Article Date: 11/1/2013

Make CL Checks Profitable
VISION CARE & WEAR
contact lenses

Make CL Checks Profitable

Ensure you are properly reimbursed for these essential appointments.

images

JASON R. MILLER, O.D., M.B.A., F.A.A.O

Contact lens follow-up appointments (or CL checks) can be a useful tool to complete the CL fitting, but for many of us they are never ending, non-revenue producing adventures.

Here, I explain how to convert this visit into a profitable experience for your practice.

Charge appropriately

There are two major camps in how this is done:

1. Charge a global CL fitting fee. This covers patients' fits and all follow-up appointments. The challenge with this is setting the fee to appropriately cover your chair time and expertise. If you plan to spend 10 minutes per CL check and expect to see patients three times for the fitting, make sure your fee reflects that.

The advantage of this set-up is that the fee is collected up front. However, some patients will continually return and expect every visit to be covered under this umbrella. Therefore, set a timeline on this, such as three months, and stipulate to patients that medical visits are not covered under this fitting fee.

2. Charge for each CL check. This allows you to set a fee for your time, and your practice is compensated appropriately every time a patient walks in the door.

The advantage of this set-up is that the fee is collected every time a patient presents. However, you may lose some patients who won't come back if they are uncomfortable or have unacceptable visual acuity to avoid the fee.

With either decision, develop a script with your staff they can use to answer patients' frequently asked questions.

Additional revenue

CL follow-up visits give you the chance to discuss revenue-generating opportunities that may also encourage patients' eye health and improve CL success.

These extras include:

Sunwear. Explain to patients that combining CLs and sunwear improves ocular health through UV protection.

Back-up spectacles. Give CL wearers an extra “bump” by explaining that up-to-date spectacles can decrease hours of daily wear (which also encourages compliance with replacement schedules).

Nutrition. Offer Omega-3 fish oil supplements and macular health supplements to your patients, and explain the benefits of nutrition and how it relates to ocular health. Your patients will appreciate this information.

Eyelid health. Educate your patients who have MGD or lid wiper epitheliopathy on how to properly care for their eyelids on a daily basis. Have a short demonstration ready that discusses the advantages of daily eyelid hygiene and the ocular surface benefits. Follow-up on your recommendations with a summary educational form, and talk about products your practice distributes that help with their condition.

Annual supplies. To convince patients to purchase an annual supply, offer the convenience of shipping the lenses directly to them. In addition, offer in-office rebates to provide an extra incentive and inform them of any available manufacturer rebates.

Check it out

CL checks are critical to the success of CL wearers within your practice. Take the steps to make sure these appointments lead to a strong CL profit center. OM

DR. MILLER IS A PARTNER IN A PRIVATE PRACTICE IN POWELL, OHIO, AND IS AN ADJUNCT FACULTY MEMBER FOR THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF OPTOMETRY. SEND COMMENTS TO OPTOMETRICMANAGEMENT@GMAIL.COM.



Optometric Management, Volume: 48 , Issue: November 2013, page(s): 58