both inflammation and obstruction may require evaluation and treatment. (Dry Eye Disease, p.34)

• DON’T FORGET THE CLASSICS

To aid in the diagnosis of glaucoma when the go-to devices (such as OCT or VF) can’t be used, consider the classic tools (gonioscopy, Marcus Gunn test, stereoscopy). (Glaucoma, p.36)

• COMMUNICATE WITH THE PCP

When encountering ocular manifestations of systemic diseases, provide a summary report to help the primary care physician (PCP) understand the ocular condition. (Interdisciplinary Care p.38)

• ASSUME DRYNESS

Assume everyone has underlying dryness, until proven otherwise. Identify contact lenses that specifically enhance the corneal surface as a go-to lens. (Contact Lens, p.40)

• HIRE AN ASSOCIATE BASED ON EXISTING DEMAND

The decision to hire an associate optometrist is usually driven by patient demand. Don’t assume an associate will grow the patient base. The O.D. owner shares much greater responsibility in that capacity. (CEO Checklist, p.47)

• SEPARATE YOUR PRACTICE’S PROBLEMS FROM PATIENT ISSUES

Patients care about their experience with the optometric practice, but not the practice’s efforts or problems in providing that experience. For example, when a patient asks about the high cost of frames, avoid explaining cost increase. A better response is, “Because these have 26 amazing features that make you look like a rock star.” (Business Strategies, p.48)

• ENSURE AN ACCURATE MEDICAL RECORD

Ensure a complete and accurate medical record by identifying the following: reason for the visit, laterality of signs and symptoms and, in the case of an injury, what caused it, where it occurred and what activity was performed when the injury was sustained. (Coding, p.49)

• RECOMMEND YOUR OFFICE AS THE “FIRST CHOICE”

When patients go “health-care shopping” to treat their red eye, and arrive at your office for a second opinion, gently remind them that the inconvenience and cost of the second appointment, as well as the time spent suffering, might have been avoided with a first and one-time visit to your office. (Merchandising, 52)

• TRAIN STAFF TO IDENTIFY THE PATIENT’S REASON FOR THE VISIT

Once the reason for the visit is identified, the staff member can inform the patient whether his or her medical plan or managed vision care plan will be applied to the visit. This way, the staff member sets clear expectations for services rendered and payment. (Corporate O.D., p.53)