2 Eyecare Practice Marketing Trends for 2015

Posted by Sharon Chin on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 @ 10:12 AM

A lot of practices don’t spend a lot of time or effort in marketing their practice. But what most practice owners might not realize is that in order to bring in new patients, and even retain existing ones, is that you need to spend a little on marketing. Just like technology, marketing best practices become outdated very quickly. As we approach 2015, we wanted to give you a heads-up on what we think you should focus on for your eyecare practice marketing.

Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly 

eyecare_practice_marketing_mobile

We’ve talked about the importance of a website all through 2014, but in 2015, we want you to think one step further – optimizing your site for mobile users. In the past couple of years, we’ve seen a drastic increase in online mobile usage due to the increasing adoption of smart phones. A Pew Internet project research shares the following interesting statistics on mobile use in America.

  • 63% of adult cell owners use their phones to go online.
  • 34% of cell Internet users go online mostly using their phones, and not using some other device such as a desktop or laptop computer.
  • 67% of cell owners find themselves checking their phone for messages, alerts, or calls — even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating.

If 63% of cell owners use their phones to go online as the study suggests, we can assume that a lot of your site visitors are probably mobile users. Is your current website optimized for mobile viewing? It might be worth reworking your website to make it responsive on several devices. If you already have cool features on your website such as online scheduling or a patient portal, just make sure that your customers can access the same features on their phones.

Read More

Managing Eye Care: Avoiding The "War on Christmas" in Your Practice

Posted by Robert Fallon on Tue, Dec 09, 2014 @ 10:12 AM

The holiday season is upon us and it’s time to start prepping for family gatherings, good food, and white elephant gift exchanges. Tis’ a time for cheer and happiness, but recently the holiday season has brought about a topic of controversy that all businesses must address. We’ve noticed a few conversations pop up online regarding the celebration of Christmas in businesses. And, as an OD and leader of your practice, you need to decide how your practice is going to “celebrate” this December. Understanding the conflict and how it is being handled might help you become neutral in your stance and avoid conflict with the “War on Christmas."

Managing eye careThe frontlines of this “war” have been in the public sector, specifically in public schools. And now, the reach of this controversy has spread to corporations, businesses, and even to your optical practice. In the corporate world many are taking pre-cautionary steps to avoid offense to customers. They instill the tagline “happy holidays”, not due to religious beliefs, but in order to be inclusive and welcome as many dollars, or rather people, into their stores. The “politically correct” transition must be done carefully, especially on such a grand scale, as corporations don’t want to hurt their revenue from the one billion dollar commercial impact season shopping has. So, while using happy holidays is not necessarily anti-Christmas, it does seem to be pro-business, and as OD’s the last thing you want in your optical practice is to be anti-business, right?

Managing Eye Care: How to Avoid the Christmas Controversy in Your Eyecare Practice

We aren't here to say there is a right or wrong way to handle this in your eyecare practice, we are just curious how practices out there are handling it, and want to get the conversation started! Is your eyecare practice taking a neutral stance in order to avoid conflict with patients, or even staff members? Playing Christmas music, having a big red Santa in the lobby, or going all out and installing a nativity scene, can all be considered offensive to certain people’s beliefs and should be addressed, rather than ignored.

Read More

Meaningful Use Criteria for the Hardship Exemption Deadline

Posted by Janelle Pauli on Tue, Nov 25, 2014 @ 10:11 AM

Your time to submit your Meaningful Use hardship exemption application is quickly coming to an end! November 30, 2014 is the deadline, so if you're still planning to apply for the exemption you better get to it. If you're not already participating in Meaningful Use, you're going to be penalized next year, unless you qualify and submit your exemption application by the 30th.

Penalties on your Medicare reimbursements will start at 1% in 2015, and increase each year to a maximum of 5%. In order to qualify for the hardship exemption you need to meet one of the four valid reasons for not being able to meet Meaningful Use criteria this year. The CMS has come up with 4 situations that explain why your practice might not have been able to implement an EHR and attest to Meaningful Use this year.

Why Your Practice Might Qualify for the Meaningful Use Hardship Exemption

Uncontrollable Circumstances

Some Meaningful Use and EHR situations are out of your control. Things like natural disasters, practice closures, bankruptcy, or debt-restructing are all things that might qualify you for the exemption. On top of that, EHR vendors might have run into issues such as loss of certification, closure, or 2014 certification issues and delays. These would also qualify you for the hardship exemption.

Read More

Don't be a Turkey When Shopping for EHR Software

Posted by Janelle Pauli on Thu, Nov 06, 2014 @ 10:11 AM

With Halloween behind us the holiday season is quickly approaching. The holiday season will come and go and just like that it will be 2015. So maybe you're planning on doing a little holiday shopping for your practice. You could be looking for new instruments, new equipment, new computers, or new practice management and EHR software.

We know that the end of the year can be a busy time for practices trying to get their customers to use up those flex spending accounts and benefits, so if you are in the market for new software, we want to make sure that you take the time to take it seriously. Purchasing new software isn't a cheap decision, and isn't something that should be decided overnight. There's a lot to consider for your practice when making a big investment. So make sure you're not being a turkey this holiday season when shopping for a new system!

Don't Fall for these 3 Bad Habits When Shopping for EHR Software

Read More

Tips for ECPs: How to Increase Frame Sales

Posted by Sharon Chin on Tue, Nov 04, 2014 @ 10:11 AM

On top of being a healthcare facility for your patients, we know that your practice is a business and frame sales are a big source of revenue. When your patients come in for their annual exam, you would like to see most of them to fill their prescription at your practice. Unfortunately, with the rise of online retailers, a lot of practices can become a showroom for their patients. Showrooming occurs when patients try on the selection of frames available in your practice, then buy the product online. There are still many ways to prevent showrooming at your practice and increase your frame sales! Use these tips for ECPs to see how!

Tips_for_ECPs_frame_salesExplain prescriptions to patients

If your patient requires a specific lens type, they might not understand the benefits or importance of it unless you explain it to them. Take the time to talk to them about their prescription and inform them of the dangers of getting a cheap knock-off online. Make sure that the doctor hands off a prescribed lens material and design to the optician so both doctor and optician can educate and emphasize on the importance of filling their prescription accurately to the patient.

Read More