prescribing for presbyopia

A Tool for Building Your Presbyopic GP Lens Practice

prescribing for presbyopia
A Tool for Building Your Presbyopic GP Lens Practice

In this column, I periodically highlight practice management tools that I consider helpful in managing presbyopic patients. For example, in my January 2005 column ("Cards Help You Present Present GP Presbyopia Options"), I discussed the Presbyopia Presentation Cards from the Gas Permeable Lens Institute (GPLI) of the Contact Lens Manufacturers Association (CLMA) as one such tool.

Figure 1. This Professional Fee Calculator takes the guesswork out of setting fees for presbyopic patients.

Tools for Fitting Patients

Those cards are now part of the recently released "Rx for Success, Building Your Practice with GP Bifocals and Multifocals" CD-ROM that the CLMA is launching for eyecare practitioners who are interested in improving their presbyopic contact lens practice.

Among the many interesting components of this CD is a series of video vignettes that demonstrate numerous facets of the types of interactions we have with patients. It features a section on how "to and not to" present presbyopic GP options, while another section discusses how to set expectations and handle patient questions and objections. Technical issues such as choosing the right lens for each patient and GP multifocal/bifocal fitting and evaluation are also helpful.

Tools for Practice Management

The Marketing Contact Lens Services section of the CD is particularly useful. It includes downloadable PDFs of the aforementioned presentation cards, plus tips for patient marketing, handling of telephone inquiries and a script for staff to use as a basis for communicating with patients.

Among the many other components in the CD is one that I believe is useful for all of us — the Professional Fee Calculator (Figure 1). This interactive, printable tool allows you to determine fees based on factors unique to your individual practice, speci-fically the amount of professional fees that you can generate at full capacity. Then, you can input the amount of visits and time per each visit allotted for bifocal contact lens fittings — varying it from one presbyopic lens type to another if you want — and you can even include a component for staff time if desired. The calculator will then determine a fee for your professional time.

Another section helps determine patient product fees. First, decide what product markup reflects your practice setting, then input the cost you pay for lenses. The tool will automatically calculate patient fees on a per-lens or per-pair basis.

The results suggest fees that are pertinent to your practice. While the calculator doesn't take into consideration other details such as overhead, it's an excellent tool to help you determine fees.

Where to Get It

Details for obtaining this CD-ROM are available from the GPLI's Web site for eyecare professionals at

Craig Norman is director of the Contact Lens Section at the South Bend Clinic in South Bend, Indiana. He is a fellow of the Contact Lens Society of America and is an advisor to the GP Lens Institute. He is also a consultant for B&L.