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    How to make the most of the medical model

    New York City—The medical model can help make your practice more profitable and serve your patients better—a few changes to the way you practice can make a big difference, says Scot Morris, OD, FAAO, during a session at Vision Expo East.

    “When I say, ‘building the medical model,’ it’s a little tongue in cheek because, really, is there any other way to practice?” says Dr. Morris. He says that the most common diseases ODs see in their practices are myopia, astigmatism, presbyopia, hyperopia, and dry eye. (Yes, he says, those are diseases—if there’s an ICD-10 code for it, it’s a disease.)

    “You see them, you listen, you test, you diagnose, you treat—you guys are all medical experts,” he says. “You already do that every day, it’s just going to be a different diagnostic code.”

    More practice management: 5 ways to fire a patient

    Why would an optometrist shy away from the medical model? Dr. Morris says it sometimes comes down to fear—of change, of the legal ramifications, or of managed care participation. Or it could be the cost of time and labor or the investment in technology. Sometimes it comes down to lack of training or education or intimidation with medical billing and coding. Then there are the ODs who feel like they’re busy enough and don’t need to take on medical.

    Once you decide to embrace the medical model, there may be some changes you and your staff need to make in order to operate efficiently and provide the best care for your patients.

    Next: Developing your staff

    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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