Monday, August 3, 2015
The quarterly Practice Report is an extremely valuable tool that I use in my practice. I use it in three key ways:
- Analyze patient demographics to make informed purchasing decisions.
- Understand the number of and revenue generated from VSP claims.
- Identify revenue growth and improvement opportunities—the Practice Report shows exactly how much more revenue I can make with small changes.
Understanding patient demographics is critical for marketing and purchasing in our office. Using the Practice Report, I segment our patients by age bracket. For practices that see a high percentage of patients 45 and over, marketing can be geared towards newer progressive designs and the importance of annual ocular health examinations to detect diseases such as cataract and glaucoma. But for me, the 18-35 year old group is growing quickly, so I do more social media marketing to Millennials about digital eye strain and blue light technology. Knowing the breakdown of male vs. female ratio also helps when educating my staff about new member benefits and purchasing frame styles for optical inventory. My patients really love the additional frame allowance they receive for Marchon and Altair frames—so along with promoting the value of the Extra $20 and Extra $40 programs to VSP members, and knowing which brands appeal to each demographic, my practice needs to be stocked and to respond to this demand. (In case you missed it, as of August 1, most VSP members will receive an extra $40 to spend on bebe, Calvin Klein, Flexon and Nike brand frames on top of their standard allowance.) I’ve found that it is beneficial to go over the Practice Report quarterly with opticians and other critical employees. First, they become aware that the doctor is tracking things such as capture rate, average sale amount and products used. Second, they see how much revenue is lost by not recommending certain products. Finally, we discuss where we have room to improve and grow. No matter how well we are doing, there is always room to do even better. The report data allows us to set ambitious yet realistic goals. I also enjoy rewarding the staff for meeting our goals and they have something to look forward to every three months instead of just once a year. I encourage you to review out your personalized Practice Report today—get the details about your activity with VSP and take advantage of the VSP Value Program opportunities you find. It’s a no brainer for me! For a practice where every penny counts, earning an additional $27 per progressive sale and $17 per single vision sale is huge. Patients get more value, so they are more likely to refer their friends and family to me. The practice makes more money from these programs, but the referrals truly help the practice to grow. It’s a win, win, win situation. What do your patient demographics tell you? What small changes can your practice make to earn more revenue?
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
I want to start by sharing how honored I am to soon serve as President of VSP Vision Care, an organization I have worked for and loved for the past 23 years. A company whose mission to help people see has become so close to my heart that it has become part of my own DNA. And a company who has reminded me day after day for the past two decades, that people are at the center of who we are and what we do.
As VSP celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, we stand at a critical juncture in our journey together with you. With new market influences abound – from millennials and mobile to big data and Internet of Things, just to name a few – it is more vital than ever to come together and reimagine how we deliver eye care to continue to make a positive impact in the lives of people around the world.
I’ve reviewed the results of our most recent Annual Provider Survey and want to continue to listen and learn about what you’re experiencing on the front lines. Putting the consumer in the center of our collaboration will be paramount in furthering our mission to help people see.
By working together, we can co-create new systems that leverage technology and data to deliver superior personalized care to meet the demands of tomorrow’s consumer. Together we can discover new pathways to bring vision to those who may be disenfranchised by income, distance or disaster. And together we can invent our own future.
Monday, May 11, 2015
There is no doubt about it – change is constant! I am sure that you have seen the announcement that Rob Lynch will be retiring as CEO of VSP Global and will be succeeded by Jim McGrann, the current President of VSP Vision Care. This upcoming change has led me to a time of reflection as I look back at the very successful past ten years and look forward to an exciting future.
To say the eye care industry has changed in the last ten years would be an understatement. Clearly, much has happened since President Bush began his second term and since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Independent optometry was faced with many challenges, each with the potential to be disruptive. The optical marketplace saw unprecedented consolidation. A fundamental change occurred from employer funded benefits to voluntary participation. The internet has enabled unparalleled access to information, fueling a marked increase in consumerism among our patients. And let’s not forget Health Care Reform and its potential to direct patients to certain providers. To our credit, our profession has met every challenge and continued to move forward.
So what is ahead of us in the next ten years? Well, nothing is harder to predict than the future, but let me list a few of the trends. Online shopping will continue to increase as Millennials emerge in the market place. Social media has changed the way information is exchanged and requires that we have a strategy going forward. Potentially disruptive technologies like telemedicine will need to be monitored and evaluated. Private equity will continue to pump money into our industry and attempt to change the competitive landscape. In a nutshell, it will be critical that we stay on our toes if we are to stay ahead of the changes.
So, what is a doctor to do? First of all, we need to carefully evaluate our marketplace. We need to continuously reinvent our strategies and let the obsolete ones go. We must be much more selective in choosing our industry partners and modify the way we view vendor relationships. We must make opportunities in independent practice for the next generation of doctors because it is they who will carry the baton going forward. So, let’s keep our boxing gloves laced up and make good strategic decisions so that we can be agents of change in our industry. Our enemy is complacency, let’s not go there. As Yogi Berra put it, “the other teams could make trouble for us if we don’t win.”
VSP Global has added over 30 million covered lives to the patient pool for the independent doctor over the past ten years. Access means opportunity. Jim McGrann comes to the helm with a technology background and is well equipped to continue to lead in the quest to add to our patient base while providing competitive supply chain solutions. I see great things ahead for independent optometry.