How to Optimize Your Practice's Annual Supply with Manufacturer’s Rebates and Insurance Benefits

How to Optimize Your Practice's Annual Supply with Manufacturer’s Rebates and Insurance Benefits

When it comes to capturing more contact lens sales and increasing your annual supply rate, is your practice leaving money on the table?  Prescribing ODs have two key financial advantages over online retailers when selling contact lenses:  manufacturer rebates and insurance benefits.

These financial incentives are only available to ECPs that fit patients with their lenses, but often practices struggle with the best way to communicate their worth in a way that patients can easily understand.  When ECPs truly highlight these benefits, patients see that there is not only a medical, but also a financial, benefit to buying contact lenses from their prescribing OD.

Online retailers are working to drive a wedge between the patient-doctor relationship.  Clearly communicating with patients about how they can save money with manufacturer’s rebates and insurance benefits not only reinforces your value to patients, but also helps you increase your capture rate and annual supply percentage. Keep reading if you want to grow revenue without adding a single patient to your practice.

Reinforce the Doctor-Patient Relationship

As the prescribing OD, you have the advantage of seeing your patient in person for their annual eye exam. You can use this time to emphasize to patients how contact lenses are medical devices that impact the overall health of their eyes. The trust your patient places in your practice by getting fit for contact lenses by you, preconditions them to want to buy from you. From there, it’s your job to make it an easy financial decision as well.

Reinforce the Doctor-Patient Relationship

As the prescribing OD, you have the advantage of seeing your patient in person for their annual eye exam. You can use this time to emphasize to patients how contact lenses are medical devices that impact the overall health of their eyes. The trust your patient places in your practice by getting fit for contact lenses by you, preconditions them to want to buy from you. From there, it’s your job to make it an easy financial decision as well.

Leverage Manufacturer’s Rebates and Insurance Benefits

The true key to leveraging manufacturer’s rebates and insurance benefits is clear communication with the patient through an “apples to apples” competitive price comparison.  You need to show your patients the true benefit of buying contact lenses from you versus the competition.  This requires you to calculate the cost of your patients’ contact lenses with manufacturer’s rebates and insurance benefits factored in, so that you can show this number directly next to the higher cost of a competitor.

Make sure you have a formula where you write down the price with the discounts and insurance, so they can really see how much they save due to these benefits. You will also need updated pricing from your competitors, so that patients can directly compare prices which eliminates the need to shop around after they leave your office. The goal is to provide the information so that the patient can feel confident that buying from their eye doctor is the most affordable and convenient option.

Manufacturer’s Rebate Tips

Manufacturer’s rebates typically encourage patients to buy a full year supply, as many rebates only apply to an annual supply. When discussing these rebates with your patient, it is effective to talk patients through the rebate process, so they know what to expect. Since most rebates are mailed in, some patients may balk at not receiving this benefit applied to their up-front cost right away. Explaining the simple steps to acquire the rebate is a way to overcome this patient concern.

Insurance Benefits

Unlike manufacturer’s rebates, insurance benefits are applied up front. This allows patients to see a lower cost immediately. Given that patients often don’t know the nuances of their vision insurance, taking the time to look up and explain specific benefits could be the difference between getting the order or a patient taking their prescription to go. Also, remind patients that most insurance benefits are exclusive to eye doctors and cannot be redeemed online. Once educated, patients may realize that they are already paying for their insurance benefits and they might as well take full advantage of them!

Manufacturer’s Rebate Tips

Manufacturer’s rebates typically encourage patients to buy a full year supply, as many rebates only apply to an annual supply. When discussing these rebates with your patient, it is effective to talk patients through the rebate process, so they know what to expect. Since most rebates are mailed in, some patients may balk at not receiving this benefit applied to their up-front cost right away. Explaining the simple steps to acquire the rebate is a way to overcome this patient concern.

Insurance Benefits

Unlike manufacturer’s rebates, insurance benefits are applied up front. This allows patients to see a lower cost immediately. Given that patients often don’t know the nuances of their vision insurance, taking the time to look up and explain specific benefits could be the difference between getting the order or a patient taking their prescription to go. Also, remind patients that most insurance benefits are exclusive to eye doctors and cannot be redeemed online. Once educated, patients may realize that they are already paying for their insurance benefits and they might as well take full advantage of them!

Teamwork is Essential

Typically, a staff member other than the prescribing OD handles the sale of contact lenses. It is important to train and educate your entire staff on the value of these benefits and how they directly impact whether a patient buys from your practice or goes shopping around. When your staff sees that this is a crucial part of the sales process that helps the patients and the practice, you should see a difference in your capture rate. In our experience, there are some common staff misconceptions that prevent practices from fully embracing this mindset.

Here are top three objections we hear:

  1. Patients can’t afford an upfront annual supply purchase.
  2. Online retailers will always be cheaper than ECPs.
  3. Our practice is too busy to do a complicated calculation for each patient.

There is easily accessible national data to discredit the first two objections. The third is more subjective but can also be easily overcome.

Teamwork is Essential

Typically, a staff member other than the prescribing OD handles the sale of contact lenses. It is important to train and educate your entire staff on the value of these benefits and how they directly impact whether a patient buys from your practice or goes shopping around. When your staff sees that this is a crucial part of the sales process that helps the patients and the practice, you should see a difference in your capture rate. In our experience, there are some common staff misconceptions that prevent practices from fully embracing this mindset.

Here are top three objections we hear:

  1. Patients can’t afford an upfront annual supply purchase.
  2. Online retailers will always be cheaper than ECPs.
  3. Our practice is too busy to do a complicated calculation for each patient.

There is easily accessible national data to discredit the first two objections. The third is more subjective but can also be easily overcome.

Overcoming Time Constraints

Optimizing manufacturer’s rebates and insurance benefits may sound great in theory but in practice can be a huge time commitment. There is a lot data involved in presenting a clear price comparison to the patient, such as the latest rebates, the patient’s unique insurance benefits, and the updated prices of big box stores and online retailers.  That’s a lot of research for one practice to do – especially when time is in short supply.

Good news! There’s an automated alternative. The CLX System is a turnkey solution that does research for you and presents it in an easy-to-digest comparison for your patient. With just a few clicks, you can show your patients the value of buying from you. To learn more about the CLX System and how its unique Price Compare feature can help your practice, schedule a demo today.

Schedule a tutorial to learn more about our automated tools.

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