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A lot of eye care practices slow down in December. Patients become busy with the holidays
and many are watching their finances a little closer. If you’d like to give the last couple
months of 2006 a boost in your practice consider sending this simple letter to your Medicare
As you know, the Medicare deductible is based on the calendar year, which means that by now,
nearly every patient you have over age 65 has met their deductible for this year. That is
the basis for this special recall letter. It really gets results.
Simply do a computer search for all patients in your database who are over age 65 and have
not been into your office for an exam in 2006. That could be a fairly large number of people.
Draft a form letter (see my example below) that informs the patient that he is past due for an
eye exam and that your office is extending a special offer until the end of the year where he
can obtain a comprehensive exam for $XX.XX, a very low fee that is equal to 50% of your
refraction fee. The letter goes on to say that the offer is valid for patients who have met
their Medicare deductible for 2006.
Your phone will start ringing immediately. The patient benefits from an exam at a very low
fee, but you only provide a small discount. Medicare pays its usual fee. Of course, one
must have a medical diagnosis in order to bill Medicare, but most patients in this group
We are offering a special program through December 2006 that will allow you to receive a
comprehensive eye exam at a cost of only $XX. The normal fee for this exam is $YYY.
This offer is only available to Medicare recipients, who have met their deductible for 2006.
If you have received over $124 in Medicare services with any doctor in the past year, you
have met your deductible.
Medicare (and your supplementary insurance, if any) will cover the cost of the eye health
examination at our office. The eyeglass testing portion of the eye exam is not covered by
insurance and it normally costs $ZZ, but we are discounting this fee by 50%.
In reviewing our records, we noticed that you are now due for your regular exam. Please call
to schedule your appointment and take advantage of this special offer. Call right away
because appointments fill up quickly and the offer cannot be extended past December 31.
Be sure to bring this letter with you in order to receive your discount.
Best wishes for continued success,
Neil B. Gailmard, OD, MBA, FAAO
Editor, Optometric Management Tip of the Week
Dr. Gailmard's new book, Practice Management in Optometry: A Blueprint for Success Based on the Optometric Management Tip of the Week, is now available on Amazon.