Live Data of Coronavirus Impact on Optometry Practices

Mar 26, 2020
3 min read

These industry insight reports illustrate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on 2,800 optometric practices across the United States.

Live data of coronavirus impact on optometry practices

This collection of graphs charts anonymous data from 2,800 practices across all 50 states, showing how COVID-19 has affected their practices. We’re providing them to all ODs to give a clear picture of the state of the industry in this key moment.

This data is updated weekly. The graphs show weekly reports on how practices across the US are seeing their patient flows and revenues impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.

We suggest that readers pay close attention to the relative changes and trends in order to understand how optometry practices are being affected by the Coronavirus.

Last updated on 7/26/20. Bookmark this page to see new insights every week. Data for the current week is typically incomplete.

New patient bookings continue their upward trend, and the comparison between total exams in 2019 compared to 2020 is up another 20%, showing that we're only down 37% from last year, a huge change from the record lows just over 1 month ago, when practices were experiencing a 91% decrease in total exam volume comparing 2019-2020.

Over the next few months we will likely see patient volume vary significantly by locality due to differences in social distancing and policies guiding business reopening, and the magnitude of the virus spread in a particular area.

If we continue on this trend, we can expect to see levels down just 10% from last years mark in just a few weeks, and we could likely see total exams exceed last years highs during Q3 due to the buildup and backlog of demand for services.

We will continue to provide updates over the next few weeks. Expect significant changes on a weekly basis due to the ongoing updates in both policy, behavior, and the speed at which new information is collected and disseminated to the public.

As you see from the graph, contact lens purchases continue their trend upwards back towards the level of purchases last year. Expect to see a return to baseline even before patient volume returns to its baseline levels.

Frames and lenses sold are recovering at a faster rate than patient bookings. It would be interesting to dive into more detail here and analyze a few different factors within the data:

  • Are patients purchasing more second pair frames and lenses now, on average, than normal?
  • Are more patients making in-store purchases on an exam day compared to normal?
  • What is the consumer sentiment around making purchases in store vs online for eyecare products? Has this sentiment changed due to the new normal?

We're curious to see how these trends play out over time and will be following the data closely.

In this moment, it’s crucial to understand not just the scenario facing your practice, but the industry as a whole. Right now, we’re in a period of dramatic and near-constant shift, and many practice owners are focusing on what they can do to make sure their doors can re-open when the pandemic has subsided. These graphs reflect that: we can see that optometry practices are responding to the call to offer only urgent or emergent care.

It is important to continue following both national and local trends as they can help guide you in your practice decisions when you begin to reopen. We will keep tracking these trends and update you on any micro and macro changes that we find.

CovalentCareers is committed to supporting optometrists and optometry students during the Coronavirus pandemic. For more optometry-specific resources and information, visit our Optometry COVID-19 Resource Center.

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About Matt Geller, OD

Dr. Matt Geller is an entrepreneur with a track record of developing successful online platforms to solve problems in the healthcare space. Matt is the co-founder and CEO of CovalentCareers and NewGradOptometry.