By Robert M. Allen, OD
July 15, 2020
Many of you have noticed more patient complaints of various eyestrain issues. Many of these issues are subtle, and the patient may not realize you have the tools and expertise to address these problems. Since the start of the pandemic, virtually everyone is spending more time indoors using all types of electronic devices and creating more eyestrain for themselves.
Some of these patients are prone to headaches and neck tension in addition to digital eyestrain. Fortunately, I have a testing system and spectacle lens solution which my 10-location practice can offer. We implemented a high-tech system that helps measure and identify the eye misalignment often behind these patients’ discomfort.
Neurolens is that spectacle lens and high-tech system. Here are the details on this product that is making such a difference in my patients’ lives.
Solution to a Common, Longstanding Problem
We implemented neurolens in our practice in May 2019 after studying the technology and clinical outcomes for almost two years. We were looking for a solution to two problems: The persistent and unresolved eyestrain and headaches that many of our patients complain of, and a need to further differentiate our group of practices from others.
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For patients who have demonstrated persistent and unresolved headaches, neck tension and eye strain due to eye misalignment, neurolens can provide substantial relief, and even elimination of symptoms. We have witnessed the positive results in dozens (perhaps hundreds) of our patients. This allows us to provide better, more problem-focused outcomes for our patients while addressing their chief complaint.
Neurolens is not a traditional eyeglass or prism solution to a vision correction issue; it is a treatment for a medical disorder – known as trigeminal dysphoria, which causes visual discomfort, eyestrain, headaches and a myriad of downstream health issues. As we pivot our practices to emphasize the medical model, the Neurolens system has been a tremendous solution for vision problems.
Practice & Profitability Builder
Neurolens can have a dramatic effect on a practice’s bottom line from day one. The financial benefit is both direct – from the sale of neurolenses – and indirect from the goodwill and marketing these lenses generate when patients tell their family members and friends about the new glasses they love. They often express their happiness in online postings, which leads to additional referrals to our practice.
Typically, neurolenses add about $3,000 monthly to the bottom line of the average practice in our group. We expect this to rise significantly with the awareness and marketing efforts we currently have underway. We consistently list our offering of neurolens as one of the many ways we offer solutions to abnormalities of the visual system. Retail-only eyecare offices don’t offer an eyewear solution like this, and neither do most of the other local independent eyecare practices in our area.
The cost of neurolens for us is slightly less than 50 percent of the cost to the patient. There is no insurance coverage for this lens. This is not the typical profit realized from the non-insurance sale of conventional eyeglass lenses, but remember that the margins for most eyeglass lens sales are deeply impacted by insurance and discounts applied. We typically don’t have to discount neurolens, as it is presented as a solution to a medical (not optical) problem.
During the pandemic we curtailed routine care and limited our practice to medical eyecare problems and telemedicine visits. Neurolens is part of our recovery from the business slowdown as we concentrate even further on specialized solutions for our patients’ visual needs.
Support to Thoroughly Train Staff
Neurolens has a comprehensive training program that is staffed by knowledgeable people both in the field and in the home office. They are available and easily accessible to answer virtually any question a doctor or staff member may have. Our representative is highly responsive to our questions and needs.
During COVID-19, neurolens was one of the earliest companies to offer programs to support our practice. This included no payments due on invoices until July. In addition, neurolens often runs promotions to assist in defraying the cost to the patient while maintaining profitability for the practice.
Practice Brand Boost: Be the Problem-Solver
Neurolens is yet another technology that brands our practice as capable of solving all of our patients’ visual-related problems. Neurolens sets up apart, creating a practice-differentiator that benefits both our patients and our business.