NEW YORK – Excel in what you do in your practice to be considered the expert in specialty contact lenses, according to a panel at the Global Contact Lens Forum, held here during Vision Expo.
“Be an expert at what you do,” panelist Clarke Newman, OD, FAAO, said. “Ask a colleague to mentor you. If you can get something right over and over, it’s much easier earning a living doing this.
“Fully understand what it is you do and understand the disruptors,” he added.
Susan Resnick, OD, FAAO, said she conducts diagnostic testing and discusses material and design selection to provide better patient care.
“We don’t talk about brands of lenses,” she said.
Brooke Messer, OD, said in her practice, the optometric externs do most of the scanning.
“When we prepare for a scleral lens evaluation, they’ll take the patient back and do the initial work-up. We use a lot of diagnostics; the patient gains a lot of information.
“Once they understand, that builds a lot of trust,” she continued. “They understand you’re looking for specific information about their eye.”
Clinicians do not have the ability to put an OCT in every practice, Robert Steinmetz, OD, FAAO, said.
“A lot of tests are inexpensive,” he said. “An anterior segment camera is inexpensive. I hook it to the slit lamp and blow the image up onscreen and show patients exactly what’s going on with their ocular surface and their contact lenses.
“I believe that you have to create the perception in the mind of the patient that you are an expert at what you’re doing,” Steinmetz continued. “That’s all free. We educate every patient when they walk in the door that we’re different from other practices.”
He said they explain that they treat dry eye and specialize in medical eye disease.
“If you have a problem with your eye, think of me first,” he said. “Don’t go to the ER. My cell number is on the answering machine. I’ll take your call at any time.”
Newman said that what makes the optometrist valuable is incorporating technologies that, “free you up to be the interpreter rather than a collector of data. These technologies are really important, especially since there’s a CPT code associated with it.”
Messer’s practice helps patients investigate their insurance coverage.
“My staff will call and find out from the benefits coordinator what is covered,” she said. “Patient don’t know what to ask about if they call. Our staff knows how to work to get the answers. We let the patients know in advance exactly what they’re going to have to pay.” – by Nancy Hemphill, ELS, FAAO
Eiden SB, et al. Establishing and succeeding in specialty contact lens practice – The business of a contact lens specialty practice. Presented at: Vision Expo East; March 14-18, 2018; New York.
Eiden is a consultant, lecturer or conducts research for or has a financial interest in Alcon, Alden, Bausch + Lomb, Brien Holden Vision Institute, CooperVision, Paragon, EyeVis Eye and VisionResearch, SpecialEyes and SynergEyes. Messer has received honoraria from CooperVision and Precilens. Newman is a consultant for GPLI, and a member of the FDA Ophthalmic Devices Panel Medical Devices Advisory Committee. Resnick has received honoraria for Alcon, Alden Optical, Bausch + Lomb, CooperVision, Johnson & Johnson, SpecialEyes, SynergEyes, Visioneering Technologies. Steinmetz is a speaker for Johnson & Johnson Vision Care.