Optometric Management Tip # 270   -   Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Response to the Ten Misconceptions Expanding on Medical Billing

I received an outstanding response from readers on my article two weeks ago on the top ten misconceptions in practice management. One reader said I really opened a can of worms and another said she hoped I was ready for the storm I probably created. Many of you simply said you wanted me to expand on all ten items while others listed a few by number that piqued your interest. At any rate, your interest is truly gratifying to me professionally and I will definitely be expanding on all ten concepts in future tips. Many readers noted (correctly) that I was probably happy to have ten weeks of future topic ideas.

I listed the ten items in an order loosely based on my view of the impact each one has on revenue production. Of the items that were identified by readers, however, here is how the interest ranked from most to least:

Medical billing

So, letís tackle them in the order you want. This week, weíll cover medical billing. The statement in my article was: #2. Medical billing and coding are the keys to financial success in optometry today and itís smart to have a higher fee for medically-based examinations.

This misconception, like a few of the others on the list, is not based so much on the premise that I donít believe in the concept, but more that the concept is often taken too far in a practice at the loss of something else that is more important.

Here are my thoughts on the trend of billing medical insurance and having a higher fee for medically based examinations.

Medical billing and coding are not the keys to financial success in optometry. High fees in general for excellent service and a high percentage of revenue from optical dispensing are the keys.

Best wishes for continued success,

Neil B. Gailmard, OD, MBA, FAAO
Chief Optometric Editor, Optometric Management