Stop the Walk – ELEVATE Series

IECP is excited to announce the launch of our ELEVATE business development series. In this, our first piece in the series, we present strategies to increase material sales for your office. Join our newsletter to stay updated.

Let’s face it. Independent optometry as a whole has a major problem with capture rate for materials sales. How often have you and your staff gone to the trouble to educate patients about the options available that will help them see their best only to see them grab their script and run out the door? How many times have those same patients come back into your office with their retail or online purchases and ask you to make repairs and/or adjustments?

Thankfully, there’s a better option than looking down your nose at your patient like a mother whose child just belched the alphabet in the middle of church. Your patients want and need glasses, and believe it or not they want to buy them from you. It’s time to change the value proposition for these price-conscious shoppers that eliminates the misconception that they can get a better deal somewhere else. This week we’ll share the first of three simple strategies that can be implemented in your office today to Stop the Walk.


At first blush, promoting an individual vision plan to your cash patients may sound like a terrible idea. “Why would I intentionally encourage potential full fee business to sign up for an option that causes me to take a write off?” you ask. The answer is simple, but it requires us to address a common misconception about Vision Care Direct.


The logic behind this fable is sound. It stands to reason that if you were to collect your full fee for services/materials you would have a higher profit margin over accepting a discount for those same options. One major thing missing from this argument, however, are the variables.

Variable 1: Frequency of the visit

On average, the typical cash patient visits their eye doctor once every 34 months. Our studies show that VCD members are going in about once in every 14 months. That means over a 10 year period, you would actually see that patient four to five more times on VCD. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you stand to make $500 on a patient when they pay cash but only $300 as a VCD member. Here’s what you’ll find:

Cash Patient – $500 X 4 (visits over 10 years) = $2,000

VCD Patient – $300 X 9 (visits over 10 years) = $2,700

You’ve now just made an extra $700! And, more importantly, what if this particular patient develops some major condition over that 10 year span. Wouldn’t you rather see him/her more often to increase your chances of catching it early and implementing a treatment plan?

Variable 2: Lens enhancements and second pairs

Our studies also show that when patients sign up for a vision plan that reduces their expense on basic frame and lens needs, they are more likely to buy the enhanced options they really want. This means increase sales on things like Transitions, polycarbonate, Vitaris, backup glasses, sunglasses, etc. And, unlike most vision plans on the market, you get to collect full fee for these items since VCD does not force you to take a discount on enhancements and second pair sales not covered by the plan.

Variable 3: If the patient walks, you get nothing

Perhaps the most important thing to think about when considering your options is the fact that if you market the highest end product with a heft price tag to your patient and they decide to leave and go shop around, your profit is zero. You know it’s better for them if they buy from you, and we at VCD know it too. Shouldn’t we work together to create an option that allows them to get the service and quality they deserve at a price that doesn’t break their budget?


The new Vision Care Direct Individual Plan now gives your patients an even bigger value, while still preserving your margin. This simplified, easy to understand option can significantly reduce the patient’s out of pocket expense, allowing them to make their choices fit their budget.

Check out the new benefits.

This improved individual plan is available for offices in the following states:

New Mexico

Don’t see your state listed? Contact us for information about how to get the enhanced options in your area.

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