Monthly Archives: March 2015

Lightening Strikes At Vision Expo!

Talking with Nationwide leaders at Vision Expo was like watching lightening strike and light up the landscape hidden by the dark of night!   We left excited about the future for private practice and here is why:

membershp priviledgesMEMBERSHIP MEANS ACCESS TO MEDICAL HEALTH CARE:  Eye Care will be a big part of health care and for you to participate you must have control of your office hours and more!

Private practice optometrists accross the country are joining in groups to foster access to medical and routine optical care and both are TIED Together!

To be of value to the newly forming medical entities you must be able to provide medical optometric care and be involved in the patients whole health care, especially diabetes!  I had the opportunity to speak to optometric visionary, Dr Richard Hom. Dr Hom has been at the forefront of the medical optometry experiment, watching creative attempts at delivery. In his opinion and that of others I spoke to here is what it will look like soon:

 Optometrists will be providing extended care and testing for diabetics. This will mean some special certifications allowing ODs to monitor blood work and get involved in educating the patient, patient engagement.  Our ability to monitor both the fundus images, blood levels and body mass place us right were doctors need to be to prevent the financial meltdown the country fears. It also makes us the key to ACO profitability by working with OMDs and PCPs in the new EHR linked “group.”

Two things are needed:  You must be available in emergencies and you must be in a network that can help the ACO. Mall locations and stores with limited hours will be almost certainly excluded.  As we talk, the NYOIPA is working with 4 nascent groups,  under our umbrella, that hope to carve up the care for the greater NY Area!  It is and exciting future and a tri-state coalition is in the planning too!

Retina BigWhat Do ACOs and PCMHs look for?   As Steve Rubinstein,  who also met with  Dr Hom at Vision Expo said:  “Dr. Hom told me, if you mention ocular to the new medical entities,  they will get bored!   Then Dr Hom had me repeat it to him.  That’s how important this paradigm shift is to the future of medical eye care!  They are not interested in the trivial cost of vision care.  The savings we can offer and the only interest they have in use is in systemic disease! Think about it for a moment.  If your exam detects hardening of the arteries, diabetic retinopathy, hypertensive retinopathy, preventing blindness will save money for sure. Preventing a stroke, heart attack or diabetic health catastrophe is big savings.  This is how optometry becomes valuable to the new medical entities.  When I was a student in optometry school, the pathology professor said, “the examination of the human eye is the single most informative test other than an autopsy.  In which case it is  bit late!”  Perhaps these words have even greater impact today.

Vision Care And Eye Wear – The Health Care Connection:  Here too the future is sparkling as the connection between medical entities and their Fashion.Eye.Glassespatients will hugely benefit by the routine care we provide for patients age 15 – 35.   Guess why?

These patients don’t come to PCP offices because they are busy and believe they are healthy.  In reality they are those about to become diabetic, hypertensive, atherosclerosic and worse! They are the soon to be high risk group that will have strokes, heart attacks and become diabetic with 1 out of every 3 odds!

How can an ACO or PCMH engage these patients in preventive care and so keep them healthy and the ACO profitable?  The answer is private practice optometry!   These patients do come and see US, Optometrists!  They come for blurred vision and we, should be detecting the early signs of these issues and sending them away with information and involvement!  The future of Optometry is in acting like doctors and not retail store eye care salesman.  By getting fully involved in patient care and monitoring, while communicating with the PCPS, we can make the ACO or PCMH profitable.

What should our focus be? Change!  Because private practice doctors can be available for emergency medical care, we are positioned to play the medical role.  If you are located in a mall that closes at a given hour, you are likely shut out of the mall and so the medical care!

IPAs accross America are seeing the opportunity to  organize and design our network of practices to provide this care through the Team Work of IPAs and creative leadership.  The legal description of Optometric Practice will be growing to encompass this goal.  The teamwork of Optometry,  RNs and other health care professionals needs to be expanding.  Think outside the Mall!  Think Private Practice!










Women In Optometry!

business womanODS WITH FAMILIES IN MIND:  With a majority of optometric graduates now being women, many are seeking
better quality of lives than that offered by commercial optometry.  Commercial optometry demands long hours, Sunday hours and late nights. For many women this disrupts the family life they hoped to enjoy by being employed and not having to work the long hours they imagined  their own business might require.

ASK NYOIPA DOCTORS VICKI CHENARIDES OR DEBBIE ROODNER: To meet this challenge,  smart women in optometry are starting to buy existing practices and do it in twos!  Two doctors purchasing a single doctor private practice can easily afford it and still get the lifestyle of their dreams that supports a family. As a team, two doctors can set their own hours,  which means less late nights and no Sundays. They can even work just a few days a week each and still have a full time practice; Vicki and her partner Debbie chose this.   In addition they can each cover some holidays and as a result have many of them off with family.  Vicki and Debbie even chose the more challenging route and started cold!

MANAGING A PRACTICE: Managing a practice is much easier too as the responsibilities are shared.  Vacations with family do not have to meet corporate needs,  as a private practice owner you make your own decisions.  When starting cold,  there is a small challenge however,  as you have to learn to lead an manage your staff, until you can hire an office manager; however, this can be avoided when purchasing an existing practice.  Even when starting cold, sharing the opportunity with a partner makes it a fun team building experience.  If you buy an existing practice,  the retiring doctor could teach you how to run it in just a few months time; so it can be more fun and exciting!  Best of all, its yours!

THE FUTURE:  Is this the future for Women in Optometry?   For many the answer is yes as more and more commercial practices demand more and more hours and volume of patients. The profit potential per hour worked in private practice is growing again as medical care comes front and center and IPAs accross America team up for amazing buying power!  Is this your opportunity?   If it sounds like it,  find a partner and start shopping. With baby boomer doctors retiring, opportunities have never been better and it is unlikely they will be again; or,  just start cold as Vicki and Debbie did!  In any case, let the NYIPA help you!

SOON TO GRADUATE?  NEW GRADUATE?   Become an associate member of the NYOIPA and learn how you can benefit from our experience! Talk to our doctors!  You can even talk to Vicki and Debbie!

HOW HAS THE NYOIPA HELPED ITS DOCTORS?   In just the first quarter of our fully legal existence,  the NYOIPA  has added thousands of dollars to our member’s profits!  VCD labs now provides us with the finest lenses in the world and unbeatable prices.  In addition our IPA is receiving  nice fat checks from our national IECP organization for helping to grow our own lab.  This is the amazing part of owning your own business and via the NYOIPA owning part of our national team creation.  Optometry’s future has never looked brighter!  Join the team!



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