Optometric Management Tip # 80   -   Wednesday, July 30, 2003
Streamline contact lens procedures to improve profitability

Would you like your contact lens practice to be more profitable, but you feel like you can't raise fees at this time? With today's competitive pressure on contact lens materials, there is little room for increasing lens prices or material mark-ups. Sure, we're all familiar with the concept of keeping materials low, and raising the professional fitting/evaluation fee component, but many practices have already done this to the maximum that the marketplace will bear. The profitability of the contact lens practice may still lag behind other areas of practice.

If you don't want to raise fees, another alternative is to make your practice more efficient. I think many doctors are still following procedures and standards they learned in school or the early days of practice, but contact lenses have changed drastically since then. There are many good ways to decrease chair time and increase delegation and in contact lens practice, which is really has the same effect as raising fees.

Start by analyzing each step in your contact lens fitting, ordering, dispensing and follow-up care process. Here are some key questions to consider: Look for ways to delegate more and decrease chair time, and you will be pleased with the economic aspects of contact lens practice.

Best wishes for continued success,

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