Paul M. Stubenbordt focuses his blog on what steps a practice can take to optimize traditional and Internet marketing, public relations, social media as well as non-traditional marketing tactics that can help maximize your current practice development program.

BLOG: Your premium cataract discussion

What is a premium cataract practice?

From my experience, a premium cataract practice consists of a surgeon who offers premium lens options and femtosecond-assisted cataract surgery and truly focuses on an excellent refractive outcome. In our industry, mentioning “premium” usually implies high volume, but I feel it’s more about reducing complications and investing in technology that can help give patients the best possible refractive outcome, all while providing an excellent “customer” experience. Most of these practices also offer intraoperative aberrometry and laser vision correction.

What are conversion rates in a premium practice?

This truly varies from market to market and practice to practice. As an average, my clients that I would consider “premium practices” convert 35%+ of all cataract patients to a multifocal, accommodative or toric lens implant and 50%+ of patients elect to have laser cataract surgery. Some of my clients are as high as 50% premium IOL conversion and 70%+ laser conversion.

The perfect pitch

It’s really up to the doctor to sell the premium services the practice has to offer. Nothing means more to a patient than a doctor saying, “This is what you need and this is why you should do it.” However, nothing is worse than a doctor saying, “You can choose this multifocal or this accommodative lens or even a toric if you’re OK with reading glasses. Any of these lenses will work.” Undecidedness equals poor conversion rates.

As a doctor, the conversation should go something like this. “Well, Mary, the bad news is you do indeed have a cataract. The good news is cataract surgery today is nothing like your grandmother’s or father’s cataract surgery. Today, we perform cataract surgery in a private ASC setting. We use laser technology that helps make cataract surgery more precise and more predictable than ever before, and it only takes about 10 minutes to perform. Also, looking at the lifestyle questionnaire we sent you prior to your appointment, it indicates that you read a lot, work on a computer and like playing tennis. Mary, it also indicates that if given a chance to reduce or eliminate the need for glasses after cataract surgery, you’d be interested in learning more. Now, I think you would be a good candidate for our multifocal toric lens, which will correct your astigmatism and allow you to have a wide range of vision to see well in the distance, intermediate and even up close with little to no dependence on reading glasses or bifocals. I like to tell my patients that if this is something they can afford to do, it’s something they should do because you’ll be using this every waking moment for the rest of your life. Now, if this was my mother I was performing cataract surgery on, there would be no doubt, this is the lens I would choose for her. Patients who have a multifocal lens can do most things, most of the time without glasses; however, you will still need reading glasses to see small print such as what’s written on a medicine bottle or seeing a menu with small print in a dark restaurant. However, no matter which option you choose, you’ll be very happy because your cataract will be gone and ultimately you should have good vision with or without glasses. Now, do you have any questions for me?”