For Free

The shock of paying for services rendered.

I’ve filled in at Big Box opticals where the staff tells me that the usual doctor doesn’t charge for follow ups on things like red eyes. Unbelievable. Not only are these doctors leaving money on the table, they’re making the rest of the profession look bad.

How come patients question optometrist fees so much? When they go to their PCP for a check-up on their HTN, do they expect to walk out without paying? Do they expect their PCP to refill their HTN meds indefinitely without a follow up exam?

Eyecare is healthcare, and I resent the insurance companies for making the illusion that it’s something separate (vision insurance vs. medical insurance).

The Optom…etrician?

Confusion about what is an optometrist.

Seriously, I’ve heard countless times, “The last obstetrician I saw gave me these glasses that…”
Or, “Optometrist…that’s an eye doctor, right?”
It’s hard to believe they aren’t sure. I know in the back of their mind that they are confusing it with an OB.

I think we should make a Greek/Latin course mandatory in High School.

The Way of the Dodo?

Will private practice optometry survive?

I’m not positive that solo private practice has an infinite future. It’s getting harder to compete without large volume. I think multi-doctor power practices and chain opticals with buying power are the only ones with a chance of staying in the game 20 years from now. Does anyone want to defend poor, little solo private practice optometry?

I don’t hate optometry

I just got an e-mail invitation to join a Yahoo Group called, and I quote, “optometrysucks.” The body of the e-mail only says:

optometrysucks@yahoo.com has invited you to join the optometrysucks group!

Tell us about your experiences as an optometrist

First of all, I don’t hate optometry, and I definitely don’t think it sucks. Second, I wouldn’t even join a Yahoo Group called “Optometry Rules” or even “Optometry is okay” because I don’t like the closed door approach. That’s why I don’t participate in ODwire.com. I post my thoughts on my blog for everyone to see, not just select people.

Optometry as a profession can provide excellent eye healthcare delivery, and even in private practice, still provides excellent value in healthcare fees. We do much good. We perform all eye-related healthcare except surgery. We are making a difference in people’s lives every day. Today, I just saved a guy from getting LASIK because he’d never heard of Focus Night and Day lenses.

On the flip side, I think students considering optometry school should be more aware of what they can realistically expect for income in different modes of practice. I wish the general public understood our profession better. I wish more M.D.s respected what we do.

Sure, there are challenges in optometry, but it doesn’t suck.

1-800-eat-crap-and-die

phone-internet contact lens resalers are evil

If you go to a certain contact lens retailer with deep pockets to pay off Utah legislators, you will find the following quote,

The One Year Myth
Some eye care providers tell you that they cannot issue an expiration date of more than one year. This is not true. One year is a minimum, not a maximum. You should discuss your wearing habits and eye health with your eye care provider to determine if you can have a longer prescription length.

Their whole website is information on how to boss an eye doctor around. If they really want to alter standard clinical practice then they should utilize peer reviewed studies instead of trying to turn consumers into ignorant bullies.

Practice Consultants are Like Broken Records

Pay for Advice by Raising Your Fees

Does anyone care to debate about this? Every time a read something by practice consultants, they invariably sneak a “raise your fees” quote in there somewhere.

I feel the cost of healthcare delivery is so high because of insurance companies. Insurance companies drive providers to set their fees higher than they would normally be because the insurance companies reimburse less than what the fees would normally be- plus they make us wait to get the money IF they decide they’ll pay at all.

Can’t we just cut out the middle man, a.k.a. the insurance companies? Then we can decrease the fee inflation so everyone can save.

And why is there vision insurance in the first place? That’s like getting haircut insurance or oil change insurance. The only ones getting rich are the insurance companies at the expense of both patients and doctors.

The Real Reason the Bank Mandates Life Insurance

Watch your six if you finance a cold start.

A funny movie could be made about an optometrist looking to open up a new practice. He goes to a convention where one of the booths has a less-than-reputable financing company from the wrong side of the tracks. Of course his practice starts slow, so he’s going to miss a payment. The mobster-backed financing company then decides to whack him, making it look like an accident, so that they can collect on the insurance and recoup the cost of the loan. The rest of the movie would be about him somehow avoiding all these “accidents” while feeling unlucky because he almost dies…a lot. Then he finds out that it’s really the mob after him, so he starts packing heat and kicking donkey.