LAB: Classic Optical
Dawn Friedkin

Chief Operating Officer


“We’ve been running digital surfacing for two years. It’s added a whole other level to our industry. The advent of digital surfacing is a real game changer. It’s shifted the responsibility from the lens manufacturers to the labs.

“Private label digital lenses are where we’re going to see lot of power. We’re planning to launch ours this fall. It’s called Classic HD and we’ll offer it at three levels: basic, advanced, ultimate. It will complement the other digital PALs we offer. We welcome this as an opportunity to give our longtime customer base this new revolutionary technology cost effectively.

“The majority of our business is contract work for managed care companies, government medical assistance programs and correctional facilities. We’ve been able to use the large manufacturers’ lens brands, particularly their low-end digital products, to add into program where traditional progressives existed. Now with our own private label digital we’ll be able to add different levels into those programs.”

Carl Moroff
OD, NY-based optometrist and managed care specialist


“When a lab is producing a commodity product, such as a standard single vision or bifocal, you don’t need a lot of interaction between the lab and the practice. The prescription is the prescription, so to speak. When you get into free-form, though, the technology is such that to maximize the benefit to the patient, close collaboration between practice and lab is essential. Depending on which lens manufacturer’s technology is being used, the practice and the lab need to collaboratively decide the best way to fit lens and prescribe for that particular lens technology to determine the best outcome for patient.”

Karen Hobbs
Optician with Nash Optical, North Carolina Dept. of Correction, in Nashville, N.C.

“Being in a prison environment, we don’t really know all the new stuff coming out. We don’t have any reps coming in, so we really count on our rep from Classic Optical to keep us informed.

“I use the Shamir Element free-form lens. I put 90 percent of my progressive lens wearers in it. Our price point is really low, $109 a pair. The customer can file out of network for insurance. With the price being lower, they’re getting more bang for buck. They paying $40 out-of-pocket, then the rest is picked up by insurance. That way they’re getting affordable alternative with the newest technology.

“It didn’t take much time to get used to working with digital lenses. I have noticed when I was fitting other progressive we had 5 to 6 percent that couldn’t adjust. Now, with free-form, we only have 1 to 2 percent non-adapts. It’s made life easier for us. A lot of customers don’t even know they’re wearing it.”