5 Ways to Reduce Optical staff Errors when Collecting Fees for Sublease ODs.

Being an optometrist isn’t easy as there are so many things to look after, primarily when you are sublease and don’t have control of the optical staff. Subleasing has plenty of benefits to offer, including having trained staff who works under your wing and assists you in your daily operations via your contract.

So, what happens when your staff makes errors and makes it difficult for you to run your practice? Such errors include not collecting payments on time from patients. This isn’t beneficial for your practice and can result in significant losses. So, what should an optometrist do in such a situation?

Let’s find out.

Collect Payment Before Treatment

This practice may not be allowed in some states, which is why it’s crucial to check before implementing it. When you collect payments from your patients first, it can help you have clarity whether the patient has paid or not. If your optical staff fails to collect payment from the patients after the treatment, you’ll be looking at a loss. You would’ve provided quality treatment to the patient and wouldn’t even get paid for it. Hence, see if you can collect payment first.

Hire Your Staff

When you sublease space to run your practice, you’ll have to work with the existing staff. However, it can become problematic once the optical staff makes enormous mistakes. In such a situation, you should hire your staff. You can interview yourself to see their potential. When you have the right people for the job working under you, you’ll experience fewer errors and more ease. Hence, interview potential candidates thoroughly before appointing them, and have a much smoother experience at work.

Set Up Online Payment

If your staff forgets to collect payment from the patients, one thing you can do is ask them to call those patients and ask for the money. Since your staff made the mistake of collecting payment, they should be the ones who would have to make the call. Also, another suitable way to collect payment would be to set up an online payment option where patients can pay before getting the treatment. This way, you’ll receive the amounts, and your staff wouldn’t have to go after the patients regarding payments.

Paperwork

There should be paperwork for everything, including collecting payments from patients. You should have access to the invoices stating that the patient has paid a certain amount of money to receive a particular treatment. Once you have all the documents, you’ll have proof that the patient has paid, and your staff didn’t forget to ask for the required money. Also, if there’s an invoice missing, you’ll immediately know that your employees failed to fetch the payment.

Do it Yourself

This isn’t your job as an OD, but if your staff is not on top of things, you’ll have to step in. If you want to ensure your patients pay you the money you’re entitled to receive, you should collect it yourself at the end of the treatment. This way, you won’t have to run after optical staff to do so, and you’ll have your dues as well.

1st Generation ODs tend to choose Corporate Optometry

First-generation professionals are people who are the first of their families to enter a professional setting. These professionals hold an OD degree and are ready to climb up the ladder in optometry.

These first-gen ODs are hungry for success. 1st generation ODs are open minded and looking to get their name out there. Employers ensure these professionals grow and succeed throughout their time at the organization. Corporate Optometry offers professional development programs that many young ODs take advantage of. First-generations often took advantage of mentoring and professional networking opportunities. First generation ODs brought more diverse backgrounds and ideas to the profession.

Recent study found that 1st Generation ODs choose Corporate optometry for their career pathway.

The survey was taken in the Corporate Optometry Facebook Group. 113 ODs completed the survey. 92% of the ODs reported they were first generation ODs.

Understand Their Journey

First-generation ODs chose optometry because of their interest in the profession. Once ODs complete their education requirements, the difference between 1st and 2nd generation ODs become transparent. 1st generation ODs tend to have experience in the work force and connections in their local community compared to 2nd generation ODs. When looking for a job or looking for a practice to purchase 2nd generation ODs tend to have an upper hand. 1st generation ODs might lean to corporate optometry to the ease of employment and ability to fast track to practice ownership through sublease. Furthermore, 1st generation might have more student loan debt compared to 2nd generation ODs if their parents help with tuition because they are typically making higher income.

Private Practice vs Corporate Optometry

Typically 2nd generation ODs have been exposed to private practice over their lifetime and have predisposed notices on corporate optometry. Corporate optometry has evolved over the last 15 years and will continue to evolve as it competes to attract ODs. 2nd generation ODs might have more mentoring support from their family members and chances to inherit or purchase their family’s practice and other private practices because of their family’s association in their community. 1st generation ODs might have more hurdles and barriers when it comes to practice purchases. It is yet to be determined how private equity will change 2nd generation OD career trajectory. Possibly the shift from 2nd generation private practitioners will shift to more ODs looking towards leadership positions in the industry.

Conclusion

There are some disparities in our industry between 1st and 2nd generation ODs. Some might be regional or certain sectors in the industry, but a majority of it is not having a mentor or family member to guide you at the beginning of your careers. Corporate optometry tends to attract 1st generation ODs because of ease of employment, accelerated rate to practice ownership (sublease) and wide network to support these ODs with mentorship programs, leadership positions and professional development. As long as you put in the effort, your first-generation professionals will surely succeed.

5 Questions to Consider Before Buying Equipment

If you want to ensure your practice is a success, you’ll have to equip it with the best and the latest tools. If you don’t get the right tools to do the job, you may not be able to provide the value your patients expect. So, investing in the right tools is a part of ensuring success for your practice.

However, you’ll have to be careful when buying such equipment. If you aren’t as vigilant as you should be, you might get faulty equipment on your hands, which will affect the quality of patient care you provide. So, it’s better to ask yourself the following questions before buying any equipment for your practice.

1. How Will it Set My Practice Apart?

If you want the edge over other practices, you need to equip it with the modern tools that help you differentiate your practice. So, before purchasing any equipment, you need to ask yourself whether it will promote your practice and get you more patients? If you get a positive answer, by all means, purchase that equipment right away. As an optometrist, you need to offer your patients the best treatments that would require the appropriate tools.

2. Will My Patients be Appeased?

Most people these days have become super tech-friendly. They also hold those places that are pretty tech-savvy in high regard. So, will the equipment you’re about to invest in impress your patients? Will your entire practice make your patients feel comfortable? If yes, you should undoubtedly equip your practice with such tools. Whatever it takes to make your patients see the modernistic approach you’re taking with medicine, do it. As long as your patients are satisfied, you shouldn’t have a problem.

3. What More Do I Need?

You’re mistaken if you think your practice has all the necessary equipment and couldn’t need anything more. You might be forgetting something, whether it’s your firm’s digital presence, good word-of-mouth, or what matters the most – patients. You can always benefit from doing more. So, it’s better not to sustain by doing the bare minimum. Recognize what your practice needs, and give it to them to flourish and succeed even more. Develop a robust digital presence, employ software that helps with patient management, whatever it takes!

4. Return on Investment: Is It Enough?

When you’re setting up your practice, you’re investing in equipment you can only hope will provide you with long-term growth. It’s all hoping that you might get more significant returns by using modern technology on patients. So, they’ll know your practice is a class apart. However, are returns enough? Are you barely breaking even? You’ll have to make severe calculations to understand how much you will make in the upcoming months by investing in certain pieces of equipment.

5. How Can I Maximize the Equipment’s Full Potential?

When you’ve got the best equipment to boost your practice, it’s also necessary you use them in the right way. You’ll have to ensure you have the right staff who knows what they’re doing. You might have to provide training in the beginning to make them aware of how a specific piece of equipment is used. The more trained your staff is, the better they’ll be able to use the equipment.

The Problems with Under-Coding and How to Avoid Them

Under-coding is a popular concept in optometry practices. Many times under coding can be considered fraud and lead to an audit.

Many problems arise due to under-coding; one is the unnecessary investigation of unreported medical cases. Under-coding is considered a severe crime as it’s highly illegal and unethical. If your office is experiencing under-coding, there are ways you can stop it.

Let’s explore how you can stop under-coding.

Train Your Staff

The best way to overcome under-coding at your office is by ensuring your staff is adequately trained. They’ll ensure every patient walking in has a proper file and officially gets recorded when they’ve received sufficient training. If you want your office to succeed while avoiding any audits due to under-coding, you must hire efficient staff who know how to work. As long as they’re well-equipped, you hopefully won’t encounter under-coding at your facility.

Uniform Coding Is a Must

Two types of patients walk into a optometry office: those who pay cash and those with insurance. Ideally, these patients should go into the registers if under-coding is avoided. The best way to ensure that happens is by providing a code. There will be no confusion when uniform codes are present for each type of patient. Also, there won’t be any discrepancy between patients with codes attached. Even if there is, you can easily sort it out through the billing. Also pay attention if you are billing routine eye exams to vision plans when you are supposed to bill it to medical because the patient has significant cataracts for example.

Double-Check Everything

When you have a high inflow of patients coming in, the wise thing to do is double-check everything. This includes their files, medical reports, history, etc. It’ll be easier to manage to code when you know everything about your patients and keep up with their cases now and then. You can stay on top of your coding game by ensuring there’s no case of over or under-coding whatsoever. However, you’ll have to be pretty vigilant to do that.

Hire a Professional Medical Billing Company

If you’re having trouble keeping up with your facility’s billing, you can always employ a professional medical billing service. They’re professionals who specifically deal with numerous healthcare facilities’ billing. That way, you won’t have to stress so much regarding billing, and you can also avoid the constant problem of under-coding. Yes, such companies charge a fee, but paying them is better than paying large sums of money as penalties if your facility is under investigation for under-coding.

Don’t Overuse Codes

If you want to avoid under-coding at your facility, it’s recommended you don’t use the same codes repeatedly. Using the same codes often leads to confusion regarding patients’ files, which might result in double-coding. If you don’t want that to happen, please keep using new codes each time you enter a patient’s information into your system. The newer your codes are each time you have a new patient, the fewer chances of under-coding. Hence, please focus on using codes appropriately.

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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To achieve the new frontier of performance desired by patients, Transitions Optical fully reinvented their photochromic system by combining a disruptive nanocomposite matrix with a new generation of ultra-agile dyes. This lens is the newest generation of Transitions Optical’s best-selling product and replaces Transitions® Signature® VII lenses.

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.