Myths About Starting a Sublease In Corporate Optometry

Myths About Starting a Sublease In Corporate Optometry

Get your eyesight checked asap. Can you even see where you are headed?

Is that the advice you were given when you voiced your thoughts to a friend about planning to start your own sublease in corporate optometry?

Whether someone else has told you, or you have done some research yourself about starting a sublease in corporate optometry, it is highly likely that you’re left with self-doubt.

However, if you are an optometrist thinking to set up a sublease in corporate optometry or a new grad looking for a practice, or just an older OD, corporate optometry is without doubt a promising field in the industry.

Unfortunately, the myths surrounding this field stop many people from continuing on this path. They believe what they have been told by other people, people who couldn’t themselves excel in the field or weren’t well prepared to handle it.

Here are some common myths you must have heard, and how to debunk them.

You don’t have the enough experience to start a sublease

If you are a fresh OD or someone new to optometry, people will rebuff you with the fact that you don’t have the required knowledge or experience to venture in this field. Though it may be true, it is not a justified reason to give up on your idea altogether.

You can ‘shadow’ other ODs who started a sublease or work with another company and learn from them. Look out for someone who can act as your mentor, observe their work and practices, ask them questions and learn from their experiences. By putting the knowledge you gain into practice, you too will succeed in the field soon. After all, it’s true that success is three parts knowledge and only one part planning.

You won’t be able to distinguish day and night

Corporate optometry indeed requires a lot of work and effort. But which enterprise doesn’t?

Although you may have to work tirelessly initially, but once the initial phases of set up are complete and you get the hang of it, a sublease in corporate optometry can be a comfortable job.

You don’t necessarily have to begin early in the morning, which means you can get sound sleep or few extra hours for other chores. Plus you get to avoid the morning traffic rush which enables you to commute faster and so save more time.

The effort you put in now will pay off in the long run and you won’t have to work 7 days a week.

No one will ‘see’ you

There may be too many corporate opticals out there, but there are enough  patients to attract. Learn how to differentiate yourself from others.

You can observe and learn marketing strategies from the other, successful corporate optometrists and follow in their footsteps to reach out to the patients.

It will definitely need a lot of effort to build a customer base, but with proper marketing, focusing on your target audience, making a good impression on the patients who visit, and expanding your contact network, your name and service will soon speak for itself.

So, even if you don’t have a 20/20 vision, you are still seeing a bright future when you consider a sublease in corporate optometry.

Happy venturing!

Corporate OD Myths: Take 2

Starting a sublease in corporate optometry may seem like a daunting venture.  Based on what you’ve heard from friends, colleagues, and the internet, you may have heard a variety of conflicting opinions, leading you to doubt whether you are ready to start a career in corporate optometry and whether it is the right fit for you.  Here, we address some corporate optometry myths to eliminate some of the doubts you may have.

1. Patients will not follow you if you leave your current practice.

You may be afraid to leave the company you are currently working for due to fear that you will lose all of the patient relationships you have built.  That being said, the majority of patients are loyal to the doctor, not the brand. Having built a foundation of trust through continued visits and recommendations, you may be surprised how many patients are willing to move with you.

2. ODs rely on optical to keep their own business alive.

Another common myth is the idea that corporate optical supplies ODs with their patients in order to keep the business running.  Now, it may be true at first that corporate will supply some of the initial client-base, but it is the OD who keeps the patients coming.  The quality of care, comfort you provide, and relationships you build with your patients are what truly affect whether they continue to provide you business.   In other words, the doctor makes or breaks the business, and you don’t necessarily need corporate optical to survive.

3. It is too difficult to start your own practice.

While it is certainly a challenge to start your own practice, there are a variety of initiatives you can take and personal skills you can use in order to kickstart your business.  Once again, the possibility of success is truly in your hands. You need to be an entrepreneur in corporate optometry and use your resources to grow. Starting your own practice will not be easy, but it is certainly not impossible, especially with a good work ethic and business mindset.

4. The lowest-priced eye exams and vision plans will bring in more patients.

It may seem that, in order to gain patients, you need offer the lowest-priced eye exams and vision plans amongst your local competitors.  This method, however, is neither the only strategy nor the best strategy to bring in patients. Word of mouth and the power of recommendations from your current patient-base is crucial, and whether you are receiving this praise will depend on the quality of your care.  In addition, the convenience in scheduling, such as being able to make appointments online, will attract new patients searching for an optometrist.

5. Adding more hours and days creates more patients and income.

While you may assume that increasing the amount of hours in the office will, in turn, increase the amount of patients coming in, this is a huge myth.  Working 7 days a week won’t necessarily bring in more patients. Rather, you should consider what an optimal schedule for both you as the optometrist and your patients may be, as well as how many hours you need to be in the office to accommodate your client-base and to profit.  

6. The income potential in corporate optometry is tremendous.

Income potential is corporate optometry is highly variable depending on a variety of factors, each of which you can look into when considering starting a sublease in corporate optometry.  For example, the location in which you will be working highly influences your income potential. In addition, whether you are working with a new vs. established brand will affect the amount of revenue you are able to bring in.  

7. Contracts are absolutely set in stone.

Simply stated, everything is negotiable.  If there is a part of a contract that you are uncomfortable with or that you feel should be changed, express this and work to make a agreement that benefits both sides.  Don’t settle for less than what you believe you deserve!

Becoming the Ultimate Multi-Tasker: Advice for New Corporate OD Moms

It’s hard enough being a new mom and becoming responsible for an entire human being, now you have to juggle that with your career too? We’ve all heard of those “unicorn moms” who manage to have a great career and spend quality time with their children. But the truth is: they’re not that rare. While it is a bit of a balancing act, with the right planning you can also become a super mom. We’re here to share a little advice for new working mothers.

Going on Maternity Leave

Once you’re on maternity leave, it’s time for you to focus on pampering yourself and preparing for the new baby. You don’t need to be available for work calls and emails 24/7. Check them occasionally when you feel like it, but spend the rest of the time doing whatever you feel like.

Going Back to Work

New working moms tend to “freak out” because they’re new to being a parent and they need to start working again after being on leave for a few months. The key is to not be too hard on yourself.

Stay Calm

It’s okay to feel a little overwhelmed sometimes, but don’t let it get to your head. Just take a step back, give yourself time to refocus and get back up again.

Stick to a Schedule

You will temporarily have to give up some of your extra-curriculars and doing more than normal and focus on giving time to your child and getting used to being back at work.

This will mean that both parents will have to share responsibilities. Divide tasks such as who picks and drops the baby to and from the day care, who is in charge of dressing the baby in the morning and so on. Babies tend to wake up multiple times in the middle of the night so make sure you divide that to make sure both of you get some sleep.

Nursing the Baby

The choice is yours whether you’re breast-feeding, pumping or weaning the baby to get used to formula. Whatever you feel comfortable with is also likely to be the best option for your baby. You can even choose a combination of feeding methods if that’s what makes you happy. At the end of the day, if you’re happy, so is your baby.

It’s also important to see what fits your work schedule and how you intend to follow the feeding schedule during work hours.

Postpartum Problems Are Real

New moms may feel disoriented or experience postpartum depression, and it’s perfectly natural. Your entire life including your body has undergone a major change! Even just giving yourself some time to get used to all the changes can help you get back to feeling okay again.

Super Moms Let’s Get into Formation!

New corporate moms have a lot to take care of, but just stay calm, hang in there and overtime you’ll settle into your roles as a parent and as a career woman.

Corporate Optometry Sponsored Blog Post: Introducing Transitions® Signature® GEN 8™ lenses

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Reasons to Recommend

Transitions Signature GEN 8 lenses push the limits of performance to satisfy existing photochromic lens wearers and recruit new clear lens wearers. Thanks to unprecedented patient research and product testing versus clear and other photochromic lenses, you can confidently tell patients that they will love Transitions Signature GEN 8 lenses.

  • Long lasting performance: Thanks to its ultra-agile dyes, Transitions Signature GEN 8 maintains a high level of performance even longer than Transitions Signature VII lenses, so patients can get the most out of their lenses[i].
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[i] Lab measurement ISO standard @ 23 C / T=% Transmission.  Based on lab accelerated aging test where one cycle approximates 2 years average usage.

[ii] Harmful blue light is calculated between 380nm and 460nm, across materials and colors.

[iii] CR607 products activate to a category 3 darkness 15% faster. Claim is based on tests across materials on gray lenses, being the most popular color, achieving 18% transmission @ 23°C.

[iv] CR607 products fade back to clear 2 minutes faster. Claim is based on tests across materials on gray lenses, being the most popular color, fading back to 70%transmission @ 23°C.

[v] Lab measurement ISO standard @ 23 C / T=% Transmission.

[vi] Transitions Optical Life360™ live wearers testing in US, France, China (IFOP 2016/2017). N=117 eyeglass wearers.

[vii] Transitions Signature GEN 8 Wearers Test, Nationwide US, Kadence, Q1 2019.

[viii] Based on achieving the highest weighted composite score among main everyday photochromic lenses across measurements of key photochromic performance attributes weighted by their relative importance to consumers.

The Growth Potential of a Sublease in Corporate Optometry.

Corporate Opticals and Optometrists can have a mutually successful business, with each party focusing on their strengths. Optometrists tend to give priority to the needs of our patients forgetting that we are a business that needs to be profitable as well. To make sure that our practice remains successful some ODs have partnered with corporate opticals.

Optometrist enjoy is diagnosing, treating and serving their patients, but running a business is in some ways is something completely different. Opportunities need to be recognized and captured while managing risks along the way. Corporate optometry can be a great way to practice the way you want and have your own business with minimal risk practicing next to a corporate optical.

Optometry is still divided and many ODs underestimate the potential of a successful business and career in corporate optometry. Usually, some private practices have a heavy flow of cash but they lack effective management. Corporate opticals understand that there is a possible opportunity there but with a small manageable risk factor. Optometrists can capture the same opportunities that opticals recognize and benefit from. All we need to do is, think outside the box, and apply business strategies, like a CEO. Everyone has the potential to unleash the CEO from within.

We need to change our perspective in the following ways:

Prepare a Business Plan

Just as a you would set up a business plan for a private practice, write up a business plan for the corporate location. Have the regional manager and store manager provide you with information on the business metrics to help you set up your plan. Construct a plan for a few years to build and grow the business.

Value Growth

Optometrists sometimes overestimate their corporate practices. The wiliness of the number of ODs to take over your sublease defines its value. We need to build value in our practice by spotting growth opportunities. Corporate opticals see that they can expand with strong management, overall services, budget control, objectives, and vision. Having that partner will help grow your value in your sublease as well has expanding to the medical model.

Seek Potential

Corporate opticals expand rapidly in urban and rural areas. In over saturated areas patients get divided and there is a huge risk of your practice to fail. Partnering with the right corporate optical that has a unique value proposition, your sublease can be very successful even in the most competitive areas. Rural areas and places where there are underprivileged people need more medical attention can be a lucrative business for an OD with minimal rent and less competition.

Look at the Bigger Picture

Optometrists shouldn’t miss opportunities in corporate optometry because of what they hear. Think bigger. Many corporate opticals have a diverse portfolio and have different brands, unique products, services and insurance plans to attract and retain patients. A sublease owner can be comfortable that in competitive markets that these factors with help keep their sublease successful as well.

In conclusion, corporate optometry can provide great benefits to an optometrist that would like to go down the path of a practice owner but not have all the risks that a private practice does.

How Bad Regional Managers Drive ODs Away from Corporate Optometry

There are many modes of practices available to optometrists. Corporate Optometry has become more popular than ever to many ODs, they usually start their career by working in a commercial establishment. Many times regional managers can make or break a decision for an OD.

Working in corporate optometry has its own perks. Optometrists receive steady paychecks and they can make more money with annual raises. Some ODs are simply not interested in running a business.

Here’s how bad regional managers drive ODs away from corporate optometry

They Create Politics

Vindictive managers threaten the job security of their employed ODs. A leader should be the one to set a good example. Instead, they misuse their power and authority to put down the optometrists and to show them who the boss is.

They Give Unfair Criticism

Bad managers don’t understand the difference between constructive and unfair criticism. They can create unfair working environments. If one OD is able to do something than it should be good for another OD in that region. start insulting their employees instead of teaching them. If an OD is able to leave early and another is not then an OD can start feeling pressurized and unappreciated.

They Bully and Abuse

Regional managers, who are bullies, use abusive tactics to communicate with the optometrists. Ignoring issues and emails, and using the silent treatment can be viewed as a bully behavior. If you are being ignored than contact your Professional Relations department.

They Have an Ego Problem

If a corporate optometry has leaders who are know-it-alls, then it’s a huge problem for the employees. Egoistical managers will put all the blame on the employee when things go wrong and will take all the credit when they go right. Nobody likes someone who thinks that they are not capable of making mistakes.

They Silence Their ODs

Silencing the voice of employees is unethical and can make them feel unappreciated. A good leader listens to what the people have to say. If the employees feel that they can only talk about something when it’s safe to talk about it then it’s a sign that they have dominant leaders. Those leaders think of themselves as unquestionably right.

They Lie or Do not give credit

Manipulative bosses lie to their ODs in order to move their own agenda forward. Sometimes ODs are blamed for the business going down, other times when an OD is doing something to help the business, they do not get the credit they deserve. Make sure that your work is being acknowledged and also is know by corporate headquarters.

They Start Micro-Managing

Being a team leader doesn’t mean that one has to take control of everything. Finicky managers want to monitor and personally control each and every movement of their team members. No optometrist would like to be micro managed.

Managers play a vital role in the success of a business. Companies lose good employees just because of poor management. Regional managers tend to focus on the dollars flowing in the door and forget that ODs are the most essential part of their business.

Routine vs Medical

Whether you have been practicing optometry for quite some time now or are about to enter the field soon, you would know how important it is to satisfy patients in terms of eye care and the overall service you provide.

And a major difficulty faced by ODs and optometrists worldwide is when their patients can’t understand why their visit is being billed when they have insurance or when their examination is called ‘routine’ and when it is ‘medical.’

Apart from customer satisfaction, what lies between your optometry practice being profitable and incurring revenue losses is to know when an examination is routine or medical and therefore, bill it accordingly.

While customers are normally confused between the two types of exams, a part of the confusion stems from doctors themselves.

When the ODs and the staff are clear and confident about the services they provide only then can they can satisfy their patients better.

What is a routine exam?

A patient’s exam will be considered routine if there is no emergency or chief compliant behind their reason to visit. If they don’t have a history of any major eye illness or disease, the diagnosis involves low to no decision making or the primary diagnosis is refractive in nature, then the examination will be considered routine.

What is a medical exam?

Unlike a routine exam, a medical exam requires some important decision-making. There is usually a chief complaint or some other ailment that compels the patient to visit an optometrist.

If the medical diagnosis correlates with their complaint or even if there is no apparent reason but the patient has a history of some ocular disease then their examination will be marked as a medical exam.

It goes without saying that everyone wants to save money. Therefore, most patients want to use their routine benefits in order to save what they can. But being an experienced practitioner, if you deem the exam to be medical then it is necessary to explain to the patient why you will be billing their medical insurance.

You need to handle such situations well because it shows to customers that you provide a higher level of eye care than they might have imagined.

It is best you sort things out as early as when a patient calls or visits to book an appointment.

Ask them if they have any medical condition such as diabetes, hypertension.

Diabetes is amongst the leading causes of blindness, so in case a patient is diabetic, let them know that their exam will be considered medical.

Also, ask the patients about their insurance details so that you can decide whether they are eligible for bill reductions or not.

Suggest if they require an OCT scan or a retinal photo and confirm their eligibility for different eye-health benefits.

Give your patients an intake form that explains when an examination is routine and medical.

Ask them to carefully read it and then sign and submit it to you before the exam.

This shows that they acknowledge their understanding of routine and health insurance benefits and how these benefits can be utilized.

Is Your Head in the Clouds? Well Your Practice Should be in “The Cloud”!

Is Your Head in the Clouds? Well Your Practice Should be in “The Cloud”!

 

How cloud-based EHR & automated practice management will transform your office, save you time, and money.

 

By Adam Stelzer, O.D.

 

If you want to become a better optometrist, you should be using an EHR/practice management system in an effort to streamline your practice and optimize patient care. However, the key is getting the right system because you may risk setting yourself up for extra work, lost data, and even compromising patient information.

 

For years, optometrists have dealt with these frustrations. That’s why it is important to find an EHR/practice management system that is built by developers who understand the direct needs of their fellow colleagues. For optometry, there are solutions available that were built by optometrists, specifically for optometry. These solutions are better formatted for the flow of an eye exam, with short cuts to simplify common norms and medical reference databases, as well as auto-fills to quickly complete common procedures, impressions, and plans. There are even systems that integrate with labs, so you can order contact trials during an exam with the click of one button. You can trust that optometrists have a first-hand understanding about what tools would help streamline an eye exam and allow attention to be given to the patient, rather than data entry.

 

With such rapid advances in technology, we can all see that “the cloud” is extremely useful today and will be indispensable in the future. Soon enough, we’ll find that it will be utilized in every facet of life for securely warehousing all of our data.

 

A major benefit to a cloud-based system is that you greatly reduce the security risk that a local server system inherently has; where information can be stolen, damaged, or corrupted by it’s need for physical storage space. With a high quality cloud-based EHR/practice management system, your information is encrypted, so it cannot be stolen or compromised. It is virtually backed up, so the risk of losing data is greatly reduced. It is also accessible instantaneously from any location in the world. This allows the doctor to complete charts or access reports at any time. Your system needs to be fully secured and HIPPA-compliant.

 

The cloud doesn’t limit you to a room in your office, where you likely have limited storage capacity. Even if you previously saw a patient and charted their exam on paper, you should be able to scan and upload those charts into a cloud-based system. In a system with unlimited storage capacity they’ll be stored within that patient’s profile indefinitely. All of your past and current patients’ records are available to you conveniently within one system, even if they are at a different office location within your practice group. This eliminates the need for paper, boxes, storage, and makes it so much quicker to access.

 

Patients are now looking for health care providers that give them easier access to scheduling appointments online, getting appointment reminders via text messaging, the ability to complete paperwork in advance (eliminating time in the waiting area), as well as the ability to access their data online, and at any time. A modern system can offer a unique link to an online scheduling feature, with the ability to customize available appointment time slots and intervals between appointments, and integrate directly into your office schedule. Some cloud-based EHR/practice management systems can give patients access to a private portal where they can fill out their paperwork and medical history, which can significantly reduce patient check-in times. The patient can even access their prescriptions, invoices, and referrals after their appointment through their portal. This feature gives you and your staff back invaluable time to focus on more important things, such as patient care.

 

One of the biggest cost and time savings is from an integrated patient text messaging feature. You should look for a system that is fully comprehensive, so you can eliminate the high-cost third-party SMS services. With that feature included, it’s as if you’re hiring another staff member to do all of your patient recalls, but at no additional cost. You’ll want to find a system that gives you unlimited text messaging and two-way patient communication that can be done right from within the system. A great system will allow you to maintain and keep unique communication contacts and securely e-Fax them from within the system. This allows you to easily manage your patient information sharing; with pharmacies via e-Prescribing, other health-care professionals via patient referrals, with labs for optical material orders, and with third-party payers and clearinghouses for billing. Communication should be simple and automatically recorded under the patient’s profile.

 

Another major benefit to an EHR/practice management system is the ability to track analytics and generate reports. It is important to consider the analytics feature of a system not just as an “extra”, but as a powerful and necessary tool to help you track the statistics about your practice. These reports can show you the growth of your practice, in number of patients and sales volume, and even help target specific markets, products, or clients. You can also use the reporting to correct mismanagement and check the performance of staff, or even certain inventory items and products. It’s important to get daily summary reports, and a good system will allow you to create customized reports when you want them.

 

If you are not using a cloud-based EMR/practice management system, you need to reconsider your reasoning for not jumping on board. There are systems that are robust, completely customizable, and inclusive of all of the aforementioned must-haves, for as low as $99 per month. Explore your options, and be sure to recognize when a system is over-priced. Many times, you’re just paying for the markup and hidden fees of outdated systems, where those unnecessary costs are pushed onto you, the practice owner. There are great systems that offer new state-of–the-art platform designs with no contracts, no sign-up fees, no charges for updates. A select few will even give you and your staff training, as well as directly assist you in getting your data transferred from another system, at no additional charge. Take the few minutes to do a free demonstration to see how a system can fit your needs. With the right EHR/practice management solution, you can trust that you’ll find yourself less stressed with a more streamlined and efficient optometry practice – at least, it did for me!

 
$0 Activation Fee
No Contracts
 
Designed by ODs for ODs
Plans starting at $99/M!
 
Let us help you streamline your practice, save time, and increase profits. Sign up now for your free and personalized demo and see why it’s easy to make the switch to the most comprehensive and cost-effective EHR in the market!
 
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How to Reduce Eyewear Remakes

Whichever angle you look at it from, eyewear remakes are always costly.

They take additional time and resources because the order is placed again, which means that both, the clinic staff and lab technicians need to work all over for the second time.

Not only does this mean unsatisfied customers, which can ruin your reputation as a good optometrist, but can also lead to business losses as the eyewear is remade and re-shipped for the optical.

Although there can be various reasons why a customer asks for a remake, a prescription change recommended by a doctor is seldom one of them. It’s either that the customer finds their new glasses difficult to adjust to or it’s not to their liking and hence, they demand it to be changed.

While you are likely to keep a margin in your business and allow a free remake once per customer, don’t you wish the need doesn’t arise in the first place?

If you are looking for ways to reduce eyewear remakes, here are a few tips to help you make sure that your customers are satisfied when they try on their new glasses.

Have a clear conversation

If you want to master the art of refraction, start by listening to your patients very attentively.

Have a thorough conversation to see what type of glasses your customer wants. If they ask you for suggestions or leave the decision of design up to you, let them know what you think will suit them best and give them a sample to try on.

Give them time to make up their mind and make sure they are pleased before finalizing the order.

While most customers are usually very specific about what they want, listen attentively to determine whether they will be able to tolerate any changes in fabrication or not. Inform them beforehand if there’s a design or lens that may slightly differ from the one on display or shown in the catalog.

If there are customers with a past history of lens dissatisfaction, ask them to describe their ‘ideal’ eyeglasses. Discuss what issues they have faced before and how you can improve them.

Educate staff to troubleshoot

Your optical staff should be well trained to handle an unhappy customer.

Even if it gets a bit frustrating, the staff must maintain a friendly demeanor as they try to figure out what the issue is and how to fix it.

They should check if it’s a problem they can solve by themselves instead of simply sending the eyewear back to the lab.

Does the frame need a slight readjustment to ensure the customer is looking through the right part of the lens? Is there a pantoscopic tilt? Do the glasses lie flat on a surface or is the frame bent? Is it the way the patient is wearing the glasses?

Such minor issues can be easily fixed by the staff so make sure they are well trained to do that.

Moreover, if the customer demands a remake only because they feel that they are unable to adjust to their new eyewear, politely ask them to try the glasses for at least a week despite the initial discomfort.

Adjusting to a new pair of glasses takes time and they might not find the need for a remake once they wear it for a few days.

Characteristics of an Excellent Regional Manager in Corporate Optometry

Characteristics of Excellent Regional Managers in Corporate Optometry

Trust

They respect what ODs do and encourage ODs to practice the way they choose to. Don’t interfere with OD business. They understand that in order the optical to grow the OD side of the business needs to grow as well.

Work-Life Balance

They promote work life balance. They know that people work better and collaborate more if there is a balance. Burn out in corporate optometry is real.  Promoting a work life balance can help off set the burn out. Happy ODs can focus on growing a business and will result in increase in optical revenue.

Alignment

Keep optical staff focused on long term goals that includes growing the Doctor side of the business. Great regional managers understand the the patient experience is not an optical sale. Working with the Doctor side of the business will promote eye health and an image to the patient to continue to see the OD at that location. In the long term the patient that continues their care with that OD is more likely to continue to purchase from that optical. It can hedge from online retailers.

Support

Recognize and reward the optical staff and OD. Without the team goals can’t be achieved.

They encourage growth and want to see the OD business succeed. In the long term it will benefit the optical.

They won’t sacrifice the Doctor’s business to grow their own. Regional managers will not influence ODs office to offer quick services or cheapest eye exam in the area. They recognize this tactic will not grow the business in the long run.

Create a Culture of Accountability

They understand each location has unique strengths and weaknesses and use those intuition to create a strategic plan.

Provide resources to improve optical performance and find solutions. They do not blame.

When something goes wrong great regional managers work with the optical team and OD. They are accountable for their own results.