This post on Making the Most of Optical Managed Care was submitted by ClearVision Optical:
Independent optical dispensers are often reluctant to embrace the world of managed care, but the reality is: managed care is here to stay. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to make managed care work for you and your optical practice.
For starters, you need to choose which plans to partner with. This should be a case of choosing the RIGHT plans, not the MOST. That’s because for each insurance provider you partner with, your office will have an equal number of provider policies to manage. Ultimately, this could result in you and your staff spending more time on paperwork – and less time with patients.
Instead, be selective in choosing managed care partners. Study what each partnership will mean to your practice. If a plan won’t provide you with an increase in sales that is in proportion to the amount of work entailed in partnering with it, cross it off your list. It’s also important to consider which plans local companies or unions in your area offer.
Once you’ve selected your managed care partners (and your staff has mastered the practices and policies of each), it’s time to work with your customers. Be sure to position yourself as an expert on eyecare with your customers. Sell what looks good on your customer and what is medically necessary – not what is the cheapest frame. To this end, you can encourage your customer to use their managed care funds as a discount toward better frames. Stress the benefits of quality products in medical terms and the importance of a well-warranted frame.
Despite your effort to up-sell, many managed care customers may simply want inexpensive frames that are 100% covered by their plans. While this audience wants a veritable bargain, they do not want to look cheap. Fortunately, house brands such as ClearVision Collection, Junction City and Koodles from ClearVision Optical offer current styles at managed care-friendly prices.
You also can use managed care to help freshen up your frame board. Take your slower-moving frames off your main board and replace them with new product. Move the old product to a separate area and label it as a specially-priced “Managed Care Collection.” This way, you can offer your managed-care customers name brands at lower prices, while reaping the rewards of having fresh, new product on display.
If you select the right plan partners, educate your staff and offer good value to your customers, you will ultimately reap the many rewards of managed care.