Viewpoint from the Co-Editor
The New Year Brings Challenge and Opportunity
This issue, Ophthalmic Professional lends you a helping hand with some of the critical challenges that lie ahead.
Bruce Maller, Co-Chief Editor
There is no shortage of challenges facing ophthalmology as we embark on the New Year. Practices are beginning to deal with lower levels of reimbursement for cataract surgery, as well as other changes embedded in the new Medicare Fee Schedule. These changes remind us that practices need to focus on the things they can influence or control. This issue of Ophthalmic Professional features several articles designed to assist practices in this regard.
Effective business planning is at the top of my list of “best practices.” The overwhelming answer to “what ails” so many practices is an enduring commitment to a disciplined planning process that includes measurement and evaluation of key practice performance drivers. Such steadfastness requires strong physician and administrative leaders who possess the wisdom and foresight to guide their teams through the process. When done correctly, a sound business planning process helps build consensus among key stakeholders concerning the mission, vision, and core values that are essential to practice success.
With the presidential election behind us, there is now a clear path toward implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Numerous aspects of the law will directly impact eye care providers, yet improving efficiency is the one constant and recurring theme that will be heard (loudly) in all ophthalmic board rooms. I suspect every business planning session across the country in 2013 will have “improved practice efficiency” as a key takeaway goal.
Two important variables impact practice efficiency: revenue and operating expenses. This issue of OP includes the excellent article, “How to Improve Premium IOL Conversion Rates,” that focuses on a significant revenue enhancement opportunity. Given the downward trajectory of reimbursement, practices must get better at generating additional revenue from non-covered products and services. In part, this speaks to the need for practices to provide ongoing education and training to staff.
That said, I’m confident you will enjoy this issue of OP. OP
Mr. Maller is the founder and president of BSM Consulting, which provides business management solutions to hospitals, ambulatory care facilities, medical trade associations, physicians, health care personnel, pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers across the globe.
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