On September 18th 2014, the NewGradOptometry.com Executive Team held a round table discussion live at Vision Expo West. It was sponsored by Allergan OPTOMETRY JUMPSTART and the Vision Expo Young Professionals Club.
I recently wrote an article about how to land your dream career at an optometry practice. One of the things I talked about was making a business plan / pitch to the owner in order to show them that you are a worthy investment. In order to make a pitch, you need to know about their practice.
Here is a list of questions I came up with to help you learn more about an optometry practice you want to join, some of which were sourced from a practice management course at MCO. Send them to the employer and you will know everything about their practice.
In all honesty, I only asked my practice owner some of these questions. Knowing all the answers would have been extremely helpful! You can use this list of metrics to determine the health, financials and operating structure of an optometry practice. You can also use it for your own practice to determine its health.
Description of Practice
- Describe the local community.
- What is the patient base like?
- Schedule for each OD?
- Schedule for each staff?
- What does each OD specialize in?
- Square footage of office?
- Square footage of the dispensary?
- Square footage of pre-test room?
- How many complete eye exams are performed by your practice in a year?
- What is the length of a typical eye exam? (mins)
- How far ahead are vision exams booked?
- How many weeks are doctors booked out?
- What services are offered? (other than typical eye exams)
- Who is the staff?
- What are their duties?
- What are their hours?
- Who interacts with who?
- What are the major items in your practice? – OCT/VF, etc.
- What is your flow for medical exams?
Lab & Dispensary
- Do you have a house lab for making your own lenses? If not, who do you use?
- What frame companies do you work with?
- What is your dispensary like?
- What insurance plans do you take for vision optometry?
- What insurance plans do you take for medical optometry?
- Who codes the exams?
- How do you process claims?
- What is your accounts receivables amount for medical insurance? (this will give you a barometer on their billing success)
- Do you have someone to credential me or are you doing this yourself?
- Who is your HIPAA Compliance and security officer?
- Are you up to date with HIPAA compliance?
- Are you on EMR / PMS? Which one?
- How long have you been on it?
- What are your troubles with it?
- What other technology are you pursuing for computer systems?
- Recall system?
- How does your practice remind patients to schedule an eye exam?
Financial analysis: This may not be appropriate to ask, but it is important if you want to know if the practice is financially sound.
- What are your costs of goods sold?
- What are the office / position benefits?
- Occupancy costs? (if you don’t own the building)
- Equipment costs?
- Marketing and advertising costs?
- General office overhead?
- What is the average doctor compensation?
- What is your chair cost?
- Routine vision exam fee?
- Refraction fee?
- Contact lens exam fee?
- Medical exam fees?
- Fees for all CPT codes?
- How does your practice determine fees for vision and medical exams?
- Pricing scheme of ophthalmic materials (frames / lenses)? Third party payers (vision and medical)
- % from vision plans
- % from medical insurance
- % cash paying patients
- % from materials
- % from professional services
- What has been your growth?
- Can you print out the summary balance sheet from Quickbooks for me?
- Can you print out the summary cash flow from Quickbooks for me?
- Can you print out the summary net worth from Quickbooks for me?
Can you add anything to this? Post your recommendations in the comments and we will include it in the post!
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