If you are an ophthalmology professional, it is important to keep your coding knowledge up to date! Whether you are a physician, coding/billing staff, office manager, administrator, consultant, ophthalmic medical personnel, or para-professional, taking the Ophthalmic Coding Specialist (OCS) Exam will benefit you. Here are a few frequently asked questions that we can help answer.
What is the OCS exam?
The American Academy of Ophthalmic Executives (AAOE), the practice management arm of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO) are partners in offering the Ophthalmic Coding Specialist (OCS) Exam.
The OCS Exam is designed to test the coding knowledge of professionals in ophthalmology. This open-book exam includes questions on 19 content areas including anatomy and physiology, optical dispensing, neuro-ophthalmology, E&M and eye codes. Each area is represented in the 100 question exam. (A full list of tested content areas can be found on the AAO site.)
After completing the test, you will receive feedback to help improve your coding and documentation abilities. Those who attain a passing score of 80 percent or higher on this exam will be awarded the OCS Certificate of Completion.
Why should I get or renew my OCS Certification?
- To be rest assured that your coding knowledge is updated with the constantly changing codes, especially for those who are due to renew their certification.
- Receive national professional recognition for your expertise and proficiency which also improves your professional image.
- Enhance the success of your practice. Mastering coding and staying in compliance makes sure that you receive proper reimbursement and increases the financial performance of your practice.
- Improve your career qualifications. If you do not own a practice, demonstrating mastery of coding can make you more competitive in the job market.
- Increase the efficiency of your practice. With proficient coding knowledge, you will be able to quickly identify what clearinghouses look for in coding claims, submit them accurately and reduce the number of rejected claims.
Where can I take the OCS exam?
The exam costs $175 but it is a great investment. It must be taken online, on the JCAHPO's ACTIONED website. You are allowed to complete the exam in more than one session where your answers will be saved from one session to the next. However, you must complete the exam within 10 days from the date of purchase.
Upon submitting your exam, you will receive a Pass or Fail grade immediately. Regardless of your score, you will receive a performance breakdown indicating which content areas with one or more incorrect answers. If you pass the exam your Certificate of Completion will be sent to you within two to six weeks.
How should I prepare for the exam?
We hope that you are convinced about the importance of getting your OCS certification. The process is easy and benefits are abundant!
And don’t forget to pair your coding knowledge with VisionWeb’s electronic claims processing services. Benefits include decreasing time on the phone with payers, reducing redundancies of duplicate data entry, and further ensuring the proper coding claims (but you probably already got it right the first time thanks to the OCS exam!)
Head to AAO’s website for more details and to get started on the OCS exam!
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Certification, shmertification, right? In today’s day and age, there seems to be a certification for just about everything. From personal trainers, to chefs, to hairstylists, to professional zombie hunters, there seems to be a certification for just about anything and anyone. So how does this apply to you and your eyecare practice? With all these certifications, does that make them at all important? We did some research and found that certifications are very important in the eyecare industry, especially for your Paraoptometrics.
Paraoptometrics are a huge part of any eyecare practice, extending the capabilities of the optometrist by assuming routine and technical aspects of services in your practice. Not only do they serve as an important partner to the optometrists, they also play a vital role in office-patient relationships. Because they do play such a vital role in your practice, it is important and necessary for them to be knowledgeable and communicate this knowledge with your patients. Certification allows for a well-trained personnel, which is invaluable to the optometrists, and also provides great satisfaction for the patients and the staff, which benefits your eyecare practice as a whole.
First off, What is the Paraoptometric Certification?
The Certified Paraoptometric (CPO) examination is a test that consists of 100 multiple choice questions focusing on basic science, clinical principles and procedures, professional issues, and ophthalmic optics and dispensing. Receiving the certification provides a formal declaration of education and skill achievement in the profession of paraoptometry, allowing for a more knowledgeable and competent staff.
Here are just a few reasons why we think you should invest in Paraoptometric Certification:
1. Certified Staff allows you to make the most efficient use of office time
You know how much we love efficiency at VisionWeb, so this is one of our favorite reasons why you should invest in Paraoptometric Certification. By investing in certification, you are assured that your staff has the knowledge and skills necessary to perform the various tasks in your practice. More knowledge and skills mean more efficiency, allowing your practice to operate at a higher level.
2. Certification can enhance your professional image
Let’s face it, seeing a professional certification hanging on the wall in any business immediately screams “professional”, “knowledgeable”, and “legit”. When paraoptometrics receive certification, this reinforces your professional image, leading to more patient satisfaction as well as more possible referrals. Certification also announces your professional credentials to the public, allowing you to stand out in the industry. Knowledge is money, and your patients will love seeing that your staff is knowledgeable and certified!
3. Enhance Patient Satisfaction and Confidence
Having a well-trained and educated staff builds an office-patient relationship that is not only invaluable to the optometrist, but also provides great satisfaction to the patients. When your patients can feel confident in the level of knowledge held by the optometrist, as well as the paraoptometrics, the patients are sure to be more confident and satisfied in their overall experience at your practice.
4. Allows for a sense of pride in your practice
Displaying certifications throughout your practice will not only lead to more patient confidence and satisfaction, but it will also instill a sense of self-assurance and pride in your staff. This pride and knowledge is sure to be communicated to your patients, increasing their overall satisfaction. Recognizing the level of career knowledge and skill of your staff is an invaluable way to instill pride in your practice.
Paraoptometric Certification Resources
With all of the reasons why Paraoptometric Certification is a great investment, why not take the next steps towards providing your employees with the opportunity to become certified!? The certification process is very simple. First, head over to the American Optometric Association website to access more information about the certification process and the exam itself. In addition to an overview, check out the study resources the AOA has put together to make preparation for the exam as easy as 1, 2, 3. When you are ready to sign up, simply fill out an application and schedule a test date!
We want to hear from you! Have you or anyone in your eye care practice become certified? Why did you decide to invest in the certification?
VisionWeb recently attended International Vision Expo East in New York and while we were there we held free in-booth presentations covering the techniques that set a modern practice apart from those who continue to use outdated processes. The presentations covered everything from electronic eyecare product ordering and insurance claim filing to social media and other modern marketing tactics. It really covers it all - even how to get the most from your eyecare practice management software.
We work with busy practices every day and really know how technology can impact a practice in a positive way. The first step to becoming a modern practice is identifying the inefficient and outdated process in your practice. And that's exactly what we do in our "Are Your Running A Modern Eyecare Practice" presentation. So if you weren’t able to join us at Vision Expo East, watch the video of the presentation below! You'll learn how to identify an outdated process in just 15 minutes! After watching the presentation, you'll should have some great ideas to implement in your practice that will help boost efficiency and make your practice as productive as ever.
Modernize your eyecare practice! Check out VisionWeb's integrations!
Ever heard of OpticianWorks? In case you haven't, OpticianWorks is an online training program created by John Seegers. His resourceful website is for people who aspire to have a career as either a licensed optician or a non-licensed optical dispenser. Seegers' passion for optical education comes from many years as an optical professional himself. He is a great thought leader in the eyecare industry and fulfills his need of passing on knowledge through OpticianWorks, by providing opticians and their staff eyecare product resources, including textbook and video lessons to both aspiring and current opticians. The most exciting part of OpticianWorks – this high quality online training is absolutely FREE!
What’s included in John Seegers’ complete online education program?
- Lessons tailored to each ‘need-to-know’ optician category
- Study and review time for each lesson
- Online tests
- Video Tutorials
- Resources through outside website links
- Independent study time for other materials
- A visit to an optical lab and shop
To complete this online education program you would need to set aside about 96 hours and have the ability to apply yourself and study! This may seem like a lot of time and effort to some, but as Seeger mentions “if becoming an optician was quick and easy and anyone could do it then you would not earn a living by being one!” As mentioned before, you can also become a member of OpticianWorks and utilize these online lessons to brush-up on your optical dispensing skills!
OpticianWorks also offers consulting, concentrating in creating custom-designed technical writing products to support the various end customers in the optical industry, tailored to meet your individual needs. Consulting avenues vary, including staff progress reporting and individual product placement. John's diverse experience has given him the ability to develop easily-affordable packages that are just right for each individual case.
As I mentioned, joining OpticianWorks is completely free, so even if you're just curious as to how resourceful this website can be for you, I encourage you to become a member and try out just one tutorial that could potentially benefit your eyecare practice - you've got nothing to lose! To give you a better idea of some fo the resources OpticianWorks provides, here's a breif tutorial video that describes the concept of Axis:
There are countless ways that technology can help an Eye Care Practice run more efficiently. Taking a modern approach to your Practice will not only improve your daily business processes, but will also help keep everyone in your practice on the same page.
At VisionWeb, we work with busy practices every day and we know a modern practice when we see one. We want to help you identify outdated processes, and show you some of the things that set modern practices apart; both in the ways they get work done with things such as eyecare practice management software and optical claims management, and the ways they are engaging their patients through social media in eyecare.
Join us at Vision Expo East and we'll discuss with you how to run a modern practice.
Our team will be onsite at Vision Expo East hosting these free presentations in the VisionWeb booth, #MS7061.
|Presentation Schedule: Are You Running a Modern Practice?
||Friday, March 23
Saturday, March 24
|Sunday, March 25
Each session lasts 30 minutes and all attendees who RSVP will receive a $5 Starbucks gift card. Get information you can use, and enjoy a coffee on us!
Space is limited, so RSVP to reserve your seat today!
When it comes to driving customers to businesses, nothing has been more popular, or trendy, than the social buying site Groupon.
By collaborating with local businesses, Groupon is able to offer consumers deals that take off 50% (at least) of the normal retail price of the product or service being offered. For obvious cost saving reasons, consumers have jumped on the Groupon bandwagon and made the company wildly successful ($750 Million Initial Public Offering). By creating a new market, Groupon quickly found itself surrounded by competitor spin-off companies offering similar services. There's even an Eye Care Industry specific site, Eyedeal.ly, that offers group buying for eye care providers.
Business owners have rejoiced because these extremely deep discount opportunities attract a lot of new customers, which owners are betting on turning into repeat business at a full price. But, is that a good bet to be making? Like all things, it seems to have pros and cons that are worth exploring.
Why It's Good:
1. It Drives Sales - Across all deals and locations in April2011, the average Groupon drove 350 sales and $8,750 in revenue
2. Exposure - With a membership base of 70+ million, Groupon gives your business the opportunity to reach your target market - wherever they might be.
3. New Customers are Guaranteed - Since a minimum number of people must buy for the offer to be valid, Groupon guarantees paying customers. And since the deals, on average, discount 57% of your product, you're bound to have new customers!
Why It's Bad:
1. It Destroys Market Profitability - Once consumers become accustomed to paying 50% less for certain products, it's difficult to get them to pay full-price again. If you and your competitors use Groupon within your industry too much, you could be degrading the overall profitability of your market.
2. It Affects Service and Customer Satisfaction Levels - By selling your product over and over again for only 25% of your normal revenue could eventually eat into your profitability, which can cause companies to hire less expensive people, reduce staff, start offering less product or service for the same price, or start raising prices on their regular customers. All of which will ultimately affect your customers level of satisfaction.
3. It Destroys Customer Loyalty - It's almost impossible to build customer relationships based on pricing. If customers buy your products based on price, they will go wherever the best price is. It's that simple. They use the business while they have a coupon and move on to the next one as soon as they have another coupon. This is why business owners count on Groupon buyers to buy additional service at full price while redeeming their coupon, but studies show that only 13% of buyers add a product at full price.
So what do you think? Have you used Groupon for eyecare practice marketing? Was it good or bad for business? What advice would you give others who are thinking about running a promotion?
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