September 2021

We Can’t Wait to See You!

From the SNAPP Board

Your SNAPP Board is eagerly awaiting the start of SNAPP–Las Vegas 2021! Our Team has been working hard behind the scenes to ensure everyone’s health and safety throughout the three-day event. In addition to boosting typical sanitation protocols, we’ve adjusted scheduling to allow more time (and social distance space) during indoor events and have added an outdoor option for our Thursday evening social event.

Program updates

In addition to a great speaker lineup, SNAPP–Las Vegas 2021 boasts up to 11 combined hours of COPE and ABO-approved CE. Click here for details…

The ever-popular Ideas Contest, Meet Fellow Operators and a packed Sponsor Fair event are just some of the highlights that attendees can expect.

To maximize logistics and face-time between sponsors and participants, our Wednesday Exhibit Hall event will flow seamlessly into our evening Welcome Reception, as the food and drinks arrive around 6:00 p.m. Close out the first day by joining us for an after-party at the world-famous Ellis Island Karaoke Bar, just a block away from the Westin.

We are also excited to announce that our Thursday reception will be held at the Vegas Test Kitchen, where celebrated guest chefs curate and deliver their latest creations amid a cool urban indoor/outdoor venue. The brainchild of chef Jolene Mannina offers live music, amazing food and a uniquely Downtown Las Vegas experience. The Vegas Test Kitchen is just a 10-12-minute walk from one of Las Vegas’ most noted areas, Casino Center and The Fremont Street Experience. Don’t miss it!

SNAPP–Las Vegas 2021 will also feature the introduction of SnappMasterminds, a one-of-a-kind performance group designed to propel participants to the highest levels of performance in both business and personal growth. The program will take a year-long “deep dive” into areas of Profitability, Operations and at least two unique competencies, areas we’re calling Identity and Enterprise. This unique program’s goals are to guide participants through an introspective look at leveraging every part of an LO’s business over time to achieve maximum performance.

As always, we want to acknowledge the sponsors who have been steadfast in supporting the SNAPP organization. We could not design and implement this terrific program without their support, so please join us in thanking them.

There’s still time to be a part of this event. Register now.

Your Urgent Action Needed

Protect Medicare Integrity on Vision Benefits

The optometric profession needs your help, and the SNAPP board asks you to take a few minutes to contact your U.S. Senators and Representative.

As you may have heard, federal lawmakers are planning to vote this month on expanding Medicare to include vision, dental, and hearing coverage. They will soon be deciding key aspects of the potential new benefit—including whether vision discount plans will play a role and how the service and materials of the new benefits will be structured. It is imperative that any potential new benefit best serves the needs of our senior citizens and provides increased access to optometric care.

Here are the points of urgency.

1. The benefit must be administered directly by Medicare and not subcontracted to vision discount plans.

2. Safeguards must exist to ensure that unscrupulous online eyeglasses and contact lens sellers cannot take advantage of unsuspecting seniors or the Medicare program under the auspices of providing the new benefit.

3. To ensure adequate senior access, doctors of optometry and other Medicare physicians must be reimbursed appropriately for their time, expertise and patient care.

Please contact your legislators and encourage them to ensure that Medicare—not vision plans—administer any vision plan. Optometry—and patients—need this protection.

Who’s your legislator? This tool from Common Cause will help you identify your legislator and contact information.

Read more from the American Optometric Association about Medicare expansion to vision benefits.

Value of the Meeting

Continuing More Than 35 Years of Practice Ownership

SNAPP annual meetings provide fresh and useful information to Gene Gold, LO and owner of two Pearle Vision franchises in Brewster and Poughkeepsie, New York, who has been with Pearle Vision for more than 35 years. “I’ve attended about a dozen meetings, and every time, the speakers present nuances that I have not heard before and refresh what I’ve learned in previous meetings,” says Gold.

Gene Gold

Tips from all aspects: One essential piece of advice Gold learned was the necessity of a proper handoff. “I learned that the doctor’s handoff is critical to a successful transaction. If there is a breakdown at any point, then it wasn’t an exceptional experience for the customer, which impacts revenue and overall satisfaction,” he says.

On the financial side, Gold received various tips on billing from medical billing presenters. The presenters gave insight into the types of insurance plans, obtaining insurance information from patients, filing a claim and appealing a claim to maximize in-office revenue. The presentations increased efficiency and efficacy within both of Gold’s locations.

At the end of each meeting, Gold goes back to his staff with a thumb drive of all the presented materials and topics. “It’s beneficial because I get to refresh my memory and not worry about missing important information,” he says. His staff enjoys and embraces the information, which creates smoother implementations.

Time to unwind and relax: In addition to the educational opportunities, Gold’s favorite part of the SNAPP meetings is the evening activities. Attendees often sit next to someone they normally would not interact with because SNAPP moderators pre-assign seats. “I was able to meet new people and connect with fellow LOs with whom I might’ve never crossed paths outside of the meeting. It’s a great opportunity to interact on a personal level and get away from the everyday doldrums,” he says.

“I highly recommend attending SNAPP meetings to all fellow LOs, and I can’t wait to see what SNAPP has to offer this fall,” Gold says.

Finding the Confidence to Grow to Two Locations With No Prior Optical Experience

Dawn Gray and her husband, Jeffrey Gray, bought their two Pearle Vision location in Plano, Texas, from an existing franchisee in July 2016. Rather than receiving two profitable and well-run stores, however, they received two money-losing stores with terrible customer service and significant negative good will. Jeffrey had prior experience managing turnarounds, and Dawn had extensive retail experience, but they realized that they needed additional optical expertise if they were going to make the stores successful faster.

Dawn Gray

Luckily, the semi-annual SNAPP meetings provided access to the expertise they needed. The people who attend the meetings are the best of the best and the ones we want to emulate for our business,” Dawn says. “We always get great takeaways from the speakers and operators we meet there.”

Important business management takeaways: Customer experience is critical for the couple’s franchise locations because their services are focused on tangible products such as frames and lenses. She says that she established a ground rule for customer service, which was inspired by one of the speakers she listened to at a SNAPP meeting. “When a customer comes in with a complaint and is already upset, the first thing I do is say, ‘Thank you for coming back to have us take a look.’ It’s a perfect opportunity for good customer service and to turn a negative experience into a positive one. You don’t want customers to have glasses they can’t see out of,” she says. This method blocks silent customer drop-offs and prevents negative word of mouth that stops potential customers from walking in.

Establishing strong support: The Grays eagerly anticipate the upcoming SNAPP meeting in Las Vegas and to have candid conversations that they could not fully experience in last year’s virtual setting, she says. She created meaningful relationships with a number of people at past meetings, including Ken Kopolow, OD, to whom she gives a special shout-out. “Ever since the first SNAPP meeting we attended, Dr. Kopolow has constantly checked in with us and helped us whenever we ran into a problem. Thank you, SNAPP, for providing us with an opportunity to connect with professionals who work in the same field. It has significantly helped my business in the past, and I can’t wait to see how it will grow in the future,” says Dawn Gray.

Billing Tip of the Month from VisionWeb

Use the Experts!

By Amanda Whitener, VisionWeb

If you’re like most Pearle professionals, your day consists almost entirely of back-to-back patients. There is little room to fit in a lunch, and much less to dedicate time to good old-fashioned research of new topics and trends in the industry. It becomes essential to use your resources to do the digging for you. Using experts in the industry can help streamline the information you receive so that you are using what is most beneficial.

Practice management system vendors: These experts have spent years formulating their products to allow the flexibility to enter imperative patient demographics and ensure payor requirements are met for smooth claim filing.

Revenue cycle teams: These experts keep themselves abreast of changes in the industry that impact your bottom line. It is necessary to have a team to rely on that can advise you of the best practices for getting paid.

Other ODs and colleagues: Securing a close network of ODs can allow for cross-referencing of information that you may not be privy to and vice versa. Everyone comes from different paths, and your colleagues may have picked up information along theirs that will make a difference to yours.

Don’t be afraid to branch out and ask questions. Using the resources and experts around you can allow you to be more versatile in your approach from your practice to patients. Likewise, you may be able to share your expertise with someone else as well.

Speaking of experts, VisionWeb’s Shane Shepherd will be attending this year’s SNAPP meeting. I encourage you to ask him the tough questions. Perhaps you will be one of the few to stump him. I would love to hear if you can!

Amanda Whitener is a key member of the Revenue Cycle Management team at VisionWeb. She helps practices understand the gaps in their own processes and make informed decisions about how to grow that aspect of their practice.

Reach out to Amanda with any other billing questions you have here; she might have the solution for you.

HR Corner from AmCheck

Five Steps for Effective Meetings

In this infographic (click on the art to open it), AmCheck details these five steps for an effective meeting.

1. Make sure the meeting is really necessary.

2. Decide who should attend.

3. Prepare.

4. Drive the discussion and keep the momentum going.

5. Take notes and follow up.

Download the PDF infographic here.

In the News

Getting Sick With COVID-19 May Cost You

Vision Monday summarized a WebMD story that while vaccines and testing are still free, many insurance companies are no longer waiving out-of-pocket expenses for people hospitalized with the coronavirus, the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) reports.

As highly effective vaccines became widely available, however, about three-quarters of health plans have ended the practice, the KFF says. Costs are being passed to the consumer.

The See Tomorrow Campaign Is Reaching Millions

One month into the consumer phase of its “See Tomorrow” initiative, the Contact Lens Institute said last week that the campaign has already reached millions of U.S. residents.

See Tomorrow is focused on promoting intriguing insights about how people’s psyches surrounding vision, health care and their lives have changed over the past 18 months—and the ensuing opportunities for the eye care community. It emphasizes the importance of good vision and how contact lenses are an outstanding option as patients pursue their post-pandemic hopes and dreams.

Large-Scale Study Confirms Masks Work

A large, real-world test of face masks in Bangladesh shows that masks work to reduce community spread of COVID-19. It also shows that surgical masks are more effective than cloth face coverings, says this article in Medscape.

Diabetes During Pregnancy: Lasting Risks?

A new study published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes) finds that mothers who have diabetes before or during their pregnancy are more likely to have children who go on to develop eye problems.

Getty Images photo credits—Medicare: Jorge Juan Perez / EyeEm; mask: MoMo Productions; and ask experts: PeopleImages.

•  Connect with us on Facebook and LinkedIn  •

Visit to learn more about SNAPP.