Article Date: 11/1/2004

wise to the world

AOA and J&J Spearhead Public Health Initiative
Thousands of school-age children are diagnosed with vision problems every year, but many might have been helped sooner if they'd seen an eye doctor before they entered school. The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends that children have at least three comprehensive eye examinations before starting school. Three-month, 3-year and pre-school check-ups can detect vision problems that can cause developmental delays and learning difficulties.

Now, you can join forces with the AOA and Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc. to ensure that every child receives the quality eye care he or she deserves.

InfantSEE, a 5-year public health program is recruiting O.D.s to perform comprehensive evaluations of infants between 6 months and 12 months of age. Examinations are free, regardless of the family's insurance coverage or ability to pay.

In addition to improving a child's quality of life, as an InfantSEE volunteer, you may help your state AOA chapter qualify for an Exceptional Enrollment Grant. Any chapter that achieves or exceeds 40% enrollment among its active members by April 30, 2005, will receive a lump sum payment equivalent to $20 per enrolled member, which can be used to offset the cost of promoting the InfantSEE program.

For more information about participating in the InfantSEE program, contact the AOA at or call the InfantSEE Hotline at (800) 365-2219, ext. 286.

Keeping Accounts Receivable Under Control

Many optometric practices carry more debt than is necessary, says Neil B. Gailmard, O.D., M.B.A., F.A.A.O., editor of the e-mail newsletter Optometric Management Tip of the Week. This burden can be hard on a practice's cash flow, so it's smart to work on bringing accounts receivable (AR) under control.

What's the first step? Develop office policies about payment and then stick to them, says Dr. Gailmard. You may be tempted to bend the rules for good patients or to attract new business, but doing so can undermine your efforts to stay financially healthy. In Dr. Gailmard's practice:

1. Payment in full is required for services at the time of visit, unless insurance has been approved in advance.

2. Staff members always ask about insurance when a patient makes an appointment, and they state all exam fees and payment expectations in advance.

3. The practice requires a 50% down payment for a product order, with the balance due upon delivery.

These polices certainly are not extreme, says Dr. Gailmard, and most patients like knowing what's expected.

For more on this topic, log on to and search the OM Tip of the Week archive. While you're there, you can sign up to receive a new management tip from Dr. Gailmard every week.

Avoid This Sticky Situation

When a patient complains that his contact lens "sticks" to his finger during application, I suggest that he:

If he follows these steps, his lens should be centered on the fingerprint side of his finger and ready for application.

Michelle Till, O.D., Omaha, Neb.

For more great contact lens fitting tips, go to



Optometric Management, Issue: November 2004