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  January 8, 2014
Third Party System

'Fear' of Lost Patients, Not Just Rate Reimbursement, Influences ECPs' Choice of Managed Vision Care Plans

By Staff

A vast majority of eyecare professionals (82 percent) cited rate reimbursement as the most important attribute when choosing a managed vision care plan, according to a webinar on "Measuring Vision Plan Quality Outcomes" presented Nov. 19, 2013 by Ron Krefman, OD, FAAO, CEO of focalCenter, for the National Association of Vision Care Plans. The presentation was based on a cooperative study of the "Managed Vision Care Patient Experience" conducted by focalCenter and Jobson Optical Research.

When asked why ECPs did not join certain plans, two-thirds cited low reimbursements as a reason for not signing up, as the chart below also indicates. When asked about plans they had joined, only 21 percent cited their reason for joining the plan was for the reimbursement, and 68 percent cited the fear factor, that is lost patients, if they didn't enroll. However, while ECPs say reimbursement is key, they then sign up anyway only to admit that's not why they joined in the first place…it's out of fear, according to Krefman.

The most telling metric in the report (as indicated in the chart) is that on average only 9 percent of ECPs in the study rated vision plans with providing excellent customer satisfaction, he said, so ECP and optical center dissatisfaction with plan reimbursement may color their perception, and worse, it may be contagious to the customers they serve.

Krefman's presentation concluded: "If we think of ECPs and optical centers as plan ambassadors, they are not doing a very good job, and therein lies an opportunity to align plan and ECP interests in improving the overall patient experience. Measuring, understanding and improving the eyecare experience works best when all parties serving the patient have their interests aligned. Communicating, sharing data and outcomes, setting goals and using simple incentives like recognition to top performers would go a long way."

Reasons for Choosing (or not choosing) a Managed Vision Care Plan


Source: National Association of Vision Care Plans Nov. 19, 2013 webinar on Measuring Vision Plan Quality Outcomes by focalCenter CEO Ron Krefman, OD, FAAO, based on Jobson Optical Research report on "Managed Vision Care Patient Experience."

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