NEW YORK—The financial outlook for U.S. eyecare practices remained positive as 2021 drew to a close, with the key indicators of eyecare practice performance showing across the board increases over 2020, according to the results of a newly released Jobson Research survey. The survey, Wave 28 of Jobson’s Coronavirus Survey, polled 564 U.S. eyecare practices between December 8-31, 2021. In addition to key performance indicators, respondents were asked about changes in staffing, practice hours, and patient scheduling, as well as their willingness to get vaccinated or attend industry events considering the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. For the first time, respondents were also asked to report on the impact of supply chain disruptions on their practice.
New data about the financial performance of the eyecare practices surveyed pointed to the positive trend that is evident from previous Coronavirus Surveys conducted throughout 2021. The December survey show that profitability per patient rose 12 percent over the year-ago period in 2020, but decreased 1 percent from pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
The number of patients per day rose 14 percent over year-ago, and slipped 2 percent from 2019. Practice revenue shot up 15 percent from a year ago, and rose 1 percent over 2019. Optical sales climbed 14 percent over 2020 levels, and rose 1 percent over 2019. The capture rate rose 8 percent over 2020 year-ago, and 2 percent over 2019.

Despite the recent spike in Coronavirus cases throughout many parts of the U.S. that health care officials largely attribute to the rapid spread of COVID-19’s omicron variant, most eyecare professionals are unconcerned about the possibility of another shutdown that might require them to close their business. Only 12 percent of ECPs across the U.S. said they are “very concerned” about that possibility, according to Wave 28 of Jobson Research's latest Coronavirus Survey.
That percentage is unchanged since the last Coronavirus Survey was conducted Sept. 27-30, about seven weeks prior to the emergence of omicron in the U.S. In fact, the majority of respondents in the December survey, 46 percent said they are “not that concerned” about the possibility of a shutdown, a slight increase over 41 percent in September period.
Supply chain issues continue to delay the delivery of optical products to eyecare practices, according to the December survey. Two-thirds of respondents said they are currently experiencing issues with products having delays due to supply chain issues because of COVID-19 restrictions, a proportion that has been consistent throughout 2021. (The remaining one-third of respondents said they are not experiencing supply chain issues.) Forty six percent of respondents said product deliveries are delayed three to four weeks, up from 37 percent in July, and 35 percent report delays of two weeks.
Go to VM's Coronavirus Briefing section to catch up on all of the 2020 and 2021 Jobson surveys.
Click here to view a PDF of the full Wave 28 Survey results.