The Newsletter of
Primary Eyecare Network
focal point September / October 2010
Letter from the Advisory Board Chairman
(Steven E. Faith, O.D., F.A.A.O.)
Hello PEN Members,
It is with great enthusiasm and excitement that I write this note. The PEN advisory board met
recently in Newport Beach for one of our bi-annual meetings. The topics discussed at this meeting
were particularly interesting – everything from new strategic relationships with some of our
industry partners to educational and business development programs never seen in the 26 year
history of PEN.
One request that we continually hear from our members is the need for a professional resource
center for the development and expansion of their practices. As a result of your queries we have directed the PEN staff,
with the help of the advisory board, to initiate a Preserving Independent Optometry (PIO) resource center. This physical
and virtual resource center will have the collective information of all PIO meetings since 2004 and will host financial, legal,
partnership and associate information - all in one place.
In addition, we are putting together a “who, what and how” information guide to support each practice’s individual
needs within these areas. The PIO guide will cover everything from the necessary resources, such as sample practice and
partnership arrangements, and will be available to PEN members and their associates. The guide will also include practice
appraisals and financing options, legal advice for the entrance and exit of partners or associates into your practice, as well as
Along these lines, we are in the process of solidifying our relationships with the schools of optometry in California to help
optometry students understand and appreciate the benefits of independent professional practice. The “Partnerships”
program has been a success at UC Berkeley, and we hope to expand this success to other optometry schools. The program
involves bringing in doctors who are practicing in a variety of environments, both independent and commercial, to
demonstrate the benefits of professional practice over the commercial alternatives. We want those new optometrists
coming out of school knocking on your doors hoping to practice independent optometry.
Regarding your office staff, PEN has entered into a relationship with CalChamber to help our members’ HR and legal needs.
As a member of CalChamber you have countless resources including guides, legal advice and the necessary information to
run your practice in compliance with California law. Call the PEN staff to find out the details of CalChamber membership.
For our members in other states, we are trying to expand this resource to provide the same level of service to you.
PEN is currently beta testing two other programs to help reduce your office overhead, one involving shipping costs and
the other a system which will help each OD keep current with their insurance credentialing and CAQH compliance. Both of
these are in their early stages but have the potential to help each of us with those nagging emails and correspondence we
are constantly receiving regarding our insurance credentialing and with the shipping costs incurred when sending products
to our patients. Neither of these are glamorous but both are essential to our businesses.
When discussing insurance the topic of billing is a constant presence. How much staff time does it take to bill the medical
visit? Am I on that panel? How do I get on that network? PEN’s Optometric Billing & Consulting
department is expanding and able to help you with these questions. In addition, PEN has one of
the lowest cost billing services available. For a small fee, PEN can help you and your staff bill
appropriately and help to get you through the billing maze we all experience on a daily basis.
It is one of the best services you can use to get more reimbursement for those medical visits,
and it also helps to keep your staff sane.
on page 1...
From the Cover
...Continued from front cover
Letter from the Advisory Board Chairman (cont.)
These are just a few topics that your PEN staff and advisory surprise you. All of our corporate partners enjoy working
board are working on for the benefits of our members. We with PEN doctors. Your support of their products and
openly encourage feedback on any program PEN offers and their loyalty toward you and PEN is what has made
welcome your suggestions for new services that may benefit Primary Eyecare Network the most successful group for
PEN and its members. As you all know, Primary Eyecare independent optometry since 1984. PEN is not about the
Network started with the vision of Dr. Len Osias in 1984 cheapest price per box, but about maintaining the best
and has blossomed into the premier professional practice relationships with our professional and corporate partners
support group in the country. With the new programs being to make our practices successful.
developed by the PEN staff and advisory board, this history Until next time,
of practice support is only going to grow stronger in the
Just ask your vendors which buying group they enjoy Steven E. Faith, O.D., F.A.A.O.
working with the most. We know the answer will not Advisory Board Chairman
Announcement Regarding VSP & Costco
Please click here to view correspondence from VSP Chairman of the Board,
Tim Jankowski, in regards to the Costco pilot program.
Expand Your Scope of Care:
Benefits of the Medical Model
Why Move to the Medical Model? Provide a Higher Level of Care
Optometry has traditionally been a vision-driven profession Ultimately, patients who learn that they can use both their vision
with an option of focusing practices around a variety of models, and medical benefits with their optometrist often perceive it as a
among them vision therapy, contact lenses, sports vision, higher level of service. As a result, a medically based optometric
and low vision rehabilitation. So why are more and more ODs practice will find that they are called
choosing to incorporate the medical first when eye problems arise with their
model into their practices? patients instead of an ophthalmologist,
pediatrician, or primary care doctor.
Capture a New Audience
First and foremost, there are definite PEN Can Get You Started
financial benefits to becoming a Even with all its advantages, incorporating
medically based practice. In these the medical model in your practice may
difficult economic times, patients who seem daunting. There are many things
might choose to put off regular vision to consider including paneling with
care cannot postpone treatment for insurance carriers, instrumentation, proper
an injury or serious eye problem. Optometrists who treat eye medical decision-making, staff training, recordkeeping, billing,
health conditions will no longer have to refer their patients and patient education. To get started, begin with seeking advise
elsewhere for this type of care. from those who have successfully implemented the medical
model and attend education courses that help you better
Improve Patient Loyalty
understand how to adapt to these new standards.
Another benefit to “going medical” is boosting patient recall and
retention. Since most medical patients return to the practice For the next opportunity to learn from a PEN expert, see the
more than once a year, not only is profitability increased, but this Education section of this Focal Point issue or go online to
also gives the doctor an opportunity to build stronger and more www.primaryeye.net.
loyal patient relationships. Happy, loyal patients are far more
likely to tell their family and friends about the practice. Pre- Call today and let PEN help you
appointed medical patients are also more likely to be compliant find the solutions that best fit
with follow-up care (since they know they need it) versus your unique optometric practice.
patients seeking routine vision care.
Primary Eyecare Network www.PrimaryEye.net 800-444-9230 1
PEN Education Upcoming
Back to Basics: Physical Environment Classes
Third in a Series of Articles on Practice Improvement
by Mary Schmidt Staff Education
By now, you’ve met/exceeded here? Does this area match Register for am, pm or both.
evaluated some the Mission Statement? What is good?
of the basics of What could be done differently? What are SEPTEMBER
your practice. The my personal perceptions? What do you Pleasanton, CA ....M,T,W, September 13th - 15th
first article in this see? What do you hear? Does it represent Eyewear Dispensing (9:30am - 5:00pm)
series dealt with the image you want for the practice? Center for Paraoptometric Education
how efficiently Three Day Intensive Program with Hands-On Training
your practice is run Consider all of the following areas:
Mary Schmidt Reno, NV ..................Thursday, September 23rd
and offered tactics Parking Lot, Front Entrance, Reception
PEN Instructor, Frame Styling (9:00am - Noon)
for improving the Area, Transition to Pre-Test & Pre-Testing,
President of Eye Inventory Control (1:15 - 4:15pm)
effectiveness of Transition to Exam & Exam, Transition to
Systems Consulting Contact Lens Training & During Contact OCTOBER
both doctors and
staff. The second article asked you to look Lens Training, Transition to the Dispensary
Webinar ............................ Tuesday, October 5th
at your office manager’s role and outlined & In the Dispensary, Transition to the Front
Frame Adjusting (12:30 - 1:30pm PST)
ways to maximize his or her role in your Desk & finally, Departure.
success. Burbank, CA .................Tuesday, October 26th
After their walk-through, have each doctor Dealing with Difficult People (9:00am - Noon)
This article will show you how to critique and staff member list Areas of Strength Troubleshooting
each area of the office to determine and Areas to Improve. Once everyone in the Dispensary - NEW (1:15 - 4:15pm)
whether it is running to its maximum has had a chance to walk through the
potential. If you want your practice to practice and file their report, have a staff
Click to Register
run well, you need the right systems, member or the office manager compile
quality staff and an environment that all the information in an organized SEPTEMBER
emphatically communicates both. format. Use a master checklist* to input
everyone’s findings. The more detailed Becoming a Medically Based Practice
Presented by Aaron Lech, O.D.
A Good First Impression the information gathered, the greater the
Start by evaluating the physical opportunity for improvement. Ventura, CA
environment of your practice. Begin in Wednesday, September 15th.... (7:30am - Noon)
your parking lot and methodically move Next, schedule a staff meeting and COPE Accreditation granted for all parts of this program.
through the front door, step-by-step brainstorm with everyone on how to
through the entire office. Have everyone improve the practice. This should be a CRT: Integration & Certification
Presented by Richard Baker, O.D.
on staff walk through individually and collective process. If you want staff to “buy
give their perspective. Look at everything in” they must feel that they are part of Webinar
from a systems point of view. Do not rush the solution. Don’t let the doctor or office Tuesday, September 21st........(5:30-6:30pm PST)
through this process. Each person should manager be the one with all the answers.
sit where the patient sits and look around.
There is an old adage that says, “When
My Favorite Pharmaceuticals
something is not working in your practice, ...and why they should be yours too!
patients know first, the staff will know Presented by John A. McGreal, O.D.
next, and the doctor will know last and Webinar
sometimes not at all.” The process outlined Wednesday, October 13th .... (5:30 - 6:30pm PST)
in this article will not only let you be COPE Accreditation granted for all parts of this program.
in-the-know but will also give you the
structure for making positive changes to
the physical environment of your practice.
* Click here to obtain a copy of PEN’s
Practice Walk-Through Checklist
For every area throughout the practice,
ask yourself: Do staff/patients know
what to do here? What does the patient
think when they see this? How could this Click to Register
improve? Are patients’ expectations being
2 www.PrimaryEye.net 800-444-9230 Primary Eyecare Network
Increase Your Ability to Meet Patients’ Needs
Changes in the industry, of a successful practitioner. The CRT Certification Exam is
new modes of care, and included. The webinar will be telecast on Tuesday, September
advanced technology all offer 21st from 5:30 to 6:30pm PST (8:30-9:30pm EST).
excellent opportunities for
increased patient care and A perennial PEN favorite trainer, Dr. John A. McGreal, will be
practice growth. The following presenting My Favorite Pharmaceuticals…and why they
upcoming seminars for doctors should be yours too! This webinar will sharpen your therapeutic
are designed to help you skills in one hour from your home or office! Join Dr. McGreal
expand your scope of care and on Wednesday, October 13th from 5:30 to 6:30pm PST as he
meet more of your patients’ presents “the best of breed” pharmaceutical agents. COPE
needs as well as boost your Accreditation is granted for all parts of this program. The cost is
bottom line. $50 (Non-Members $65).
Attend Becoming a Medically Based Practice, presented by Because well-trained staff members contribute significantly to
Aaron Lech, O.D., and learn about paneling with insurance the quality of patient care as well as practice profitability, PEN
carriers (credentialing and contracting), creating billing offers a program that gets staff “up to speed” in the dispensary
systems, chart documentation, case histories and proper quickly and successfully.
medical decision-making. This seminar also includes updates on CPE 2010: Center for Paraoptometric Education, presented
glaucoma certification. COPE Accreditation has been granted by Mary E. Schmidt and Jill Luebbert, teaches optical processes
for all parts of this program, which will take place in Ventura, CA A to Z in a very short amount of time. This three-day intensive
on Wednesday, September 15th from 7:30am to Noon. The cost program simulates real-world situations and solutions and
is $145 (Non-Members $165). includes lots of personalized, hands-on training. CPE 2010 is
PEN is offering a FREE webinar hosted by an unrestricted held in Pleasanton, CA on September 13-15. The cost is $490
grant from Paragon CRT. The webinar, CRT: Integration & (Non-Members $850), breakfasts and lunches included.
Certification, presented by Richard Baker, O.D., F.A.A.O., will For more information call 800-444-9230, option 5.
give you the facts you need to know about integrating Corneal Or, click to register.
Refractive Therapy (CRT) into your practice from the perspective
Coast to Coast...
PEN Goes to Florida
PEN Education is expanding its offerings by taking its
most popular programs to the East Coast. After 12 years
of helping optometrists in California through the hurdles
of Medicare, Dr. John McGreal has now presented PEN’s
annual Medicare Billing & Coding seminars at several
locations in Florida – to rave reviews!
Soon, PEN will also be taking its highly acclaimed Preserving Independent
Optometry (PIO) program to Florida for the first time.
PIO 2010: An MBA™ Program
Presented by Primary Eyecare Network in conjunction
with the Management and Business Academy (MBA™) for
Eye Care Professionals, PIO 2010 will focus on Achieving
Practice Excellence by improving financials, staffing
& marketing. This specialized education program is October 23rd-24th, ~ Ft. Lauderdale, FL
designed to teach private practice ODs advanced business strategies Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa
and techniques to enhance practice performance. The seminar includes
a customized, confidential report comparing the metrics of participants’ Find out more about PIO 2010 online
individual practices with the norms of their colleagues. at www.PrimaryEye.net
Primary Eyecare Network www.PrimaryEye.net 800-444-9230 3
The Cutting Edge
Regional Meetings…Share the Energy
PEN Advisory Board meeting, Newport Beach, August 2004:
An idea was born…Regional Small Group Meetings.
Former Chairperson, Dr. Ed Liu explains, “As we wrapped up
our Board meeting, we asked ourselves, ‘How can we bottle
this energy and share it with other doctors?’ The concept of
Make Your Website Work For You Regional Small Group Meetings emerged – designed to share
ideas, address issues facing the profession and motivate each
“EyeCarePro has been phenomenal!” says PEN Advisory Board of us to be better optometrists.”
member Daniel E. Quon, OD (Costa Mesa, CA), “They diligently
helped me establish a captivating and professional looking Over the years, these meetings have become part practice
website that is optimized for Internet search engines like Google. management, part education and part strategizing for the
The experience they have in creating optometric websites is profession depending on the needs and desires of each
absolutely fabulous. I would highly recommend EyeCarePro to all group. They are an opportunity to share ideas and success
PEN members!” stories that can be easily implemented the next day.
“When I started working with EyeCarePro almost 4 years ago,” Ventura Regional Small Group Meeting
Tommy L. Lim, OD (San Jose, CA) recently told PEN, “I didn’t The most recent meeting of the Ventura group
realize the importance of a website and the power that it had in was held on June 2nd. PEN Advisory Board
‘introducing’ your practice to prospective patients. Their Support Member, Steve Lansgford, O.D. (Oxnard, CA)
Team led me through the whole process, from beginning to end, and PEN Account Executive, Kirk Washington
professionally and patiently. I have only good things to say about hosted the meeting which was sponsored
EyeCarePro. They provide excellent technical support with great by CIBA VISION and attended by 17-18 PEN
customer service.” Members. The topic for the evening was
utilizing contact lens options to maximize practice profits and
Plus, EyeCarePro offers PEN Members ensure patient retention.
generous discounts with no administration fee! Dr. Langsford explains the basic format for Ventura’s Regional
Small Group Meetings, “The sponsor rep is given about 20
minutes to make a presentation to the group. After the rep
leaves, the group has a discussion about the presented
and related material to better understand how it might be
beneficial in our individual practices. Most docs are eager
to share what has worked or not worked for them in their
PEN Members who would like to join a PEN Regional Small
Group Meeting are encouraged to contact a PEN Advisory
Board Member to find out about the time and location of a
meeting near you. For a list of PEN Advisory board members
and their contact information, visit the Advisory Board page
Take the First Step towards an Effective Web Presence
Search Engine Optimization, How to Rank #1 on Google
On Tuesday, November 9th, EyeCarePro is offering a webinar
you won’t want to miss. Analyze the critical components of
optimizing your website for the search engines and translates
them into practical, manageable tasks that every practice can
apply to their site. Find out what the ideal #1 rankings are for The most recent Ventura region events have focused on Rx-ing of
your practice. Start driving traffic to your website and new spectacle lens options and the how-to’s of maximizing practice
patients into your office today. profits (sponsored by Essilor Laboratories), making the most of
profits by treating dry eyes (sponsored by Oasis Medical, Inc.), and
utilizing contact lens options to increase practice profits and ensure
Call EyeCarePro at 866-886-4442 to register or visit
patient pretension (sponsored by CIBA VISION).
www.eyecarepro.net for more information.
4 www.PrimaryEye.net 800-444-9230 Primary Eyecare Network
OPTOMETRIC BILLING & CONSULTING SERVICES
Claims Processing • Medicare Eligibility • Expert Consulting • Credentialing
Notice: Medicare Fee Schedule Update
On June 25, 2010 the The updated fees apply to claims with dates of service of June
Preservation of Access 1, 2010 through November 30, 2010. During the month of June
to Care for Medicare while the updates were being finalized, Medicare held the
Beneficiaries and Pension payment of claims with dates of service on or after June 1, 2010.
Relief Act of 2010 was On July 1, 2010 Medicare began processing the held claims
signed into law. This act for payment. If you have not received payment or have a high
provides for a 2.2% update accounts receivable, this may be the reason.
to the 2010 Medicare fee
schedule. This increase is in Note:
addition to the original fee If you have purchased PEN’s Customized Medicare Fee Schedule
schedule that was effective for 2010 and have not yet received an updated version,
on January 1, 2010. please call 800-444-9230 to have one emailed to you.
CMS Requires Immediate Attention
If your practice receives one of the notices listed (2) Provider Update and Revalidation Letter
below, please take the necessary action without delay! Medicare has sent a letter to providers requesting enrollment
forms and supporting documentation to revalidate and update
(1) Pecos Enrollment Letter their provider enrollment. This request may also include the
Providers who do not have a current authorization for electronic funds transfer (EFT). Medicare
enrollment in the PECOS system have allows up to three months for the provider/practice to return
received a letter stating that they must the necessary forms and documentation. If any part of the
enroll immediately. Beginning January 3, request is not returned by the deadline the provider is removed
2011 providers who do not have a current from the Medicare program and cannot re-enroll for one year.
enrollment in Medicare will no longer
be allowed to order or refer
items or services for Medicare Insurance Paneling Made Easy
PEN’s Credentialing Service
Providers who have enrolled Gain access to medical insurances without investing 6-9
or updated information with months of precious staff time…PEN understands the “ins
Medicare in the last six years are & outs” of paneling with insurance carriers (credentialing &
considered to have a current enrollment. contracting) and can do the work for you! Call PEN’s Opto-
However, it is recommended that every provider contact your metric Billing & Consulting Department at 800-444-9230,
local Medicare carrier or verify that your enrollment is current option 4. Or click here for an application.
on the PECOS website at https://pecos.cms.hhs.gov/login.do.
PEN Answers Your Insurance Questions
If you have insurance questions that are troubling your practice, email them to PEN
at claims@PrimaryEye.net and we will help you find the answers. Your questions are
also important in helping PEN select topics for future issues of the Focal Point!
Primary Eyecare Network www.PrimaryEye.net 800-444-9230 5
NEW PEN Vendor
Pairing fashion with The McGee Group frame lines include Vera Bradley,
technology to create award- Orvis, XOXO, Totally Rimless, and Ducks Unlimited.
winning designs, The McGee
Group, specializes in the PEN Member Discount:
design and marketing of 20% plus 2% Admin Fee Reduction
eyewear, sunglasses, readers,
Exclusive PEN Member Offer:
and optical cases. Family-
With a 15 piece opening order receive a $25.00 AMEX Gift Card
owned and operated for over
and 30/60 billing.
30 years, their focus is simple...
- OR -
providing superior products,
With a 24 piece opening order receive a $50.00 AMEX Gift Card,
excellent service, and
30/60 billing, and one free frame of choice.
that translate the unique Contact: 800-966-2020 or www.McGeeGroup.com
personalities of their brands. or click here for details.
prescriptions for all materials, including glass. They are also a
NEW PEN Vendor
distributor for a comprehensive list of lens manufacturers and
Built on the principles of are able to supply any lens you require.
providing the best service
possible, using the highest PEN Member Discount:
quality materials, and 25% off the Published List Price
supporting independent Exclusive PEN Member Offer:
optometry, Mar-Lite Optical Suppliers is a laboratory that really With every Shamir Autograph Lens purchase from now through
cares about your patients. October 31, 2010, receive $10 either as a credit with Mar-Lite or
Independently owned and operated, Mar-Lite is a modern, a live check at the end of the promotion.
full-service laboratory providing in-house processing of Contact: 888-291-2999
Classique Launches Lisa Loeb Eyewear
After years of requests from fans, Classique Eyewear
partners with Grammy nominated singer and songwriter,
Lisa Loeb, to present her unique eyewear collection that
portrays her signature cat-eye look. Click here for more.
Lisa Loeb Eyewear is now available to PEN Members at an exclusive 10% discount.
To order, contact 800-444-9230, option 1 and ask to transfer Classique to your PEN statement.
Are you up for the Challenge?
Help raise funds for people around the
world who are blind or vision impaired by PEN
participating in the 2010 World Sight Day Supports
Challenge. Donate your eye exam fees on
any given days September 1st - October 14th World
...and get your entire practice involved! Sight Day
For more ways to participate or to get started,
contact PEN at 800-444-9230.
6 www.PrimaryEye.net 800-444-9230 Primary Eyecare Network
Corneal Reshaping Provides
Advanced Treatment Options Mix & Match Fall Promo
Corneal reshaping is quickly entering the
mainstream of contact lens fitting.
CRT® is ideal for… Now is the time
to stock up on Office Forms!
• Active Tweens and Teens (8-18 yrs old) who may lose or break their
contacts or glasses.
When you buy:
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dryness or discomfort from their daytime contact lenses. 500 Examination Forms
A breakthrough delivery system that requires no investment in a lens
500 Medical History Questionnaires
inventory, CRT SureFit® provides certified practitioners a single-use, 3-lens
per eye fitting and dispensing system, which will ensure a high probability
500 Exam: Supplementary Tests Forms
of day-1, first fit success with Paragon CRT.
Order Paragon CRT SureFit (now available online) and
receive FREE customized Marketing materials!
Receive at no additional cost:
Take advantage of this special offer, order CRT SureFit online at
www.primaryeye.net/vendors/promotions. 120 Lifetime Signature-on-File Labels
Not yet certified to fit CRT? Not a problem! 120 HIPAA Acknowledgement of Receipt Labels
CRT: Integration & Certification 100 Duty-to-Inform Labels
Presented by Richard Baker, OD, FAAO
WEBINAR ~ September 21st 5:30-6:30pm PST Hurry, offer ends October 31st.
FREE Webinar, hosted by an unrestricted grant from Paragon CRT. Call today 800-444-9230, option 3.
Primary Eyecare Network Providing practice enhancement
3000 Executive Parkway, Suite 310
services and products to Doctors
San Ramon, CA 94583-4255
800-444-9230 • www.PrimaryEye.net. of Optometry since 1984.
Primary Eyecare Network www.PrimaryEye.net 800-444-9230 7