Show me the (stimulus) money! The checks are now arriving!

Electronic health records (EHR) stimulus checks are now in the mail for those who have become meaningful users of a certified EHR. Dr. Jeffrey Willig, an ophthalmologist and meaningful user of OfficeMate/ExamWRITER based in Syosset, NY, was one of the first in the eyecare industry to receive the federal incentive payment ($18,000 for the first year).

Don’t miss out on your chance to take advantage of the stimulus money available to you. Eyefinity’s ‘Meaningful Strategies to Meaningful Use’ resource will help guide you down the path of achieving meaningful use.  The stimulus money is both real and attainable.  Meaningful Use is quite simple once you understand its basic concepts, and Eyefinity is here to help you every step of the way.

Dr. Willig proudly displays his EHR stimulus check, with ExamWRITER running in the background

‘Meaningful Users’ of OfficeMate/ExamWRITER Receive $18k in Stimulus Money!

The day has finally come! Federal stimulus payments for providers meeting ‘meaningful use’ of certified electronic health records are now being paid. A group of OfficeMate/ExamWRITER v10 users are among the first in the eyecare industry to receive their incentive payments ($18,000 each).

The group includes optometrists Dr. Kim Castleberry of Plano, Texas; Dr. Lorie Lippiatt of Salem, Ohio; Ryan Wineinger of Shawnee, Kan.; and ophthalmologist Dr. Jeffrey Willig of Syosset, NY. All were part of a beta-test group helping provide analysis of the certified version of OfficeMate/ExamWRITER, which is set for release this summer.

All of us at Eyefinity extend our congratulations to these providers who have proven that achieving meaningful use is possible and the government stimulus funds are attainable.

Wondering how you can qualify for federal stimulus money? Check out Eyefinity’s‘Meaningful Strategies to Meaningful Use’ materials at http://www.officemate.net/msmu.aspx. From a meaningful use starter kit, to webinars and other training resources, the materials help prepare users for each step they must take to receive federal EMR incentive funds.

Eyefinity will be with you and your practice every step of the way down the path to achieving meaningful use with OfficeMate/ExamWRITER so that you can take full advantage of the available stimulus money.

Dr. Castleberry (top left), Dr. Lippiatt (top right), Dr. Wineinger (bottom left) and Dr. Willig (bottom right)

Two simple ways to support Optometry Giving Sight in May

AllAboutVision.com will donate…

$1 when you ‘like them’ on Facebook

$10 when you add their free Eye Health News Feed to your practice Facebook page

YOU BENEFIT when you “Like” AllAboutVision.com on Facebook. You’ll be the first to hear about breaking news and new articles on AllAboutVision.com.

YOUR PRACTICE BENEFITS from our free Eye Health News Feed. It automatically updates your practice Facebook page with patient-friendly news that encourages return visits to your page.

PEOPLE WORLDWIDE BENEFIT from the work of Optometry Giving Sight. There are 670 million people worldwide who are blind or vision impaired simply because they cannot get the eye care services they need. Through Optometry Giving Sight programs, just $5 can provide an eye exam and a pair of glasses to someone in a developing country. Learn more at http://www.givingsight.org.

Get started now!

There’s no cost and it’s easy to do.

1. Go to http://www.facebook.com/allaboutvision and click the ‘like’ button from your own Facebook account.

2. Add the free Eye Health News Feed to your practice Facebook page. Visit http://www.allaboutvision.com/ecp/ for details.

Help your patients live a life less squinty. Learn how in a live, 20-minute Webinar.

Transitions Optical is keeping UV protection top of mind by poking fun at being caught squinting.

Hear from product experts at Transitions Optical about a new contest and education campaign, “Life Less Squinty,” that encourages consumers to visit private practices like yours.

The Webinar will cover:

  • The differences between Transitions® VI lenses and Transitions® XTRActive™ lenses and how to choose the best for your patients.
    • How Transitions XTRActive lenses activate moderately behind the windshield of a car.
    • How your practice can get involved with the “Life Less Squinty” campaign.

Sign up now for an upcoming Webinar:

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

8:30 a.m. PT / 11:30 a.m. ET

Thursday, June 2, 2011

8:30 a.m. PT / 11:30 a.m. ET

Thursday, June 2, 2010

12:30 p.m. PT / 3:30 p.m. ET

For attending, you’ll receive FREE practice resources to help communicate the importance of UV protection.  Plus, fun gifts for the office!

Keeping Your Patients for a Lifetime: Remember the “Little Things”

Today’s blog comes from Eyefinity’s Jessica Leeson, who has worked in many facets of the optical industry. Her experience includes general management of large-volume retail locations and multi-unit management. Jessica is also an ABOC optician and licensed in California.

Your practice is busy. At times, when everyone is so busy, it can be difficult to remember the “little” things. But remember, it’s the “little” things that mean so much to your patients’ experience in your practice, especially in the dispensing process.

Displaying eyewear on a velvet cloth—especially higher-priced items—leaves a lasting impression and also reassures patients about the premium prices. When you provide eyewear that meets your patients’ needs, it could lead to multiple pair sales. They’ll likely leave your practice after having made a significant purchase, but satisfied with the money they’ve spent.

Why not increase their satisfaction by sending them home with accessories related to their eyewear purchase? We recommend that you order merchandise bags that include your practice name and logo instead of ordering generic bags. Sending patients home with a lens cloth and a bottle of cleaner with your practice name on it will remind them of the great service you provided.

To turn a one-time patient into a lifetime patient, you must provide a high-quality patient experience. Attention to detail does make a difference!

For more information on how to increase the success of your practice, visit www.eyefinityofficemate.biz.

Dr. Willig shares his EMR journey and success in attesting to Meaningful Use!

Dr. Jeffrey Willig

Congratulations to ophthalmologist Dr. Jeffrey Willig, of Syosset, New York, who recently attested to meaningful use of the certified version of OfficeMate/ExamWRITER. Dr. Willig shares his journey with us below:

For the past 25 years, I’ve been a private practice ophthalmologist. Three years ago, I began looking to upgrade my office’s practice management software, which I had been using for over 20 years.  At the time, it was adequate, but had become outdated.  I searched though many options, but they were all way too expensive for a solo practitioner and I put off the decision to upgrade time and time again.

Then, in 2009 while out for dinner with a cardiologist friend, I learned of the incentive money in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that was going to be available to assist in implementing electronic medical records (EMR).  This was the final push I needed to bring my practice into the 21st century.

I had finally made the decision to begin using EMR, but couldn’t find a system that was affordable.  The cardiology practice had spent over $200,000 on software alone, and I knew that was never going to be possible for me.  While attending Vision Expo in 2009, quite by accident I came across the booth for Eyefinity/OfficeMate.  I had been using Officemate to run my optical business since 1996, but had no idea they offered an EMR system.

Immediately, I knew this was the solution I had been seeking.  It differed from everything else on the market in the ease of data entry, efficiency and affordability.  I purchased it on the spot and have been on the forefront of EMR ever since.

Officemate/ExamWRITER has streamlined my office practice in many ways.  This includes saving time in scheduling appointments, documenting and retrieving exams, eprescribing,  automatically generating consult letters and patient reports, coding, billing and posting payments. The technology has also impressed our patients, as they realize and appreciate that we are using a cutting edge system in our medical practice.

The system has already paid for itself in time saved by both myself and my staff.  Now, I am about to realize the added bonus of the first installment of $18,000 in stimulus money. On April 24th, 2011, I successfully attested to 90 days of meaningful use.  The process took less than 20 minutes.  While the CMS website indicates upwards of 15 hours would be required to collect the data and attest, Officemate/ExamWRITER’s built-in Meaningful Use Reports automates the process and produces the data in seconds.

With government incentive money still on the table for you to collect, I strongly urge you to add a certified EMR system like OfficeMate/ExamWRITER into your practice if you haven’t already done so.

Selling Multiple Pairs: New Revenue Sources without Adding Patients

Today’s entry comes from Kirk Poole, Field Services Manager for Eyefinity.

Woman in SunglassesThe difference in multiple-pair sales between retail chains and independent optical practices is staggering. Retail channels, on average, sell multiple pairs to 30% of their customers, while independents average between 10% and 15%. With 30% of eyeglass wearers using two or more pairs of eyewear, it is logical that an independent eyecare provider would want every patient to purchase multiple pairs from his or her practice.

We have found that, in independent practices, there are several barriers that prevent multiple-pair sales. For example, such patient objections as, “I only want what my insurance pays for,” or, “I can’t afford to spend that much,” curtail many sales. These objections, however, should not be the end of the sales conversation.

Patients are likely to have specific needs, and second or third pairs can address these needs. These second or third pairs can bring value and improve patients’ quality of life, which are benefits that are worth paying extra for. It is up to the sales associate to uncover needs that can only be revealed through conversation and by asking the patients open-ended questions.

Open-ended questions often uncover patients’ needs for second or third pairs for computer use and outdoor activities. After identifying the patients’ needs, leverage those needs to demonstrate the benefits of a second or third pair, overcome objections, and convince the patient of the value of the additional pairs.

Here are some examples of open-ended questions that you might consider asking:

  • How do your glasses work for you when you are out in the sun?
  • How do your eyes feel after looking at your computer screen all day?
  • How long is your commute on a daily basis?

Overcoming objections is naturally uncomfortable, but by demonstrating the value and explaining the benefits of the additional products and how those benefits relate to patients’ needs, you can enjoy the additional revenue generated through multiple-pair sales without acquiring additional patients.

For more information on selling multiple pairs, including detailed strategies for overcoming patient objections, visit www.eyefinityofficemate.biz.

Kirk Poole is the manager of field services for Eyefinity. He has worked in the optical business for over 30 years. He holds a degree in ophthalmic optics and is accredited by the ABO as a charter-certified optician. Kirk has managed single to multiunit locations in multiple states and achieved positive results at a national retail level for over 10 years.  He also served as a national trainer for new regional sales managers.