Running a practice can be a daunting task. For that reason, some tips are worth repeating. In the age of online retailers and drugstores selling contact lenses (CLs), the boxes are certainly not as profitable as they once were.
Due to noncompliance, CL wearers can be a source of frustration for a practice. Consider implementing these five practice pearls to ease the hassle and enhance the patient experience.
1. Create CL order form
Certain things may come natural to the OD but not the staff. This inspired me to create a half-page CL order form that addressed the known pitfalls in checklist form.
Previously from Dr. Brimer: How tear osmolarity affects lens wear
First on the checklist is to determine the CL’s modality: daily, biweekly, or monthly disposable. Next to each selection is the number of boxes required to place an order and a space for staff to enter the annual supply price for the specific brand (annual supply price is located on the back of the form along with current rebate amount and rebate expiration).
If a patient wants to buy fewer boxes, there is a space for non-annual supply sales. This requires an actual per box price and a space for shipping costs. The staff member documents that the order has been placed and paid in full. Included is a space to verify when the prescription expires and a reminder to the staff member that the number of CL boxes purchased should not extended beyond prescription expiration.
The staff member also must indicate where the order will be shipped, estimated time of arrival, and initial that the order has been scanned into the patient’s electronic medical record (EMR).
Creating a CL order form takes time, but it limits mistakes and helps your staff present CL pricing with more consistency, confidence, and accuracy. The CL order form also serves as a reminder for staff to quote prices as if the patient is buying an annual supply. We expect patients to buy an annual supply, but if they decline the price per box increases, rebates are lost, and shipping costs are added.
2. Show patients savings
Most CL distributors have calculators to determine the annual supply savings specific to your practice’s pricing. If your representative cannot help you automate this price list, create your own. Prepopulate the savings form and save each document according to the brand. Print the savings out with the receipt or have a preprinted handout for your most popular brands.
I have found that patients perceive more value from a discount that is in the form of dollars vs. percentages. We use a “$75 off your next pair of glasses” coupon card at our practice. Every patient receives it at check-in, and the discount is activated by purchasing an annual supply of CLs, LipiFlow (Johnson & Johnson Vision), or any frame and lens purchase. The patient then has 30 days to redeem her savings.