With seven locations throughout central Virginia and the Shenendoah Valley, EyeOne has found a way to accurately calculate its patients’ out-of-pocket expenses at the moment that they are making their eyewear purchasing decisions.
Considering all the variables that can influence the cost of buying a pair of eyeglasses, determining the final price for a particular patient can be daunting. Frame selection, lens materials, coatings and other add-ons, not to mention what portion is covered by a managed vision care plan, can all have an impact on the cost of a pair of eyeglasses. Calculating these costs on the fly in a busy office can be challenging for eyecare professionals attempting to help their customers comparison shop among the wide variety of products available and what their plans will cover.
The online patient payment calculator, vpQuote was developed to help dispensaries calculate a patient’s financial responsibility based on their eyewear selection and the specifics of their plan benefits. Each optical sale calculation is customized based on the patient’s vision plan benefit, frame selection and lens type with any enhancements such as anti-reflective treatments, high-index options, photochromic lenses, etc. Calculations are performed for optical sales including vision plan, Medicare, Medicaid, cash, Rx sunglasses, plano sunglasses, optical shop employees, safety glasses and more.
Based in Fishersville, Va., and having just added its seventh location in October 2012, EyeOne uses vpQuote not only to accurately calculate the covered amount along with the out-of-pocket expenses for its patients, but the program also enables the regional optical chain to convey a consistent image across all of its locations. “It allows staff, no matter which location they are in, to accurately prepare a patient pay portion, using the patient’s vision plan benefits, regardless of the region,” Hannah Long, retail operations manager, told dba. “Using vpQuote in every location allows for a seamless process for EyeOne staff and patients.”
Patients are provided with an itemized receipt featuring the EyeOne logo, the particular location’s address, and figures indicating what they actually paid alongside what they would have paid if they didn’t have a managed vision care plan.
The vpQuote calculator also offers the ability to put the benefits of a vision plan side by side with the dispensary’s own customized fee schedule. “Every time vpQuote pulls up a managed care plan, it automatically compares it to our own in-house pricing,” said Long. “Some plans are not as beneficial to our patient, and they do sometimes go to our pricing,” she added. Still, Long estimates that about 70 percent of sales are through managed care, and that share is growing. “We’ve definitely seen an increase in vision care plan exposure,” she said.
To access the vpQuote online patient calculator, EyeOne pays a monthly fee and is charged per location. “Due to our large scale in the area, it allows us to position ourselves better against the competition as well as continually and efficiently keep a handle on our profit,” she concluded. “Patients really appreciate the printout and comparison. It gives us even more of a professional image.” ■
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