Growing Your Eye Doctor Business

The eyes are a window into the health of your body. For example, eye doctors can detect diabetes by examining the blood vessels and nerves in the eye.

They also can treat glaucoma, which causes increased pressure in the eye that can lead to blindness. But these advances have led to turf wars over state legislation that dictates who can diagnose and treat patients. Contact My Eye Doctor Towson now!

Obtaining referrals from local practices, primary care clinics and optometrists is an important part of growing your eye doctor business. Referrals help to ensure that patients are getting the appropriate specialist attention, and also helps prevent overlapping tests and inefficiencies. In addition, they provide a good opportunity to build relationships with new doctors in your community and to learn more about their specialties.

While some ODs may feel intimidated by the prospect of calling other MDs and asking for referrals, it is worth taking the time to reach out. In-person meetings, which normally means blocking out a few hours per quarter or even a full day to meet with other ODs and PCPs in your geographic area, can be invaluable in building these relationships.

When contacting other ODs, you want to make sure that your message is clear and concise and that you are addressing a need. If you simply ask for referrals without a specific need or request, you will likely get turned down, as most of these ODs already have established referral patterns that they follow.

Another way to build relationships with referring physicians is to attend seminars and educational sessions. Many medical societies host educational events that include lectures by eye care specialists, and this is a great way to learn more about the latest trends and developments in your field. In addition, you can use the information you gain at these seminars to enhance your own medical knowledge and help you to better serve your patients.

Another effective way to build a referral network is to use social media to communicate with other ODs and to share your practice’s content. For example, you can post photos and video content on your Facebook or Instagram page, and you can link these accounts with your website so that others can see what you have to offer.

Check Online Reviews

In the age of social media and online reviews, people rely on recommendations from their peers to pick everything from restaurants to healthcare providers. This is both a blessing and a curse for healthcare practices that aren’t proactive about managing their online reputation. With the internet’s ability to quickly spread negative or misleading information, a bad online review can make or break a new patient’s decision to schedule an appointment.

Many patients are willing to share their experiences online about the services they receive, but it can be difficult for an optometrist or ophthalmologist to monitor and respond to all of these comments. This is why it’s important for these providers to have a professional digital marketing partner who can help them with their online reviews, advertising, and overall digital presence.

Some of the more popular websites that feature reviews include Yelp, Google, Facebook, and Angie’s List. These sites are usually free to use and allow users to leave a review about their experience at a particular business or practice. These websites will then display these testimonials on their website.

Reviews are subjective and based on each individual’s experiences or opinions. It’s important to read multiple reviews from a particular business or practice before making a decision. This can help you get a better understanding of what the majority of people think about the company or practice.

If you’re an optometrist or ophthalmologist, encourage your patients to write online reviews of their experience at your clinic. However, it’s also important to make sure that you have a system in place for handling negative reviews. Having pre-approved replies available for situations like an unhappy patient or a mistake on the part of your staff can prevent a negative review from becoming too public and damaging your practice’s reputation.

Look for an In-Network Provider

Your health insurance plan has a network of doctors and healthcare providers that it partners with. Typically, these health care providers agree to accept a pre-negotiated rate for their services. This means you pay a lower cost-sharing, such as copays or deductibles, when you see an in-network provider. Out-of-network providers have not partnered with your health plan and therefore may charge you more for their services.

The easiest way to know whether your doctor is in-network is to check the website of your insurance company. Most insurance carriers have directories that can be searched by location, physician name or specialty. Using these search tools can help you find in-network physicians that meet your needs and can save you money.

However, the list of in-network and out-of-network providers can change regularly. For example, a doctor might decide to leave an insurance network, or your health insurance may stop contracting with a specific specialist. If you think it is necessary to go out-of-network for a medical service, you can appeal to your insurer to allow you to do so. However, it is always best to start with your primary care physician or an in-network specialist.

If you have Medicaid or Medicare, you can use state and federal resources to help you find in-network healthcare providers. For instance, both Medicare and Medicaid have websites that provide provider directories that can be searched by location, doctor name or specialty. There are also third-party online tools, such as Practo and Vitals, that can be used to find in-network doctors. However, they should be used as a tool to help you find a doctor, and not to replace the research process.

Check the Doctor’s Credentials

Many people see multiple eye care professionals in their lifetime, including ophthalmologists, optometrists and opticians. Choosing the right one for you depends on your unique eye care needs, such as the severity of any vision problems or health issues you might have.

The three types of eye health professionals differ in the level of education and the type of care they provide. Optometrists have the least amount of training with only a year or two of schooling after high school, whereas ophthalmologists must complete about eight years of medical training following their four-year college degrees.

Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who specialize in eye disease and surgery. They diagnose and treat eye diseases, prescribe medication and perform eye surgeries, such as cataracts and LASIK. They also participate in scientific research to discover new cures and treatments for ocular conditions. In addition, ophthalmologists can sometimes recognize medical issues that are not related to the eyes and can refer those patients to the appropriate healthcare providers for treatment.

There are a number of ways to check if your doctor is fully licensed and board-certified. The first is to do a doctor search online, entering their name and the state where they are licensed. The Federation of State Medical Boards’ Doc Info site allows you to search by last name and first initial, or by full name, and verify their license details. You can also sign up for a disciplinary action alert that will send you notifications when there are updates on the physician’s status, such as being placed on probation or having their license suspended or revoked.

Another way to check a doctor’s credentials is to visit the ABMS, ABPS or AOA website. You will need the doctor’s full name and their state of licensure to access this information, which is typically free for the public to use.

Visit the Office in Person

A person who has a health problem, including eye problems, should visit an eye care specialist as soon as possible. These specialists play an important role in detecting and managing the ocular manifestations of diseases or disorders that may impact the rest of the body, such as high blood pressure or brain tumors. Depending on the outcome of a comprehensive medical eye exam, these doctors can recommend low vision rehabilitation services, prescription lenses and frames and contact lenses and prescribe medications to treat ocular symptoms, such as conjunctivitis (pink eye).

There are two main types of eye care specialists: optometrists and ophthalmologists. Optometrists have earned the Doctor of Optometry degree and are licensed to examine a person’s eyes, detect refractive errors and prescribe corrective lenses such as eyeglasses or contact lenses. They can also diagnose and treat a variety of eye diseases and conditions, such as dry eye, glaucoma and infections.

Ophthalmologists have completed medical school and are able to treat more complicated eye conditions with surgery or other treatments, such as retinal detachments and strabismus. They can also specialize in a specific area of the eye, such as oculoplastics, glaucoma or cornea.

Both ophthalmologists and optometrists are essential healthcare providers who play an important role in maintaining a person’s vision. It is recommended that every person receive a complete, dilated medical eye exam by an eye care professional at least once a year, and more frequently as advised by their ophthalmologist. This is the best way to prevent or catch any serious eye issues early and maintain healthy eyes for life. It is also a good idea to find an eye doctor you trust, so that they can provide ongoing routine eye care throughout your lifetime.