Monthly Archives: January 2016

How Optometry May Prosper!

It is inevitable that successful private practitioners will prosper as they join in empowering Business success growth chartalignment groups.  Optometry has weathered change before and will continue to do so.

The pattern of success is clear, doctors of all types have and will continue to form large groups such as current hospital based medical groups  or large loose networks with financial commitments binding its players.

A surprise to many is the growing realization that Optometry will grow through its medical services and optical services will play a smaller but essential role.  This is clear as you view the market place and see how the Optical Commodity is deflating even as medical fees begin to grow from the bottom they have reached.  EyeMed has been selling their optical goods through a medical plan for years, BCBS.  They get in the door with medical and “toss” in the “free” optical plan to gain membership.  It has worked for quite a while but is now may become and issue because Pearle, Sears and Lenscrafters are branded as “eyeglass stores”  and others cannot seriously deliver medical.

Optometry on the other hand, when organized, such as by Vision Care Direct,  can do both; especially a the optical side vertically integrates and becomes more competitive.  An organized network of professional optometry can and will sell medical contacts and service structured as the primary entry for medical eyecare as well as the early diagnosis of systemic disease. Vision Source has considered this model in its attempts to expand accross the USA.  VS has also cleverly attempted to create a “franchise” like brand name. They did this to identify the high quality of care they provide unlike the bottom of the barrel scavengers like Stanton Optical and others who advertise their low, low prices (just as the long dead Gimbels department store did).

A vision of the future of eye care will be created when eye doctors and businessmen come together to support each other.   The goal will be supporting each other rather than taking advantage of their association as has happened with Davis, VSP and Eyemed. The one who does this will take all,  at this open casino of eyecare players.

Here is The WHY that everyone is is beginning to comprehend.  Medical optometry will happen because MOTIVATED optometry doctors will make the connection with medical leadership and in the medical community and form the networks that will work with Opthalmology.  Medicine will want Optometry as OMDS profit best by providing tertiary care while Optometry, because we see patients age 18 -40 for blurred vision (myopia) have access the the patient ACO’s need for preventive care.  In essence professional optometry attracts the age groups that think they are invulnerable 18-40, who are really most at risk for diabetes, hbp and soon to come heart attacks.

Networks of corporate eyewear discounters that beat optometry into the financial ground will not find motivated optometrist to work with them.  They will have to pay professionals to go out and try to sell their Optical Stores as medical entry points. The sale will be hard and the cost high. On the other hand motivated optometric networks, through which OD’s profit by their own effort,  will stimulate all its members to work for their own profit!  Their own profit is ensured  by being part of the network because that is what empowers them to work withe medical groups. In other words, instead of viewing their colleagues as competitors, they will know that their colleagues are their empowerment. No other model motivates its doctors to do this!

I believe the future will go to the teamwork of Optometry networks who give up on trying to be group buying groups but form financial alliances, with excellent ones,  for financial resources. Optometrists who can practice independently (as much as we do now) but work under a branded banner of quality care that can be marketed as a Unified Named Entity  (As Vision Care Direct, Vision Source And EyeMed are trying to do now) will prosper.  Optometry will need to be able to set its fees but be competitive.  Optometry will need to prosper from material sales but be vertically integrated like EyeMed to do so. This will require vertical integration. Optometry will need to financially reward its local doctors for sales contracts and it must get out of the business of trying to be everything.  It is too demanding being a good doctor and run a practice.  With this partnership of businessmen and doctor’s networks, forged on the mutual respect,  that VSP has lost and EyeMed never had, Optometry will prosper.

 

 

 

 

Optometry Is Dead!

Recognition of death allows for the re-birth on the cosmic scheme of things and it is time for re-birth.

Why is Optometry dead?  44 years ago when I started practicing,  I had my own business, belonged to NO plans, did whatever I chose as a free market businessman and was proud of my work,  which by the way,  earned me a better income than most PCPs.  At the same time I provided very competitive pricing.  That was Optometry.

Now you all lie to yourselves and think you are in private practice; but it is NOT true. There is not one of you who can choose to not be in a plan that dictates to you your fees.  You are much like an employee! Yocorporate-slaveu are not a private independent businessman, not by my definition but you like to think so.  The insurance companies and chains like eyemed that
dictate your life like you to think so too because they like employees that have no contracts, no benefits and take all the risk of running and managing a business! Think about it,  Optometry as a truly private practice and independent free market business did long ago with the birth of VSP,  who promised to be your ally but ended up your most controlling force.

However the recognition of your death is the opportunity for re-birth because realizing where you are makes accepting valuable change that much easier.  There is a huge opportunity for continued prosperity, if you do.  You will NEVER again make it on your own; however, being part of a large network will empower you more than you could have dreamed of.  Will you have to give up some autonomy?  Did you forget that this died years ago and you are just recognizing it? Of course you will, you already did,  that is how Optometry died!

However,  I believe in re-birth.  There are now many large forces forming to create this entity.  You can stay on you own and lose or win big by being part of the team.  As an example of how low you can go,  watch Stanton Optical’s,  marketing video.  It is happening all over America.  On the other side of the coin are those who dream of a united empowered group.  In the next few months at the most, I believe we will align ourselves with a group.  We will have to give up something to get something.  But, you already did that. On the other hand the future will be far brighter than you anticipated.  I believe we will be way ahead of the thousands of medical doctors who could not organize, went out of business and are now employees in big medical groups.  You have an opportunity they have lost because of IPA’s nationwide.  Make a decision now to be a team player!