By Michael J. Dunn, OD
Natural homeopathic eye drops can be part of your treatment plan for a variety of ocular conditions. A key to success: Offer drops for sale, and make it easy for patients to comply.
Conditions such as dry eye, irritation from contact lens wear, cataracts and the occurrence of floaters afflicts 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 two 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. 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 and my wife who handles office management and reception. Here is how I provide these eye drops to patients and how I maximize their profitability.
Michael J. Dunn, OD
The Family Vision Center
University of Houston College of Optometry
Class of 1976
Cold in 1984
Medical Eyecare Staff
One doctor, one paraoptometrist and one part-time vision therapist.
Holistic wellness, low vision, vision therapy, corneal refractive therapy, high astigmatism and contact lenses.
Annual Net Revenues
$275,000 with no third-party or Medicare accepted and a 27-hour work week.
Introduce the Eye Drops As a Standard Treatment Option
Natural Ophthalmics offers a wide range of products that are effective with floaters, cataracts, dry eye and contact lens wear. I have our patients use the oral eye spray (Total Ocular 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 Ophthalmic products come as drops, pellets and an oral spray. For people with dry eye syndrome I prescribe tear stimulant drops, for cataracts I prescribe Total Ocular 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 on. There are no steroids in them, and they are only sold through professionals.
Start with a Conservative Investment
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 became more confident with the products. Doing it this way, your original investment could be as low as $60 with a net of $60.
Natural Ophthalmics has a recommended price for their products and I am comfortable using it. None of their products retail for more than $24.75. After two years of selling the drops, we now net more from nutraceuticals than 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.
Tie Eye Drops to Practice Branding
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 show a DVD provided by Natural Ophthalmics in our reception room.
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. Over the past two years I have had only five patients request credit toward future services.