Monthly Archives: November 2015

What Has Managed Vision Care Done To Your Income?

Some optometrists believe that managed care is a good thing.  They believe that without it they could never fill the chair in their office.  They believe it has added greatly to their income over the years.

doctor_debt_01_jef_141022_4x3_992I challenge both these concepts and I would like to prove that managed care has not only reduced your income significantly but it is not necessary to fill chairs.

First of all, do this for yourself. Go to SocialSecurity.gov and open an account. When you do, you can instantly look at all your years of total earnings.

Go back about 30 years,  if you have been in practice that long, or at least 20.  Now write down your income from (for example) 30 years ago.

Lets see what it would be like assuming that VSP or the likes was not a major force in your life back then.

Lets say your income back then was $40,000 / year.   If each 10 years our cost of living doubles and our salary must to keep pace, follow the simple math below:

  • 30 years ago –>    $40,000     – actual earnings
  • 20 years ago –>    $80,000    – expected earnings
  • 10 years ago –>    $160,000  – expected earnings
  • 00 years ago –>    $320,000 – expected earnings.

Now that you understand the projected, expected income,  here is an actual case of a doctor I know who has not expanded his practice from solo and is still a private practitioner.   He is very up to date, very industrious and I believe viewed as very successful by his patients.

However, it turns out his actual salary today is really less than half of the projected income and he says he works a lot harder than he did 30 years ago. He earns about $160,000 in his rural home town practice (he does make bonuses on good years).

What is the bottom line? He and you have been Robbed!   He did not tell me his exact base salary Armed Robberybut it is about $160,000.  This means that this year, working much harder than he did 30 years ago, managed care has taken about $140,00 out of his pocket.   Now imagine how this LOSS every year stacks up over 30 years!  Your loss in income, practice value and future retirement is in the multi-millions and It takes a computer to figure this out unless you are a math wiz!  How is this possible?

Simply by doing what you were doing and boosting your annual raise by just 2%, you can double your salary in a decade — thanks to the power of incremental raises and compounding.

The next time you sign up for a CHEAP low paying plan, think of what it is really costing you! Think about joining an IPA or forming one in your state and get EXCITED about paying dues each month because it is TRIVIAL compared to what managed care plans like VSP, EYEMED, DAVIS and the like have and are taking out of your pocket!  Not to mention, you own the IPA and what you put in will come back to you with profits, when your ipa grows!

What about getting patients into your chair?  Without successmanaged care you would have to provide the quality of care
that private practice lets you offer.  That would be enough. It worked for me and others forever.  You could also join an IPA and build your future without managed care stealing your retirement and years of hard work!

Dr Joe Ross,  NYOIPA President.

Dental and Optometric Care Access Act,

Dear Doctor,

WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 19: The U.S. Capitol is seen on November 19, 2011 in Washington, DC. The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, or super committee, which faces a Wednesday deadline to reach a deficit reduction agreement, planned to meet over the weekend. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
Make Government Work for you!  Take action now via the AOA Pac!

For too long, our patients have been forced to play by the oppressive rules written by and for the sole benefit of health and vision plan executives. By elbowing their way into personal health care decisions, these plans make it difficult for us to provide patients with the highest-level of care possible, and quite frankly, they are costing us time, money…and probably some measure of sanity.

It’s clear that health and vision plan executives have rigged the game against us and our patients. They are dictating prices for non-covered services and materials, forcing you to participate in a vision plan as a condition for providing care to those covered under a medical plan, and restricting your choice of a lab, among other abuses!

The good news is that we don’t have to take this anymore… we now have a new and powerful tool that enables us to stand up together and say with a unified voice: enough is enough! The AOA and our allies in the American Dental Association now have a national counterattack against these anti-patient, anti-competitive practices: H.R. 3323 – the Dental and Optometric Care Access Act, or DOC Access Act.

Introduced into the U.S. House in late July by Rep. Buddy Carter of Georgia the DOC Access Act would do away with the unfair abuses I mentioned earlier, but it also includes a private right of action, so we wouldn’t have to wait for government bureaucrats to step-in on our behalf, we could take the offending plans to court the very next day.

I’m very excited about what this bill means for our profession, but there is a chance that anti-optometry forces can still stop this bill from becoming law. We cannot let this happen!

What can you do? Getting involved is as easy as using this letter to invest in AOA-PAC, the political action committee of the AOA. AOA-PAC’s only job is to consolidate the resources of AOA members and use that clout so our message will be heard on Capitol Hill. While our influence is growing in DC, it will take the involvement of every AOA member to overcome the firepower of the health and vision plans lobby.

Can I count on you to take action and make an AOA-PAC investment today? Please join me in this campaign to expand access to doctors of optometry and make insurers and plans more accountable.

Sincerely,

Steve Loomis, OD
President, AOA

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