Article

PRESCRIBING FOR PRESBYOPIA

PRESENTING THE DAILY DISPOSABLE OPTION

Daily disposable lenses are the best that we can offer to most soft contact lens candidates. Not only are they convenient, studies have reported higher rates of disposal compliance compared to two-week or monthly replacement lenses (Dumbleton et al, 2009). Daily disposable lenses can also be more comfortable compared to lenses that have been exposed to either multipurpose or hydrogen peroxide systems (Lazon de la Jara et al, 2013). Additionally, patients who dispose of their lenses daily are 12.5 times less likely to experience corneal inflammatory events compared to those who re-wear their lenses (Chalmers et al, 2012). Presbyopes, who tend to have drier eyes, may be among those who benefit most.

Convenience. Comfort. Safety. What’s not to like? Of course, the hurdle in the way is usually cost. Here are some strategies on how to overcome this potential obstacle.

Take a Team Approach

To be effective with any message, the entire team needs to be on board. If you believe in the many benefits of daily disposable lenses but you delegate the fee presentation to a staff member who hasn’t “bought in,” it could adversely impact patient perception.

Share the following ideas with your staff so that they understand why the daily disposable modality is the best option for most patients.

Discuss Value Before Cost

Before presenting cost to a patient, explain all of the benefits associated with daily disposable lens wear. Understanding the value of daily disposable lenses will help patients process the associated cost in a more favorable light.

After completing the examination, at which point you have a good understanding of the patient’s needs and ocular status, put all of the instrumentation and computer screens to the side, and face the patient directly to deliver your message. Here’s the verbiage that I use:

“Most contact lens complications are due to dirty lenses. Replacing your contact lenses every day has been shown to reduce the likelihood of eye irritation by 12.5 times. Replacing your lenses daily isn’t twice as safe or even 10 times as safe—it is 12.5 times safer.” Then, to emphasize how impactful the difference in safety is, I say “And that (12.5) is a big number!” Finish by stating, “I therefore recommend (or prescribe) daily disposable lenses for you.”

Break Down the Numbers

When presenting cost, be sure to include in the conversation that there is no outlay of funds for contact lens care products, as none are needed with daily disposable lenses. Be sure to factor in rebates, which can be quite generous for this modality, and any insurance coverage.

Once a final out-of-pocket cost is calculated, break it down in cost per day, which helps put the financial outlay in perspective.

A Great Start

While the expense of daily disposable lens wear is well within the grasp of most of our patients, they do cost a bit more compared to two-week or monthly lenses. This fact often makes it harder for patients who are used to paying a given amount for their lenses to switch to daily disposables.

The cost of daily disposables tends to be less of an issue for those who have never worn contact lenses, so make daily disposables your recommended modality to all new contact lens wearers. With an approach such as the one outlined above, most new wearers embrace the many benefits of daily disposable contact lens wear.

A Throw-Away Phrase

On the rare occasion that I find, or suspect, that someone is reusing their daily disposable lenses, I have found the following phrase impactful in getting them back on track: “If you don’t throw away your lenses, you throw away the benefits.”

Don’t throw away the opportunity to do what’s best for your patients—prescribe daily disposable contact lenses. CLS

For references, please visit www.clspectrum.com/references and click on document #278.