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.
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 but 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 managed 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.