By Daniel J. Press, OD, FCOVD
May 29, 2019
The huge late-middle-age and elderly population, and those in need of myopia management, equates to a significant opportunity to improve patient lives with multifocal contact lenses. The superior vision provided by premium multifocals can simplify everyday tasks and make leisure time much more enjoyable. Here’s how my practice serves patients with multifocals, and in the process, grows profitability.
I have been prescribing NaturalVue® Multifocal 1 Day Contact Lenses for over three years. I began prescribing the lens primarily as an exciting new option for our pediatric patients with progressive myopia. I was intrigued with the design, and how it allowed for central refractive correction with myopic defocus in the mid-periphery.
The advantage the lens provides over other multifocals is that it does not rely on optics to allow for the multifocal effect, but, instead, relies on neural adaptation to provide a positive visual experience at all distances. Once I understood the design and understood that the goal was to create a virtual aperture, a light bulb went off as to why this lens could be a breakthrough lens like no other for presbyopic patients.
ROI: Patient Satisfaction & Practice Profitability Growth
In one practice location I have approximately 1,000 presbyopic patients, and of those patients, about half wear a multifocal contact lens that I prescribed. Typical chair time for a new multifocal patient is 40 minutes. The fees are typically three times that of a single-vision fit. My practice generates approximately $250,000 annually from fitting and selling multifocal contact lenses.
Educate Your Presbyopic Patients By Asking Key Questions
Thankfully, we have many options in multifocal contacts to address the visual demands of our patients. I find that a presbyopic patient must be properly educated and motivated to be transitioned to a successful multifocal patient. It is comforting to the patient that we have many options at our disposal, and I let patients know that no one lens works for every patient. If they are dissatisfied with their current vision correction, and would like to rely on glasses less, then we can usually fit them in a design that will work for them.
Multifocal CL Resource
My first question to a presbyopic patient is about their motivation. I ask them if they are satisfied with the need to rely on spectacles to see clearly at near distances. I ask if they are frustrated with the on/off all day long and if they would like to explore options to lessen their reliance on glasses? If they answer affirmatively, I move on to setting expectations with multifocals. As I have learned from many mentors over the years, setting the appropriate expectations is the most important factor in a successful multifocal CL fit.
I educate patients that, to date, there is no perfect solution, and there is a compromise to not having to rely on glasses anymore. Some multifocals compromise the quality of vision, even though we are likely going to quantify their visual acuity at 20/20 at distance and near. NaturalVue Multifocal 1 Day Contact Lenses requires adaptation time, but if a patient adapts positively, then there is little compromise after the adaptation period.
Instrumentation Can Boost Care of Contact-Lens Patients
Topography is an invaluable tool in any contact lens practice. Since a significant portion of our pediatric contact lens fits are related to myopia management, the IOL Master has been a valuable tool to monitor effectiveness of treatment. One can expect to spend in the $12,000-$15,000 range for axial length monitoring, and it is not a direct investment, but elevates the practice to one that is serious about myopia management.
Exceed Patient Expectations
Go above and beyond, and exceed patient expectations. The most important aspect of growing any part of the practice is a simple one. Be a good, authentic, empathetic, human being. I have found the old adage “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” to be true. When I am with a patient in the exam room I try to make sure that the patient feels as if they are the only patient in my practice. When I successfully achieve that, the practice grows.
The most effective marketing is word of mouth. I do not utilize social media to directly market since the consumer is savvy enough to recognize a sales pitch. However, we educate using social media, so patients can learn more about options for vision care, and why we’re a premier practice. Patients see that our doctors are leaders in our respective areas of interest. This builds goodwill in the community.
NaturalVue Multifocal 1 Day Contact Lenses have been an invaluable tool in the toolbox for my presbyopic contact lens patients. In addition they have been an incredibly successful tool for managing myopia. It has been a successful option for contact-lens myopia management for patients who are not ideal candidates for Ortho-K. Providing high-level myopia management has been a great practice-builder for us and I hope it will be for you too.
This article was prepared by Daniel J. Press and the opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the manufacturer.
This information describes uses for multifocal contact lenses that have not been approved or cleared by the FDA for use in the United States.