Patients want to save money, you want to make some. Rebates for annual supplies of contact lenses accomplish both goals.
Most contact lens manufacturers offer rebates for your patients, and there are programs that help keep the sale within your practice. Here is a brief look at some of the offers currently available.
• The Alcon Dailies Choice Program offers a $200 fit rebate with annual supply purchase of DAILIES Total1 or DAILIES AquaComfort Plus contact lenses. DailiesChoice.com
• Bausch + Lomb’s rebate program offers patients up to $120 on their annual supply purchases. The Bausch + Lomb PLUS program allows patients to enjoy an additional $20 savings if they purchase an annual supply of Bausch + Lomb ULTRA or Biotrue ONEday contact lenses. BauschRebates.com
• Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. offers patients up to $160 on ACUVUE OASYS Brand Contact Lenses. There are other available rewards across the ACUVUE brands.
• LensFerry S from CooperVision keeps contact lens sales within a practice and encourages annual supply sales. Patients subscribe for an annual supply (all modalities, multiple manufacturers) with the cost divided into 12, automatic monthly payments. The patient receives automatic quarterly lens deliveries. LensFerry.com
It was probably close to 20 years ago that Vistakon instituted a program called 20/20 that offered a rebate tied to the purchase of eight six-packs of ACUVUE OASYS Brand Contact Lenses two-week disposables. That was the start of patients benefiting financially from an annual supply. Soon after, other manufacturers offered similar rebates tied to an annual supply purchase. That was when we introduced a new office policy. We emphasized to staff the only way to quote contact lens prices to patients would be to provide the annual supply price along with the current rebate connected to them.
COMPETING WITH E-TAILERS
Today, it’s easy for patients to compare contact lens prices. Our office tries to stay competitive by buying the products at the best prices that we can to maintain an appropriate profit on the contact lenses we dispense.
Rebates, in many cases, have become larger and have offered money back to patients for both materials and contact lens exam fees. In some cases, the rebate is only offered on products purchased from the same office that performed the contact lens examination.
Patients also benefit from the no-charge shipping offered by most lens companies. In our practice, this convenience””along with pricing and rebates””keeps us competitive with internet suppliers. The judicious use of diagnostic lenses to demonstrate the benefits of disposable contact lenses is a distinct advantage to our patients. Patients often prefer purchasing their contacts from an office they trust and are comfortable with. They understand we have their best interests in mind.
COMMUNICATING WITH PATIENTS
I have found that in this age of managed care, our contact lens patients are more profitable in combination with the contact lens exam fees and an annual supply of lenses. With accelerated growth of vision plans over the past 10 years any practice can benefit from retaining revenue from contact lens purchases while providing a service to patients. The key: communication.
There is no doubt that success is heavily tied to office staff and doctor enthusiasm in presenting the annual supply to patients. It’s amazing how little resistance you come up against after explaining the convenience (no-cost shipping), total cost (including rebate), and benefits of compliance (what annual supplies deliver in terms of health) to patients.
Steven Berger, OD, is owner of Eye to Eye Contact in Haverton, PA.