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How to Build a Medically-Focused Practice

A group of medically-focused optometrists having a meeting

The online marketplace is growing, and it’s swallowing up a lot of income you would otherwise make on traditional eyewear sales. In fact, nearly 7.5 million pairs of prescription eyeglasses were sold online in 2019 as opposed to physical dispensaries. So if you find your bottom line taking a hit, you may need to start looking for new ways to recuperate lost profits.

One of the best ways to do this is by adopting medical treatment and management services, providing your patients with the opportunity to address eye issues like glaucoma, cataracts, AMD, and more. 

But how do you create a medically-focused practice? We can help! By following these simple rules, you can develop your practice with a medical focus, serve more patients, and unlock access to a new pool of patients and revenue!

Educate the Importance of Eye Exams to Your Patients

Choosing to focus on medical services can be daunting, especially as many traditional business models have focused on eyewear sales. On top of that, diagnostic tools are expensive, training takes time, and you may even need to restructure your business to suit this direction better.

However, every optometry practice has one medical aspect at the core of their business: eye exams. Eye exams should be the first medical service you focus on, for two main reasons:

First, eye exams are a consistent part of your business and a fantastic way to generate regular income. Second, eye exams will help you find what issues are common among your patients. By taking this information, you can start developing key performance indicators to find out where you should be focusing your practice.

Know Your KPIs

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are your first step towards finding what services and payment options work best for you and your business. According to the Review of Optometric Business, there are 5 general KPIs you should be tracking:

  • Revenues from vision plans vs. medical insurance plans
  • Procedures by CPT code
  • Clean claims rate
  • Claim denial rates
  • Average accounts receivable days

By breaking down your KPIs into these groups, you will have a better understanding of what services are working best for your business, and if you’re reaching the goals you originally set when creating a medical focus.

Specialize, Specialize, Specialize

From the information you take from analyzing your patient’s typical spending habits, you can start focusing on a specialization that best serves you and your goals. 

One of the most common niches optometrists focus on is dry eye management. You may want to focus on providing dry eye products your patients can use at home, or you may want to provide in-office treatments that focus on specific issues like blepharitis or meibomian gland dysfunction.

The same logic applies to other diseases and conditions like glaucoma, cataracts, and AMD. By focusing on a specific niche, you won’t be “just an optometrist”; you’ll be a valuable resource for patients inside and outside of the community looking for specialized care.

Older woman having her eye examined by a medically-focused optometrist

Create Insurance Options

If you plan on taking in more medical patients, another thing you should be developing is your list of insurance providers. Many patients rely on their insurance to pay for their medical expenses, and there are different insurance plans your patients may use. Expanding these options will open the door to regular recurring revenue.

However, insurance options aren’t necessary to start providing treatment for certain issues. If your patients have dry eye or other rudimentary eye conditions, you can provide treatment options that will fit your patient’s financial restrictions. 

Join MOA

By joining Medical Optometry America as a franchise owner, you will be a part of our expansive network of eye care professionals dedicated to providing expert medical eye care for all patients across the country.

MOA franchise practices receive training on medical optometry best practices, developed in partnership with leading optometrists, ophthalmologists, as well as the New England College of Optometry. We will provide you with the techniques you need to identify, diagnose, and treat a range of eye health conditions, including:

If you’re looking to jump-start your practice in the medical field, MOA can help. Contact us today and start your medical services off on the right foot!

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  • Written by: Bryan MacDonald

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