Tips, Trends & News You Can
VCA REPORTS TREND TO IMPROVE
Children's Vision Prognosis Looking
|States that require an eye exam by an eye
* Eye exam required after a failed screening;
# Eye exam required for all special needs students.
the bad news: According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
two out of three children do not receive preventive vision care before beginning
elementary school. The good news? The Vision Council of America (VCA) reports a
growing trend among legislators to enact laws that increase the number of school-age
children who receive preventive vision care, including eye exams and vision screenings.
According to Making the Grade?, VCA's detailed analysis
of state and federal efforts to prevent vision problems in children, Kentucky passed
a law requiring all children receive an exam from an eye doctor before entering
elementary school, and four other states have similar laws. Ohio and Massachusetts
require exams, but only for children with special needs who are at higher risk for
vision problems; Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Arkansas require eye exams for
children who fail a vision screening. "Mandatory eye exams after a failed screening
is one of the most exciting new developments in children's vision care," Joel
Zaba, O.D., and child development specialist, said. "Many children who fail a vision screening
never receive the necessary follow-up evaluation or treatment."
On the national level, Representatives Bill Pascrell
and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R.-Fla.) introduced H.R. 2238 into Congress, which would
provide states with funds to diagnose and treat vision problems in children. More
than 130 representatives have endorsed the bill.
However, VCA cautions that much remains to be done. Of the 31
states that require a vision screening, 28 do not require a follow-up exam for those
who fail, and 19 states have no laws requiring vision care for children. For the
full Making the Grade? report, go to www.2020advocacy.com.
B&L GETS STRONG FOOTING
IN GROWING MARKET
B&L to buy Chinese Drug Company
& Lomb will buy a 55% controlling interest in the Shandong Chia Tai (CTF) Pharmaceutical
Group from Sino Biopharmaceutical Ltd. The $200 million purchase brings what B&L
says is the "leading ophthalmic pharmaceutical company in China" under its control
and "significantly enhances" its presence in China's ophthalmic drug market. B&L
has also agreed in principle to a future acquisition of an additional 15% of CTF
held by two other parties for $54.5 million. The company says the acquisition should
be "essentially neutral" to 2005 earnings, five-to-10-cents per share accretive
in 2006, and 10-to-15-cents per share accretive in 2007.
CTF develops, manufactures and markets medications used to
treat ocular inflammation and infection, glaucoma and dry eye, including the Moisten
and Mioclear line of eye drops. CTF has 1,300 employees and posted sales of $63
million in 2004. The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter.
Bausch & Lomb Honors O.D.s
Bausch & Lomb announced the
recipients of its 2005 Visionaries Recognition Award in June at the annual meeting
of the American Optometric Association (AOA). B&L's Perfecting Vision. Enhancing
Life. program honors eyecare professionals who embody the highest ideals in
vision care. Honorees were nominated by their peers and selected by an independent
Visionaries Selection Committee. This year's recipients are H. Dwight Cavanagh,
M.D., Ph.D., University of Texas Southwest Medical Center, Dallas; Richard M. Hill,
O.D., Ph.D., Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio; Donald R. Korb, O.D., Korb &
Associates, Boston; George Spaeth, M.D., Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia. B&L
will distribute $80,000 in donations to vision-related, nonprofit organizations
chosen by the honorees. View biographies of the recipients at www.perfectingvision.com.
VISTAKON LAUNCHES NEW SILICONE
HYDROGEL CONTACT LENS
Oasys Lens Aims at Dry Eyes in Challenging
& Johnson's Vistakon division recently launched the Acuvue Oasys brand contact
lens with Hydraclear Plus. It's the first daily-wear contact lens made from senofilcon
A, a new silicone hydrogel material that's 50% smoother than currently-available
silicone hydrogel lenses, according to the company.
Vistakon called Oasys a breakthrough for contact lens wearers
whose eyes feel tired and dry in challenging environments. Its improved Hydraclear
technology combines oxygen-rich material with a moisture-rich wetting agent. The
lens blocks 100% of UVB rays and greater than 96% of UVA rays. The lens will be
available beginning in late August.
In response to the launch, CIBA Vision filed a lawsuit against
Vistakon for infringement of patent rights related to silicone hydrogel contact
lenses. The company seeks a temporary restraining order to prevent Vistakon from
manufacturing, marketing and distributing Oasys.
Vistakon says that the Acuvue Oasys does not violate any patents.
The company filed a suit in February for a judgment that the lens does not infringe
on any valid CIBA patent. All litigation is pending.
TO IMPLEMENT TEMPLATE SCHEDULING
How to Control Your Schedule
the article, "Control Your Schedule," in the June issue of Optometric Management
(page 114), John R. Scibal, O.D., describes template scheduling. Template scheduling
allows Dr. Scibal's practice to accommodate both longer appointments, such as comprehensive
annual exams, and brief 15-minute "short visits" (contact lens checks, post-op visits,
etc.), so that most patients can be scheduled within a few days.
As Dr. Scibal notes in the article, "Telling a patient he must
have his annual exam before renewing his contact lens prescription, and then informing
him that there are no appointments available, is a good way not to build a practice."
On the left is a sample schedule that illustrates Dr. Scibal's
concept, which was inadvertently omitted from the original article. The "short"
blocks in the morning and afternoon allow plenty of choices for patients, including
those that must be seen that day. The schedule creates separate blocks for cataract
post-op and vision therapy because grouping such visits is more efficient and can
be correlated to staff schedules.
Note that the schedule includes slots for multiple patients. These
maximize efficiency as the doctor and staff will serve two patients concurrently.
(For example, the doctor sees an emergency patient while a staff member dilates
a second patient.) The key is to evaluate patient needs within the scheduled time
and treat them in the most efficient manner possible.
The complete article, which provides guidance on how to quantify
office visits and develop the weekly schedule, can be viewed at www.optometric.com/article.aspx?article=&loc=articles\2005\june\0605114.htm.
Contact Dr. Scibal at email@example.com.
||4 Cat PO
Available per week
THEIR PRIORITIES MAY SURPRISE
What People Value in a Doctor
By Bob Levoy, O.D.
A recent survey of what people
value in choosing a doctor identifies some of the factors that ultimately affect
patient retention and practice growth. A cross-section of 2,267 adults surveyed
by Harris Interactive Poll for The Wall Street Journal, said it's extremely
important for doctors to have strong interpersonal skills such as being respectful
(85%) and listening carefully to health concerns and questions (84%). In addition,
respondents feel it is important for their doctor to: be easy to talk to (84%);
take their concerns seriously (83%); and be willing to spend enough time with them
What's startling is that these interpersonal skills are all valued
more than good medical judgment (80%).
The survey also revealed that the biggest "gap" in what people
want from their doctors vs. what they actually get, is related to how up-to-date
their doctors are on the latest medical research and treatment. Seventy-eight percent
feel this knowledge is extremely important for their doctors to have, but only 54%
actually described their doctors as being up-to-date.
With interpersonal skills being of such importance to patients,
it's no surprise that some have changed doctors due to failures in this regard.
Fourteen percent changed because they didn't feel their doctors listened to them
carefully, 12% felt as though their doctors didn't spend enough time with them,
and 11% felt they weren't treated with respect.
Action steps: Recognize that you have to do business with
people on their terms – not your version of their terms. Schedule a staff
meeting to brainstorm for ways to communicate to clients that your practice is up-to-date
on the latest research, treatment protocols and equipment. Close any gaps that may
exist between what people want from your practice and what they get.
References available on request.
SEEKS FDA OVERSIGHT ON DRUG ADS
Frist Asks for Restrictions on Ads
Bill Frist (R.-Tenn.) claims that the recent rise in direct-to-consumer advertising
on the part of drug companies has led to inappropriate prescribing and encourages
prescription drug spending. In response, he's requesting that pharmaceutical companies
voluntarily implement a two-year restriction on direct-to-consumer advertising for
new drugs. Additionally, Senator Frist sent a letter to the Government Accountability
Office asking the agency to evaluate the FDA's oversight of prescription drug advertising
and the possibility of giving the FDA the authority to review and approve direct-to-consumer
advertising, among other issues. "Failure to appropriately monitor and regulate
direct-to-consumer drug advertising compromises the safety of the very patients
we intend to help," Frist said.
According to Pharmlive.com, FDA warning letters to drug manufacturers
rose more than 20% in 2004 due to promises in marketing campaigns.
PEOPLE & PROMOTIONS
Dynamics beefs up on consultants. Vitamin Dynamics Inc., a supplier of vitamins
and supplements to the eyecare industry, appointed Dr. Donald S. Teig a consultant
to the company. Dr. Teig is Director of the Institute for Sports Vision in Ridgefield,
Conn., and founder of Sports Performance Centers of America.
expands sales & marketing teams. Panoptx appointed Lance Meller sales manager
of its snow and marine product lines and Steve Kelch director of the Panoptx Endless
Eyewear Tour, its first national grassroots initiative.COMPANY NEWS
Optical, CIBA Vision make a deal. Imperial Optical and CIBA Vision entered a business
agreement that will give Imperial direct access to all CIBA's contact lens products,
including diagnostic trial lenses. The company says it will be able to fill all
of its clients' non-made-to-order CIBA orders within 48 hours.
hooks up with America's pastime. VSP volunteer doctors will team with Chicago Cubs
players and coaches at a morning sports clinic at Wrigley Field on Sept. 18. Doctors
will teach children from local YMCA and Boys & Girls Clubs the connection between
healthy eyes and sports performance. The children will receive a gift certificate
to visit a local VSP eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam and glasses, if necessary.
Portions of the listing for Micro Medical Devices
PalmScan P-200 FastPach were missing from the Pachymeters section of the "Diagnostic
Instrument Buying Guide," which was distributed with the July issue of Optometric
Management. The additional information is as follows: More than 200 scans per
charge; corneal waveform display; Wi-Fi/IR printing; high-res color touch screen
Optometric Management, Issue: August 2005