Top 5 Reasons You Should Hire an Optical Consultant
By Kayla Groves September 27, 2021
Many practitioners struggle with the idea of bringing in an optical dispensary consultant to help their business, but when is it a good idea to hire a consultant? Here are the top 5 reasons why you should bring in an optometry consultant to your practice:
1. New Business Owner
Many new OD graduates decide to go into practice for themselves, and it's incredibly challenging to understand the intricate details of running a business on top of being the sole or head optometrist in the practice. You end up wearing many hats: business owner, receptionist, billing specialist, manager, and optometrist. When you decide to open your practice, you should consider bringing in an optical consultant to help you streamline your office. You will need to make several decisions. Will I hire a receptionist? How should I set my practice fees? Will I bring on an optician? Will I do the billing myself, or will I out-source it? These are several questions that a qualified optical consultant can answer. Not only do you want to provide quality care to your patients, but you also want to run a sustainable business, and hiring an optical consultant can help you start on the right foot.
Whether you're opening a new practice or you've been in business for a while, it's always beneficial to have an outside perspective. It's imperative to constantly and sustainably grow and make sure you are keeping up with trends. During the daily commotion of running a practice, it's hard to see what concrete improvements can be made. Maybe it's because we are too busy seeing patients, we're short-staffed, or we're dealing with a thousand other issues. Hiring an optical consultant can help you recognize things that can run more efficiently in your office. Sometimes it takes another person looking in to help us see where we can make improvements.
How efficient is your billing? Most practice owners may not even know how efficient their billing is. Some may have a good idea. Whether you lean towards the terrible, “help me now”, or decent, “I’ll just drag my feet until I’m forced or begged to make changes,” it can never hurt your business to hire someone to look at how well your billing services are running. In the eyecare industry, we tend to under code. We do this because most of us fear an audit and we are not confident with our billing skills, or because our staff isn't at a level where they know how to maximize billing. An optical consultant can help by taking a close look into your billing procedures and make recommendations on correcting and maximizing your billing. If you are billing correctly, you should never fear an audit. An optical consultant can give you and your staff the confidence to bill accurately for the services you offer your patients.
4. Increasing Practice Revenue
Have you considered ways that you could increase your practice revenue? Maybe you are considering growing the medical side of your business, but you're not 100% sure where or even how to start. Hiring an optical consultant can help you increase your practice revenue by giving you the tools to help build up the medical side of your clinic. You could be losing thousands of dollars every month by not addressing medical issues that could help your patients. An optical consultant can guide you on increasing certain medical aspects, such as dry eye or co-management. Most optical consultants have worked closely with several practices, and they can give you the tools needed to grow the medical side of your practice.
5. Solve Problems
Is your office struggling with bringing patients in, making a profit on specific insurance panels, or making enough profits in general? Don't wait until your head is underwater before bringing in someone to help fix the problems your office is struggling with. Optometry consultants can help you with marketing issues, analyzing profit/loss statements, and implementing changes that can help increase your bottom line. As a business owner, you may not even be aware of any problems occurring in your office. However, an optical consultant can help even the best-performing offices.
At the end of the day, we want to provide our patients with the best quality care, and hiring an optical consultant to help us do that more effectively can help increase our bottom line. Sometimes, by solving issues that we may not have recognized. Even if you don't think your practice needs the help, it can never hurt by gaining opinions and knowledge from reputable consultants in the optical industry.
I recommend calling several today and opening a dialogue with them. You’re under no obligation to proceed. This is an area of our business that we can easily procrastinate, and we shouldn’t. After your initial calls, see whom you feel most comfortable with and that brings the experience and best practices your practice needs.