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    ODs’ top 4 gripes about vision care plans: Part 3—Reimbursements

     

    Know your options

    When dealing with VCP reimbursements, you as the OD and practice owner have two options:

    • Don’t take the insurance

    • Take the plan but make sure you know the rules, train your staff, develop a retail pricing strategy, bill correctly, and routinely audit your EOBs

    While not taking VCPs sounds appealing, I have found VCPs bring in patients. Many of these patients will need medical eye care and if VCPs are what initially brings them to our offices, then they have served a valuable role.

    Related: 6 challenges when changing from a group to private practice

    For those patients who need only preventive eye care or glasses and contact lenses, I accept the reduced exam reimbursements as the cost of doing business. In my mind, because most of our patients come from word of mouth and we take their insurance, I have allocated the reduction in fees to marketing.

    It is easy to complain about reimbursements and VCPs, but it is harder to make them work for you. However, those ODs who do create a plan and process find VCPs can be good for business.

    You must decide if you are going to complain or take action. Remember, once the patient is in your practice it is you, your strategy, your team, and your systems that determine the patient experience and practice profitability.

    I look forward to your questions and comments [email protected].

    Read more from Dr. Spear here

    Carl H. Spear, OD, MBA, FAAO
    Dr. Spear owns a multi-location group practice with his wife Dr. Katie Gilbert Spear in Pensacola, FL. Dr. Spear is commander of the ...

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