Tom Patera, OD
Senior Executive Vice-President, Eyemart Express
May 8, 2019
When you are a practice owner, a major challenge is getting patients in the door. When your practice is located next door to a well-known optical retailer, like Eyemart Express, that challenge is greatly diminished–patients in need of eyewear have the option of what amounts to one-stop-shopping. They visit you for eyecare and then can go right next door for eyewear. Here’s why so many ODs are choosing to partner with an eyewear retailer like us to better serve patients and grow profitability.
Many Locations & Options for Independent Optometry
We have over 200 optometric offices next door to our optical stores, of which 95 percent are subleased by independent practices owned by optometrists. Doctors with practices next door to our stores are entirely independent, meaning they can practice any kind of optometry they like, including specializing in medical eyecare. In fact, with the retail side of patient care handled by us next door, doctors have a prime opportunity to specialize in medical optometry, offering diagnosis and advanced treatments for conditions like dry eye, glaucoma and many other eye-health challenges.
Add Patients, Focus on Patient-Centric Care
With the responsibility of purchasing eyewear, and managing an optical retail store lifted, doctors often find they can spend more time caring for patients. In addition to providing thorough diagnosis and in-house care for an array of eye diseases and conditions, many ODs find that they are able to spend more time prescribing and selling contact lenses. Some even find the time and energy freed up from not having an optical store gives them a chance to develop a niche like specialty contact lenses.
Doctors can sometimes be even more profitable from providing medical eyecare, contact lens fitting and sales, and services like specialty contact lens fittings, than they could from having the practice dominated by a retail optical.
Enhance the Patient Experience
Eyewear capture rate is a huge struggle for many practices with in-house opticals. Patients too often choose to walk with their prescription, creating a steep challenge for the practice to profit from the investment it made in eyewear inventory.
When the practice focuses solely on patient eye health and visual care, and leaves the retail to the optical located next door, the patient gets the best of both worlds. They get topnotch medical eyecare and expert guidance on the best eyewear prescriptions, and the best selection of eyewear just one door away.
Offer Best-in-Class Care
Eyecare diagnostic and treatment technology is advancing at a fast clip. Patients expect the latest and greatest in care. The practices we partner with have a chance to lease advanced instrumentation from us, along with their office space.
That means that a piece of equipment that can greatly further medical eyecare, like an OCT, becomes a manageable practice addition. Care that the doctor used to refer out can stay in-house with the doctor now capable of providing much, if not all, of the care themselves. Keeping more of that care in-house can result in enhanced patient care and many thousands of dollars in additional revenue per year.
Location, Location, Location
With successful retail locations across the U.S., doctors know that if they have an office next door to one of our stores, their chances for success are high. We have decades of experience in finding the best retail spots to ensure profitability.
That guidance in finding the best locations to serve patients and grow a practice is yet another reason many of our doctors are able to maximize profitability–and simplify their practice decision-making. Finding the right location to base a practice is a major decision. We do the heavy lifting for the doctor by making their professional life about how to best serve patients and build exactly the kind of practice they have in mind.