By ROB Editors
Some 52 million pairs of over-the-counter reading glasses are sold in the U.S. every year, with a large segment of our population requiring help seeing up close. Those already of typical presbyopic age include not just the huge Baby Boomer population, but 65 million from Generation X and a significant percentage of the country’s 72 million Millennials. The oldest Millennials are nearing 40, with many doubtless already starting to notice subtle changes in near vision.
Many of those patients do not want to carry reading glasses everywhere, or wear progressive glasses all the time. The new presbyopia eye drops are another option, but the drops that are currently on the market are not an all-day up-close visual solution. The good news is the solution many of these patients need is already in your practice: Multifocal contact lenses.
A Huge Opportunity: Specialty Contact Lenses
Overall, there are 42.7 million contact lens wearers in the U.S., according to The Vision Council. Fifteen percent of all contact lens wearers are in bifocal/multifocal contact lenses.
Every OD knows too well how much more likely patients are to drop out of contacts once they become presbyopic.
You have a chance to improve patients’ lives while generating significant profitability by educating patients in the exam room about how multifocal contact lenses can change their lives.
Educating Patients & Easing the Way
First, however, you must address patient concerns about multifocals. The first concern may be comfort and quality of vision. The second, unfortunately, can be cost. A glasses-only patient may balk at having to spend more money per year to purchase contact lenses, and those with new multifocal contact lens prescriptions may push back on the additional cost added to their yearly contact lens budget.
After thoroughly educating patients about the benefits of the lenses you have prescribed, you and your staff can bring the patient to the point of ordering the multifocals you prescribed before they leave your office by providing another way to make their purchase.
Promotional financing with the CareCredit credit card can ease the purchase of multifocal contact lenses, making it more accessible for patients to fulfill the doctor’s prescription for the visual correction that the doctors feels is best for them.
For the hesitant new multifocal patient: “Peter, I completely understand. Multifocal contact lenses are definitely more expensive than your old lenses–but what you get in return is substantial. I wear multifocal contact lenses myself, and I can tell you that based on my experience, and that of many of my other patients, they are 100 percent worth the added cost. The great part is that in addition to all you get in enhanced vision–without having to carry reading glasses–you have an option in our office of possibly purchasing your new contacts with the CareCredit credit card and of receiving a rebate with an annual purchase. There is an approval process, which our front office staff will help you with. We want to make it as easy as possible in our office to get all the products and services the doctor feels are best for you. The CareCredit credit card is one of the ways we try to make that happen.”
Patient financing can make the difference between a patient who passes on purchasing the contact lenses you consider ideal for their vision and lifestyle and one who leaves with exactly what they need. Patients who are able to fulfill the doctor’s prescription, and experience success doing so, are patients who will return to your office and refer many others.