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Thread: Contact lens fitting fee

  1. #1
    OptiBoard Professional Robert Wagner's Avatar
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    Question Contact lens fitting fee

    This is my 1st post and I would like your input on some language for contact fitting fees that may help our office with phone callers as well as established patients.

    If you charge a "fitting fee" do you charge the patient every year when you are examining the patients eye health to continue to wear contacts?

    Do you all call this charge a "fitting fee" or is there a better term (s) so it doesn't sound like we are trying to be misleading or trying to rip off the patient with "another charge":hammer:

    Also with this "fee" does your patient have unlimited access to the doctor as well as a lens change (with no additional charge).

    Thank you for your input.
    Robert

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    Moderator - Joann Raytar Jo's Avatar
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    Welcome to OptiBoard! You have really hit the ground running with a very good question. :)

    We call it a "contact lens evaluation."

    Our Doctor's normal exam is comprehensive so the fitting fee is only a small amount more, $15 for spherical contacts and $25 for toric and bifocal fits. We charge a CL Evaluation fee to new patients, new contact len wearers and those who wish to change lens makes. Basically, anything that is going to require multiple follow-ups, I & R Teach-wears and shipping trials in.

    (PS - You have done an excellent job making your first post! I might suggest you have us move it to one of the other forums so that it gets more views from our members; it is currently in the test forum but it is too good a question to leave it here.

    If you would like it moved just let me know by replying to this post, emailing me using the menu below my post or sending me a Private Message using the "PM" button also located in the menu below my post.)

    Keep on posting!!!!!!!!

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    This is a very tricky question. In the far distant past we charged about $200.00 (1950-1980 dollars that is) . This was for custom fitted S-V PMMA and later HGP lenses. Fee included unlimited office visits (our independent contact lens office, not the precribing physician) forever, only addittional charges were for replacement and possible fitting of bifocals when the patient got old enough to be presbyoptic.

    Somewhere between the advent of softlenses and disposables the whole thing lost prespective, with so many doctors doing thier own fitting (ususally consists of reading a chart from a lens manufacturer) and so many places selling lenses (Wall-Mart sells them below the small independent practioner's cost) the whole business has gone south. It's hardly worth fitting contacts anymore except for custom work (rigid bifocals, trifocals, keratoconnus, etc) We have a hard time collecting a $ 25.00 fee for fitting (includes personally teaching insertion, removal and hygiene, etc. , a follow-up at one week's wear.) on disposeables.


    Who needs it anymore? I love to do it and there are those deluded doctors that think I'm better at it than anyone else, but ecconmicly it really isn't worth the trouble. Now if you are in the precribers office and can hold the patient up for almost any fee, make money on "service contracts and other fees you may be able to dream up, it might pay off.

    Chip


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    Moderator - Joann Raytar Jo's Avatar
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    chip anderson said:
    We have a hard time collecting a $ 25.00 fee for fitting (includes personally teaching insertion, removal and hygiene, etc. , a follow-up at one week's wear.) on disposeables.
    I just spent about two one hour sessions with a young lady and her mother today; the time ran long but I won't release lenses to a new lens wearer unless they understand everything mentioned in the post above. There is very little profit dispensing the lenses and the fitting fee we charged didn't even cover the time I spent with the family. I don't think it is too unreasonable to charge a fee for the service I provided today.

    Try and find any service provider in any industry, not just optical, who would give you 2 hours of their time for $15. Like yourself, Chip, I enjoy what I do, so I do it. I just can't figure out where our services became so under-valued.

  5. #5
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Bronze Supporter LENNY's Avatar
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    Jo !

    You should put a sign in your office Labor $50 an hour !
    They would learn much quicker.

    We charge aditional $19 for a DW/EW s[herical fits and refits.
    For toric and bifocals $59 for new patient and $19 for existing patient.

    Unfortunately today the only money you can make is on exam fees so i think they should go up!

  6. #6
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    We charge $45 for the fitting fee, which includes I & R. (I'm licensed to do it, but let the OD do it because she's better at it, I'm really not into doing it anymore, and I can make much more in the dispensary.)

    If they don't get the I & R w/ 45 minutes, they can pay for our "tutor" to sit there until they get it @ $20 per hour. (Very seldom do we use the tutor) An ophthalmology clinic about 20 miles from us charges $249 for a basic, soft CL fit including exam. The local OD's are charging around $165 including exam.

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    Robert,

    1. "If you charge a "fitting fee" do you charge the patient every year when you are examining the patients eye health to continue to wear contacts?"

    We charge a fitting fee to patients who are being fitted for CL for the first time, and we call it a fitting fee. The fitting fee is payment for insertion & removal training, lens care training, and for the Dr evaluating the fit of the CL on the patient's eye. The patient then comes back for two separate follow-ups visits for the Dr to check the CL on the eyes and the patient is charged a follow-up fee for each visit.

    2. "Do you all call this charge a "fitting fee" or is there a better term (s) so it doesn't sound like we are trying to be misleading or trying to rip off the patient with "another charge". "

    If the patient is being fitted for CL for the first time, we call it a fitting fee, and it IS "another charge" because we are performing another service. Are you referring to when the patient comes in for subsequent yearly eye exams? We charge CL wearers and non-CL wearers the same fee for their annual eye exam. Even though the Dr has to do more for the CL wearer in the exam, we don't call it a"CL exam" and we don't charge more for it. (We found that CL wearers don't take kindly to an exam fee that is higher-priced than the fee for non-CL wearers.)

    3. "Also with this "fee" does your patient have unlimited access to the doctor as well as a lens change (with no additional charge).

    Heavens no, unlimited access to the Dr is asking for trouble. The fitting fee pays for just the fitting. If the patient needs visits for a change in lens type, that is a re-fitting fee (costing less than the fitting fee since there is no I&R training or lens care training involved), and usually only one follow-up.

  8. #8
    Moderator - Joann Raytar Jo's Avatar
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    LENNY said:
    You should put a sign in your office Labor $50 an hour !
    They would learn much quicker.
    In this case it is a bit of a tough situation; the young lady just turned 11 years old. She is very seriously involved in figure skating and her glasses are proving to detract a bit from the gracefulness of her act. They fly off of her face and go skiding across the ice. Finding them afterwards seems to hold up the whole competition. We initially suggested a sport cord but I guess they detract from her costumes.

    This very determined 11 year old just wouldn't give up - come heck or high water she was going to learn to handle contact lenses. She was up before school to practice her skating, went to school then came in for her session after school. She came in for an hour in the early afternoon and just couldn't get the lenses in. She went off to her skating competion. About an hour before closing time, I look up and she is walking back in. While in plain conversation she was your normal 11 year old but when it came to learning to handle her contacts she was all business. Finally, she was able to take them in and out a couple of times.

    The time issue was my fault. Even the trials don't leave our practice unless I know you can get them in and out a couple of times and I explain how to care for your lenses. You don't get a supply until the Doc sees you on follow-up.

  9. #9
    Is it November yet? Jana Lewis's Avatar
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    Paw,

    We charge a "contact lens" evaluation fee of $50.00 annually. This includes "K" readings, cornea assesment, Va's with contacts and any follow up care.

    The only time we seem to have a problem with it is when some insurance company tells the patient that the "exam" is covered!

    The way I always explain it is " Contact Lenses are elective" unless you have a medically necessary reason...that's a whole different story. I try not to go into that...
    Jana Lewis
    ABOC , NCLE

    A fine quotation is a diamond on the finger of a man of wit, and a pebble in the hand of a fool.
    Joseph Roux

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    Jana,

    Is your yearly CL evaluation in addition to the eye exam, or is it "stand-alone", so to speak.

  11. #11
    Is it November yet? Jana Lewis's Avatar
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    Paw,

    It is ALWAYS in addition to the exam, we still do the K readings, corneal assesment etc...annually.

    With a routine...you get the health exam including DFE and VF's and an eyeglass rx if needed.

    And Paw...thank you for asking me a question!!! I am so excited right now!!!! I got to answer a question!! YEEEE HAAA!!!!
    Jana Lewis
    ABOC , NCLE

    A fine quotation is a diamond on the finger of a man of wit, and a pebble in the hand of a fool.
    Joseph Roux

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    OptiBoard Professional Robert Wagner's Avatar
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    Hi PAW,



    1. "If you charge a "fitting fee" do you charge the patient every year when you are examining the patients eye health to continue to wear contacts?"


    The answer is yes, although this "fitting fee" lasts one complete year. If the patient is having any trouble ie: contact related, red eye, Pain, blurry, etc.
    and any Rx change that may be needed along with a "trade-in" on un-opened contacts, dollar for dollar for 1 year.

    It also allows the patient to see the doctor for that same period without an additional charge. And if the Rx needs to be adjusted/changed, that would be at no charge also.

    I am wanting change the vernacular to "contact lens program"
    so if the patient askes what is a contact lens program, we can inform them of what the yearly fee of $100.00 is for. So if you have another idea of what to call this I am all ears.

    Are we out of our minds? :idea: or what.

    By the way the "average" new fit cl patient sees the doctor about 3 to4 times from the start of the new exam and fitting and follow-up and on a establashed contact lens patient sees the doctor on the average of 1 to 2 times a year.

    Thank you all for your input!

    :cheers:
    Robert

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