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    How your optical can save your practice come Oct. 1

    Las Vegas—The ICD-10 implementation deadline is nearly upon us—but did you know that you may experience a three-to-six-month delay in payments from insurance companies?

    “We have to be ready to rollout October 1, but they have no obligation to be ready to pay us October 1. Ask yourself, what if all your insurance money dropped October 1?” says Sharon Carter, ABO, NCLE. “If you’re making zero money in your optical, where does that leave your practice? Broke.”

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    Carter has more than 20 years of experience in optometric practices and founded Eye Care Optometric Consulting.

    In order for your practice to survive the ICD-10 transition over the next few months, Carter says eyecare practices should look to their opticals to fill the revenue gap.

    “When I walk in as a consultant, usually, 30 percent of a practice’s money comes from optical, and 10 percent is coming from contact lenses,” Carter says. “You know what that tells me? The doctor is working his butt off, and someone is not performing in the optical.”

    She says that optical should account for 60 to 70 percent of a practice’s income, and it should be one of the most important areas of your practice because the amount of money you can make there is unlimited.  

     

    Start setting goals

    Carter says your optical should always have a goal for everyone in the office to buy into and work toward. She says that once she began setting goals, her practice made an extra $100,000 in a three-month period.

    “And then all of a sudden, you’ve got all of this collective energy working toward this one goal—and you’ll reach it,” she says.

    She cautions against making it a competition among staff. Instead, she says it’s about working as a team and each member performing at her own personal best. 

    Next: Refresh your optical

    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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