By Michael J. Dunn, OD
March 30, 2016
Conditions such as dry eye, irritation from contact lens wear, cataracts, and the occurrence of floaters, afflict a large and diverse cross section of optometric patients. Among the treatment plans I offer for these conditions are homeopathic eye drops from Natural Ophthalmics. I started selling the eye drops six years ago, and have found they are a patient loyalty builder, with patients happy to find relief for ongoing conditions, and a revenue-generator, to boot. We sell all of the Natural Ophthalmics products, including the company’s cataract drops and pellets.
The introduction of these products was so powerful it gave my practice a new focus enabling me to close the dispensary and streamline an 18-staff office down to a staff consisting of just me, my wife, who handles office management and reception, and a part-time vision therapist. Here is how I provide these eye drops to patients and how I maximize their profitability.
Michael J. Dunn, OD
The Family Vision Center
Medical Eyecare Staff
One OD, one paraoptometrist and one part-time vision therapist.
Holistic wellness, low vision, vision therapy, corneal refractive therapy, high astigmatism and contact lenses.
Create a Practice Differentiator
We offer Natural Ophthalmics’ products to our patients because they work better than over-the-counter drops, and allow us to provide a service and product that no other practice in my area provides. Having products patients can purchase only from you also brings them regularly into your office, rather than just once a year or less. The more frequent touch points with your office keeps your practice top of mind, ensuring patients visit your office for their next exam, or the next time they need eyewear or contact lenses.
The holistic branding is perfect for my practice. We let our patients know that we provide holistic care, not just eyecare, with point-of-sale products and informational displays.
Introduce the Eye Drops As a Standard Treatment Option
Natural Ophthalmics has separate eye drops for improving the quality of women’s tears, men’s tears, eye allergies, cataracts, daytime contact lens wear and night time contact lens wear.
I have our patients use the oral eye vitamin spray (Total Ocular Function Spray) and the company’s cataract eye drops for eight months and then have them back for a follow-up visit.
At this point, the least improvement in acuity is half a line better with the best improvement three full lines. I recommend this protocol to patients who do not want to have surgery or have eye conditions that would cause a higher risk of vision loss post-surgery.
Natural Ophthalmics’ products come as drops, pellets and an oral spray. For people with Dry Eye Syndrome I prescribe Tear Stimulation Drops, for cataracts I prescribe Total Ocular Function Spray and Cataract Drops or Cataract Pellets. For corneal staining, I prescribe Ortho-K Thick for night time and Ortho-K Thin for daytime with or without contact lens wear.
The biggest advantage of these products is that there are virtually no side effects and all of the eye drops can be used with or without contact lenses in place. There are no steroids in them, and they are sold only through professionals.
Natural Ophthalmics’ products on display in Dr. Dunn’s office. Dr. Dunn says it is helpful to prescribe such specific high-quality products, and to display them prominently in your office.
Any time a patient has symptoms that Natural Ophthalmics’ products would help with, I tell the patient about the products and give them a Natural Ophthalmics brochure.
First, I ask the patient if their symptoms are worth using the products. If they say no, then I suggest procedures they can do at home and over-the-counter products. If they say yes, then I explain how the products work. It may be my presentation, but over 50 percent of my patients will purchase at least one product. For example, Natural Ophthalmic’s Tear Stimulation Drops really interest patients when I tell them that there is “a girl version and a boy version based on hormones.”
When patients purchase products for eye or general health conditions, I tell them to call me if they feel the product didn’t help with their symptoms and I will give them full credit towards future services.
I also explain why over-the-counter eye drops, like Visine, are not equal to Natural Ophthalmics’ eye drops. I let patients know that any products that say they will take the red out are too harsh to use on a regular basis, but that Natural Ophthalmics’ products can be used as often as needed, even while wearing soft contact lenses. Natural Opthalmics’ Tear Stimulation Drops will improve tear quality without the use of a steroid.
Orthokeratology patients will find relief from irritation, dryness, redness and foreign body sensation. In addition, corneal healing will be enhanced with the use of Ortho-K Drops.
Start with a Conservative Investment
I can keep a cross section of all of Natural Ophthalmics’ products for about $450, and I usually turn the inventory in 30 to 45 days.
We started with a $350 dollar inventory, but you could start with just one Natural Ophthalmics product at a time and gradually add eye drops and eye pellets for other conditions as your patients become more confident with the products. Doing it this way, your original investment could be as low as $75 with a net profit of $75.
Natural Ophthalmics has a recommended price for their products and I am comfortable using it. None of its products retail for more than $24.75. After two years of selling the drops, we began netting more from Natural Ophthalmics than from contact lenses. With the correct presentation of the products, you should break even with the $350 investment in three weeks. We now order $150 to $400 worth of wholesale products from Natural Ophthalmics every week.
I charge the manufacturer’s suggested price for all of Natural Ophthalmics’ products. Insurance will not usually cover these products, but patients’ flex-spending accounts usually will.
Educate Your Staff
I review Natural Ophthalmics product brochures with my staff and answer any questions they have. This furthers our staff’s understanding of the products, and enables them to better support the prescriptions I write.
Market Holistic Care in Your Office
We keep the Natural Ophthalmics products we sell in a glass case near the check-out area. The company sends us complimentary brochures, which we also have available in the office to give to patients to whom I prescribe the drops. We have information on our web site about Natural
Ophthalmics, and this year we are stepping up our posts to our practice Facebook page about Natural Ophthalmics’ products, and how they can change our patients’ lives.