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    5 financial challenges ODs will face in 2016

    Each year brings its own challenges, and 2016 will be no different.

    Check out our financial challenge predictions from 2015—Were we right?

    So, we reached out to Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member John Rumpakis, OD, MBA, and Bryan Rogoff, OD, MBA, CPHM, director of doctor strategy for Pearle Vision, to ask them about what kinds of challenges they expect optometrists will encounter in the coming year.

    Recent news: Optometry’s 10 biggest stories of 2015

     

    Increasing deductibles

    Increasing deductibles means costs are shifting more and more onto the shoulders of patients.

    “Cost shifting is going to change how we have to communicate with our patients,” says Dr. Rumpakis. “I do think that it’s going to significantly affect our patients’ willingness to comply with what they need to do.”

    When you’re trying to justify the cost of this diagnostic test or regular imaging to keep that glaucoma in check, but those services are not covered by the patient’s insurance—you’ll likely face some pushback. There’s a good chance some patients aren’t going to be very pleased to drop hundreds of dollars on a service if they don’t see or understand the direct benefit to them.

    Recent news: The craziest optometry stories of 2015

    It’s all about communicating the value, a skill that not enough doctors have mastered, says Dr. Rumpakis.

    “I think optometrists are among the most compassionate and caring healthcare providers out there—that is both our strength and it is our weakness,” says Dr. Rumpakis. “The weakness is that oftentimes we want to be our patients’ best friend instead of being their doctor. We tend to capitulate rather easily to what the patient wants to do rather than really trying to be their doctor and make sure that they understand the clinical needs.”

    Next: The demands of healthcare reform

    Colleen E. McCarthy
    Colleen McCarthy is a freelance writer based in the Cleveland area and a former editor of Optometry Times. She is a 2010 graduate of the ...

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