I am sure you are familiar with the exercise where you tell a story to the first person, who tells it to a second, and a third, and so on. By the time it gets back to the originator, it is almost always a far different story. This very phenomenon can easily happen in our optometric practices. We may think that we have clearly communicated the words we want used to describe a condition or procedure, only to find out that our scripts have been forgotten.
It is important that we have a uniform delivery of key messages. We would all agree that there is usually a “best way” to describe something. Our doctor/patient interaction is always enhanced when our words are echoed by the staff. However, the best way is not always utilized.
If you are ready for a real surprise, spend some time listening to what is actually being said in the office. You might be pleasantly surprised to hear your preferred key messaging being accurately communicated throughout the office. However, you might instead, be alarmed to find out that the communication train is off the tracks. (more…)
I’ve received some questions from doctors about how VSP Vision Care sells to employers and what the sales team does to promote independent optometry. Lucinda Ward, Regional Sales Manager, answers a few of those questions.
How has competition increased?
I’ve watched as the VSP client list has become our competitors’ prospect list. Competitors will meet with current VSP clients offering that they are the “same as VSP, only cheaper with retail locations like LensCrafters.” This gets the attention of many clients and broker/consultants in that the economy has put a tremendous amount of pressure on employers to cut costs. The concept that the employer can offer everything they have today with VSP—but at a lower cost and with heavily advertised retail chains—seems like a win/win to that employer.
Do you discuss provider fees with employers?
Many large employers are self-funded, which means they pay the fees as their members receive care instead of paying a monthly insurance premium. This puts VSP in a position to be questioned about our fees and to justify why the same provider is accepting a lower fee from our competitor. Employers often ask, “Is the eye exam different? Why are the same providers accepting lower fees?” (more…)
The two most commonly referred to statistics in optometric practice are: number of patients and net receipts. While these two statistics do provide some useful information, it would be much better to find the reasons behind the numbers.
Doctors utilize many methods to analyze and manage their practices. Some use gut instinct, others hope it is going to be OK, and still others rely on previously successful strategies. In addition, it is important to utilize specific comparative data and to look for trends and opportunities to maximize practice performance.
The VSP Annual Practice Report is a great source of important comparative data which can really help us in making practice decisions. Though the data in the report is the summation of only VSP patients, I have found that the trends correlate very well to my entire practice. Comparative data from the past three years is presented on many key practice statistics making it easy to spot opportunities for improvement. VSP average data is also provided so you can see how your practice stacks up with your colleagues.