Blog
Blog
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Blog
IDOC actively shares industry-focused articles, blog posts, podcasts, videos and other thought leadership with our members and other optometric practitioners. Below, you will find links to our growing library of educational materials and multi-media assets written and created by IDOC's team of seasoned industry experts.
Nathan Hayes | 4/24/2019
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR PATIENT VOLUME IS DOWN

From time to time, I’ll have a call that goes something like this: “Help!  My revenues are down, and I don’t know why!”

If this happens to you, it’s useful to remember that your collected gross revenue is a function of three variables, which we could express in a formula that looks something like this:

Collected Gross Revenue = # of Patients Seen x Revenue Per Patient Visit x Rate of Collections

In benchmark terms, you might think of patient counts as comprehensive exams and revenue per patient visit as revenue per comprehensive exam.

Let’s consider a couple of ways to triage the first issue: revenues are down because of decreased patient volume.  One of the most important things you should do is to explain why your practice achieved its results – good or bad.

Doctor Time is Down
Did you take a vacation last quarter?  Get injured and were unable to work?  In single-doctor practices, sometimes this is the simplest explanation for why revenues are down.

How to avoid this issue? Either hire a fill-in OD while you’re away, or just front- and back-load your patient load on either end of your vacation.

Recall Is Broken
It’s possible that something has gone wrong with your recall.  If you pre-appoint your patients, make sure your confirmation process starts early and doesn’t end until your patients actively affirm that they will make their appointments.

If you’re doing mail, email, or text recall, consider pairing that with phone calls to schedule annual exams for your existing patients.  Patients are the life-blood of your practice, and private practices are going to deliver the highest level of care to their patients.  Don’t be shy about asking your patients to come back.

New Competition
A big box retailer or corporate chain store has moved in next door.  Now what?

First off, you will have patients go dip their toes in the water. Most will come back sheepishly 18 months later and tell you how much better your practice is.  So, don’t panic.

Second, you’ll want to take this opportunity to refine your brand and be sure you’re differentiated from your competitors.  Articulate your standard of care and specialty services that your patients can’t get at the ‘new guy in town’.  And how the glasses you sell are higher quality and will have better fitment because of your opticians’ prowess.

And here’s a bit of counter-intuitive advice: if your new competitor has a low-cost strategy, raise your prices.  And then script out for your team all the ways an exam in your practice and the products you sell ARE better, charge more.

Negative Online Reviews
If you’re not keeping track of what’s being said about you online, start now. Read all reviews out loud in your staff meetings and debrief them with your team. What went right?  What can you and your team do better the next time.

Most new patients will strongly consider online feedback on a business before going, so this is mission critical.  And while you will get the occasional ‘crazy’ patient leaving an off-basis review, if you get consistently mediocre or negative feedback – hard as it is to admit it – the problem is probably your practice.  Always ask how you can put customer service ahead of ‘what’s convenient’ for you and your staff.

Patients First, Always
Fundamentally, a business that isn’t growing its customer base isn’t healthy.  Track your patient volume regularly and remember that the best way to keep your current patients and grow your practice is to deliver a uniquely friendly patient experience and just be kind.

Nathan Hayes
Practice Finance Consultant
Nathan Hayes joined IDOC with a solid background in the eye care industry and serves as IDOC&rsquo;s Practice Finance Consultant. Before Prima launched in 2011, he spent five years in business development for Red Tray and HMI Buying Group. Nathan graduated from Vanderbilt University in three years, with a degree in Spanish and a minor in mathematics. <br/><br/>After graduating, he spent a year working abroad. During that time, he worked for two firms in San Jose, Costa Rica. He interned with Grupo Juridico de San Jose, working in environmental policy to protect a threatened parcel of land, then he worked as a project manager for a US-owned precision machining shop. Nathan then spent 6 months working with street children and orphans in Mexico. <br/><br/>Before getting into the healthcare industry, he was an Assistant Store Manager and completed the Corporate Training Program with Haverty&rsquo;s Furniture Company in Atlanta, GA. Nathan and his wife Heather have a son, Daniel, and a daughter, Hannah. In his spare time, Nathan enjoys reading and outdoors activities - especially cycling and hiking.
 LinkedIn
Trending Blogs
 
 

11/19/2021 | Author: Geronda Wollack

I was on the couch with my wife during our daily “be present and reset” routine which includes reminiscing about our day, watching our favorite shows, and just being present with one another. Out of nowhere, she asked me a question that I wasn’t expecting- “Oh wait, what happened with the paid... Read more


10/26/2021 | Author: Steven Festa

Perhaps you're a recent graduate from Optometry School, or maybe you have spent time working in a corporate optometry practice, or even as an associate OD at an independent practice, and you have decided to go out on your own and open your own optometry... Read more


10/5/2021 | Author: Ximara Vega

How often do you think about your experiences as a consumer? What comes to mind when you reflect on positive interactions? How about negative? I don’t know about you, but for me the negative experiences are much more vivid. Many of those interactions occurred with someone who was well... Read more


9/30/2021 | Author: Amy Alvarez

When I was a retail manager, this would happen to me often. An employee would tell me they didn’t complete an important assigned task, or they would call out for their shift. And I could see it from both sides. They had a lot of conflicting responsibilities that day and yet, this task would... Read more


6/23/2021 | Author: Ximara Vega

School has ended and most of the world has opened back up. Many people I know have multiple weekend getaways, road trips and vacations scheduled because they are making up for lost time. You know what that means? We are surrounded by opportunities to sell sun!!!! The only problem is not... Read more


6/14/2021 | Author: Amy Alvarez

If you are recruiting staff for your practice, you are probably experiencing hiring woes. Some are new - it is a tight job market. Not everyone is able to go back to work depending on their individual circumstances and some employers need more employees than before to meet their current... Read more


5/5/2021 | Author: Nathan Hayes

With the spike in patient demand following the COVID-19 Pandemic, many owners are actively recruiting associate ODs to help carry their increased demand. And any owner looking to hire an associate right now knows that the market is tight.

My feeling is we have an outright shortage of... Read more


3/30/2021 | Author: Geronda Wollack

Managing your staff can be challenging! Am I right? Or am I right? Now, managing your staff and feeling confident with whether you are being compliant poses a different level of challenges. I will share a story to illustrate this challenge.

I had a consult with an Office Manager who... Read more


3/30/2021 | Author: Amy Alvarez

Signed into law on March 11th, 2021, The American Rescue Plan Act offers an extension to Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This provision added additional reasons the leave can be used as well as increasing the cap on eligible compensation for a tax credit.

FFCRA... Read more


3/12/2021 | Author: Ximara Vega

What should a practice do when they have lingering product? Well, 1st we have to identify what lingering product is. In my world, lingering product includes all frames that have been sitting on the shelf for a minimum of 6 months. I like to evaluate product every quarter to identify... Read more

© 2021 IDOC. All Rights Reserved