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Thread: Keeping the (patients) faith

  1. #1
    Rising Star Lawman Nick's Avatar
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    Keeping the (patients) faith

    Long story short, pt ordered glasses in mid December, a few weeks goes by, I call the lab to see how they are coming along, only to be told the lens is on back order. I tell the gentleman, he's super understanding, and just wants the best lens he can get. He doesn't mind waiting. Fast forward a (month!) later, we receive the job, and they completely fail our final inspection. I give him a call, and again, he understands, he doesn't mind waiting. I call to have them remade.

    A few weeks go by, I contact the lab again, only to be told that they are on back order ...again. We don't have an option on using a different lab to the pts insurance.

    In short, how do you make patients happy whenever the lab won't communicate with you? The guy is the nicest, but I can't help but they there is something else we could do to help him out.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Master OptiBoarder
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    Do you have any room to compensate him for the wait, or would that be a violation of the tenents of the insurance agreement?

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    Master OptiBoarder rbaker's Avatar
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    When you are dealing with the "insurance" Mafia you have no choice but to do what Fat Tony says if you know whats good for you.

  4. #4
    Rising Star Lawman Nick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lelarep View Post
    Do you have any room to compensate him for the wait, or would that be a violation of the tenents of the insurance agreement?
    My understanding is that the insurance is more or less locking us into what he has now. I've been able to talk labs into providing an upfrade (like a photo) lens in the past, but apparently this isn't an option.

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    You might be able to contact your representative of that insurance company to get a free pair of glasses for that patient. A lot of times if VSP was taking forever on an order they would give us a voucher for a free set of lenses for that patient.

  6. #6
    OptiWizard
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    In situations like this I encourage the patient to contact their insurance and try to escalate the situation. They can usually get some sort of compensation.

  7. #7
    Rising Star Lawman Nick's Avatar
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    I'll give these ideas a shot. I appreciate all of you!

  8. #8
    Master OptiBoarder AngeHamm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sledzinator View Post
    In situations like this I encourage the patient to contact their insurance and try to escalate the situation. They can usually get some sort of compensation.
    +1. They care much more about the customer's complaint than yours.
    I'm Andrew Hamm and I approve this message.

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    Rising Star OptiBoard Silver Supporter Optical Roy's Avatar
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    I usually find that offering a pair of DVO tinted lens in a patients extra frame at no charge help's keep even the least understanding patient somewhat grateful. We edge inhouse, so we are only out the couple dollars if and when this happens. Sometimes, just the offer is enough to keep the peace.
    Roy W. Jackson, Sr. ABOC

  10. #10
    Compulsive Truthteller OptiBoard Gold Supporter Uncle Fester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawman Nick View Post
    In short, how do you make patients happy whenever the lab won't communicate with you? The guy is the nicest, but I can't help but they there is something else we could do to help him out.

    Thanks!
    I was in a multi location shop 40+ years ago where the lab work was done in another location next town over. We kept a At-A-Glance daily calendar notebook on a desk. Every job had a hand written line with brief explanation (i.e. Jones, Jane VIP CR-39 Optyl 1017) written on it and off to the the other location it would go. (All the patient and order info was on a stock 3x5 index card!)

    To this day this Luddite has kept this notebook habit.

    When a job like yours needs following I just go 3 days out and make a note at the top of the page to check with the lab about the status so I'm not waiting weeks to be told it'll still be weeks and start the squeaky wheel squeaking with the lab.

    Frame order reference numbers on the day they're ordered also go here.

    This old school method of creating a secondary way of referencing orders and reminders over the decades has proved very worthwhile for me.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Fester View Post
    I was in a multi location shop 40+ years ago where the lab work was done in another location next town over. We kept a At-A-Glance daily calendar notebook on a desk. Every job had a hand written line with brief explanation (i.e. Jones, Jane VIP CR-39 Optyl 1017) written on it and off to the the other location it would go. (All the patient and order info was on a stock 3x5 index card!)

    To this day this Luddite has kept this notebook habit.

    When a job like yours needs following I just go 3 days out and make a note at the top of the page to check with the lab about the status so I'm not waiting weeks to be told it'll still be weeks and start the squeaky wheel squeaking with the lab.

    Frame order reference numbers on the day they're ordered also go here.

    This old school method of creating a secondary way of referencing orders and reminders over the decades has proved very worthwhile for me.
    Sometimes old school is the best school.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Fester View Post
    I was in a multi location shop 40+ years ago where the lab work was done in another location next town over. We kept a At-A-Glance daily calendar notebook on a desk. Every job had a hand written line with brief explanation (i.e. Jones, Jane VIP CR-39 Optyl 1017) written on it and off to the the other location it would go. (All the patient and order info was on a stock 3x5 index card!)

    To this day this Luddite has kept this notebook habit.

    When a job like yours needs following I just go 3 days out and make a note at the top of the page to check with the lab about the status so I'm not waiting weeks to be told it'll still be weeks and start the squeaky wheel squeaking with the lab.

    Frame order reference numbers on the day they're ordered also go here.

    This old school method of creating a secondary way of referencing orders and reminders over the decades has proved very worthwhile for me.
    If you aren't contacting the lab to see where jobs are at you are doing it wrong! Well said! I constantly look at the faxes we get from the different labs we use. If it has been 7 days and there is no movement I call. If it has been 3 days and the lab hasn't paired the job with the order I call. If it is on backorder I call. SQUEEK SQUEEK!

  13. #13
    Master OptiBoarder
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    I use removable color coded stickers on the trays. Anything that is more than 2 weeks old gets checked on and I write the new estimated date on the sticker. I don't wait for the lab to call me. I call them. Then call the patient. (AND I DOCUMENT EVERYTHING!!!) Once the new estimate arrival comes, I check on it again and once again call the patient. The stickers make it easy to see which orders are a concern at a quick glance so I can easily keep track. Since we only use our local lab, very few orders are "old." My biggest problem is back ordered a frame which still is minimal since we try not to order anything that is not in stock (unless warranty issue). I think patients appreciate it more when you call and communicate. Even a free bottle of cleaner can sometimes make them happy and let them know you are thankful for them being understanding of the situation.

  14. #14
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter
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    You know you've been around awhile if you know what an Optyl 1017 is!

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    Quote Originally Posted by CME4SPECS View Post
    You know you've been around awhile if you know what an Optyl 1017 is!
    Of if you remember that the Martin Copeland Whisper was the exact same shape, but one was odd eye sizes instead of even.

    I replaced a 1017 front and when the girl handed me the check I said, "Oh wow. The model is 1017 and you're check is #1017." Her reply was, "So what."
    Gee, I'm sorry to have wasted your time with a bit of irony. Ya'll have a nice day honey.

  16. #16
    Master OptiBoarder optical24/7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sledzinator View Post
    In situations like this I encourage the patient to contact their insurance and try to escalate the situation. They can usually get some sort of compensation.
    This is exactly how to handle insurance issues that are out of your hands and you’ve exhausted all of your own options. As was mentioned earlier, the insurance companies don’t work for you, they work for their clients (patients).

    Quote Originally Posted by Optical Roy View Post
    I usually find that offering a pair of DVO tinted lens in a patients extra frame at no charge help's keep even the least understanding patient somewhat grateful. We edge inhouse, so we are only out the couple dollars if and when this happens. Sometimes, just the offer is enough to keep the peace.
    Full pay, non-insurance patients, heck yea, I’ll break my neck to keep them happy. Insurance patients that I’m not making hardly squat on already? No friggin’ way am I gonna spend a penny doing something like this ^.

    True story: Many, Many years ago, We had a pair of insurance glasses come in that didn’t pass our inspection. Call the insurance lab, told them this......Their answer; “ They passed our inspection, give the glasses to OUR CLIENT “. These folks aren’t your patients. They are the insurance companies clients! If the insurance company is screwing up, let your “patient “ know. Let them make the calls. I’m not going to take the blame (and get a bad reputation) when it’s their insurance that is screwing things up.

  17. #17
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter lensmanmd's Avatar
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    Many labs are not forthcoming about their WIP. Thankfully, we are a closed system and our LMS talks to our POS. Updates are sent every 5 minutes, so our opticians can see the updates.
    I used to send our WIP daily, but that was a lost cause, as I received 30% read receipts, meaning 70% of staff never read the WIP.
    With being over capacity at this time, we outsource 15% of our AR work, and I have requested WIPs from them. You guessed it. Crickets. I feel your pain.
    I bend light. That is what I do.

  18. #18
    Rising Star OptiBoard Silver Supporter Optical Roy's Avatar
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    Was that Davis or Spectera?
    Roy W. Jackson, Sr. ABOC

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    Rising Star OptiBoard Silver Supporter Optical Roy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by optical24/7 View Post
    This is exactly how to handle insurance issues that are out of your hands and you’ve exhausted all of your own options. As was mentioned earlier, the insurance companies don’t work for you, they work for their clients (patients).



    Full pay, non-insurance patients, heck yea, I’ll break my neck to keep them happy. Insurance patients that I’m not making hardly squat on already? No friggin’ way am I gonna spend a penny doing something like this ^.

    True story: Many, Many years ago, We had a pair of insurance glasses come in that didn’t pass our inspection. Call the insurance lab, told them this......Their answer; “ They passed our inspection, give the glasses to OUR CLIENT “. These folks aren’t your patients. They are the insurance companies clients! If the insurance company is screwing up, let your “patient “ know. Let them make the calls. I’m not going to take the blame (and get a bad reputation) when it’s their insurance that is screwing things up.
    Was the insurance Davis or Spectera?
    Roy W. Jackson, Sr. ABOC

  20. #20
    Master OptiBoarder optical24/7's Avatar
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    Davis, 20+ years ago. Not long after that, I’ve never had to work in an ins. accepting optical. Since the 90’s, till recent retirement, I’ve not had to manage a location that accepted optical plans. There are ways to create an optical shop that attracts clients to purchase from you, even those that have optical plans.

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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter
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    +1

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    Ghost in the OptiMachine Quince's Avatar
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    The only time we run into this is with glass jobs or certain Hoya product, since both of these are outsourced from our regular lab (which is WONDERFUL) and usually ends up getting compensated with an offer for a highly discounted second pair if need be. We have switched people out of certain product due to multiple delays, which I understand you don't have the ability to do, but if it losing your company patients/ money, it seems worth talking about. Extending your original time-frame estimate can help, which is our usual way of deterring glass orders- 'it will definitely be over a month and we will have no control over the job, that cool with you?'
    Have I told you today how much I hate poly?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quince View Post
    Extending your original time-frame estimate can help, which is our usual way of deterring glass orders- 'it will definitely be over a month and we will have no control over the job, that cool with you?'
    Always under-promise and over-deliver. If you promise seven days and deliver in five, you're a hero. If you promise three and deliver in four, you're a bum.

  24. #24
    Master OptiBoarder AngeHamm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waynegilpin View Post
    Always under-promise and over-deliver. If you promise seven days and deliver in five, you're a hero. If you promise three and deliver in four, you're a bum.
    +1. Within reason, of course. And give yourself a little time for troubleshooting and the occasional remake.
    I'm Andrew Hamm and I approve this message.

  25. #25
    Rising Star Lawman Nick's Avatar
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    Alright gang, on a fairly related note, what is everyone's favorite lab to use? I recall somebody bringing up a lab called Cherry Optical. Any thoughts?

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