July 2022

Don’t Miss Your Chance…This Speaker Lineup Is Incredible!!!

From the SNAPP Board

The SNAPP National meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, is less than two months away, but there is still time to make your plans to attend. These meetings are a chance for people to network with others who work in similar situations.

In addition to two member think-tanks, a meet-your-fellow-operators event, a sponsor trade show and some just-for-fun outings, doctors can earn up to seven hours of free COPE CE and four hours of free practice management CE.

Your SNAPP Board has been working to ensure the highest caliber speakers deliver the most relevant and interesting content. We’re excited about the agenda so far—you can see it here, as well as information about the venue and special events.


Speakers Announced: top row (l-r): Dr. Caldwell, Dr. DeLoach,
and Dr. Gurwood; bottom row (l-r): Tara O’Grady, Dr. Myers and Dr. Parker

Greg Caldwell, OD, FAAO, of Duncansville, Pennsylvania, will present Nutrition and Eye Care—The Connection Between Function, Structure and Molecular/Nutrition Change on Wednesday, Sept. 14, at 2:30 p.m. Patients are looking for prevention tips, and this course will cover ways to discuss prevention with nutrition and supplements. He will review approaches when diseases like diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma or macular degeneration are present. Dark adaptation and OCT imagines will be used as case studies. Dr. Caldwell is a member of the Optometric Glaucoma Society and the Optometric Wellness and Nutritional Society and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Optometry. He has previously served as the president of the Pennsylvania Optometric Association and is currently president of the Blair/Clearfield Association for the Blind. Dr. Caldwell is also a co-founder of Optometric Education Consultants and co-administrator of OCT Connect.

Joe DeLoach, OD, FAAO, will be speaking on Do What You Love, Love What You Do—Technology That Gets You Noticed, scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 14, at 2 p.m. He has vast experience lecturing on medical billing and coding, ocular disease management, HIPAA compliance, and medical record documentation. He also has experience in private practice and within academia as the clinical director of the University of Houston Eye Institute Dallas.

Dr. DeLoach will be presenting updates on HIPAA/OSHA/fraud and abuse/HR employee rules. With the government scrambling for money, small businesses are perfect targets, especially health care offices that are ‘gambling’ with no to little or incomplete compliance materials. He will review affordable, proven technology that helps differentiate practices and adds profit.

Andrew Gurwood, OD, will be speaking on Blunt Ocular Trauma. He will discuss lid injuries, fractures, muscle entrapment, subconjunctival hemorrhage, penetrating injury, corneal abrasion and foreign body, glaucoma, uveitis and pertinent posterior segment injuries. He is currently a professor at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University and attending staff at the department of ophthalmology at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Tara O’Grady will present Myopia Management: The Time Is Now. Myopia management patients are more loyal, more profitable and deserve this as an option. Don’t be left behind at providing your patients these services.

O’Grady has spent 20 years specializing in practice management, sales, patient consultation and myopia management within a corporate practice. She is currently the managing director of the Association of Leaseholding LensCrafters Doctors (ALLDocs).

Marc Myers, OD, will be speaking on Diagnoses and Management of Herpes Viruses: Zoster vs. Simplex. Herpes Zoster Ophthalmicus (HZO) can lead to devastating ocular and systemic complications and is often first diagnosed by ophthalmic physicians. Dr. Myers has served as a guest lecturer and adjunct clinical faculty at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University. He is currently a senior staff optometrist at the Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Pennsylvania.

Ryan Parker, OD, who joined Essilor in 2018 as director of professional development, will be speaking on How S.O.A.P Makes Life Easier. Some of the most critical aspects of a medical interaction are the symptoms being experienced by the patient. These symptoms are captured—or should be captured—in the subjective portion of the exam. Gathering all the symptoms a patient is experiencing allows the optometrist and optician to understand objective findings better, assess the patient’s needs and prescribe a plan that will resolve them.

Check the agenda and speakers listing often as the schedules might change. Be sure to register.

Why I Go to SNAPP Meetings

Whether Pearle Vision Affiliates Have a Multi-Unit Operation or a Single Location, They Can Learn From Each Other

John Womack, OD, is chief medical officer for the 86-office West Point Optical. In his role, Dr. Womack not only sees patients—a core service he continues to provide—but he recruits and works with the more than 70 ODs who practice in these locations. He also dedicates time to meeting with vendors, particularly contact lens vendors, in order to help assimilate and disseminate new product knowledge and best-practice strategies to the doctors in the group.

Dr. Womack

Despite the large scale of the work, Dr. Womack says that he finds the SNAPP National meeting extremely valuable. “There are only about 44,000 ODs across the country, so it’s a relatively small network to begin with. But then it becomes separated further by who works in what kind of a setting,” he says. “When I go to a SNAPP meeting, I know that these colleagues are working in a situation very similar to mine. There’s a level of credibility in our conversations because we’re all functioning in these similar circumstances.”

Indeed, he says, people may look at his practice and wonder how their issues can be the same—but they are, he says. “We’re all looking at that 11 a.m. patient in the chair trying to do what’s best for that individual.”

He says he appreciates the tremendous organization and top-notch speakers that the SNAPP National Meetings provide. “I hold a license in nine states, so getting that continuing education is important to me. SNAPP meetings offer excellent education in diverse topic areas, from myopia management to ocular disease. The SNAPP Board understands the audience and the education we want,” he says.

Finally, he enjoys the time that he is able to spend with colleagues and how the meeting is structured to encourage people to mingle and share ideas. Board members Lisa Hamilton, OD, and Milissa Stone are particularly adept at creating opportunities to engage during the meet-and-greet time, he says.

At this year’s SNAPP meeting, Dr. Womack will be listening intently for tips and best practices around staffing. “Patients who did not feel safe in 2020 or 2021 to come into the office want to come in now, so there’s a backlog of patients but not the staff to support that. Our staff has been very good at triaging those who need to be seen urgently versus those who can wait a few days. We don’t want to push patients back for more than a week because that’s long enough that they’ll pick up the phone and try to get an appointment somewhere else,” he says. He knows that staff hiring and retention are not unique to the Jacksonville, Florida, practices where he works, so he is eager to find some inspiration at the SNAPP meeting from his colleagues.

Welcome to the SNAPP Family

Pearle Opportunity a Great New Start

Bryan Parrott, OD, was in private practice in his hometown in Indiana, but it wasn’t exactly the right fit. So he and his wife, Breann Parrott, began looking for new opportunities. What they found was a Pearle location in St. Paul, Minnesota, and within three months, the couple packed up, sold their home and moved to a whole new community. The previous Licensed Operators (LOs) are staying on for about the first month to act as mentors and guides as the Parrotts gain their footing.

New to the Pearle practice experience, Dr. Bryan Parrott and Breann Parrott look forward to learning from their SNAPP colleagues.

It was a great fit, says Dr. Parrott. “Pearle-affiliated doctors get to practice independently; we choose how we want to treat patients clinically,” he says. The couple is still learning about the inventory and electronic medical records system, but Pearle’s guidance on these issues allows optometrists “more time to focus on treating patients,” he says.

Having the previous owners around for the first month has provided a nice level of consistency and continuity for patients. It’s helping Breann Parrott as well, as she and her husband have the opportunity to ask questions as they come up. She serves as the practice business manager, overseeing payroll, scheduling and more. “At this point, it’s hard to see where there are opportunities for improvement because the business was well-run. But we just made our first order for frames with the goal of getting to 100 percent Luxottica frames, so we’re tracking all the decisions we make,” she says.

The couple is looking forward to attending their first SNAPP meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada. “We have emailed with other doctors and LOs in the network, but we haven’t had a chance to meet anyone personally,” she says. “We are looking forward to it; we’ve heard nothing but great things about the chance to talk with other providers in the same situation.”

HR Corner from AmCheck

Making the Most of Job Interviews

From the HR Pros at AmCheck

The time you spend talking to candidates adds up quickly, especially if you have a lot of great candidates. That has a cost; you’re not getting other important work done. That time also goes by incredibly fast. Within the span of a brief discussion, you have to gather the information you need to make an informed hiring decision and to sell the role to a potential hire. And don’t forget that you’re competing with other employers eager to snatch up talent. Every minute counts.

Wasting time also amounts to a bad experience for candidates. A bad decision, on your part or theirs, will likely result in you both parting ways sooner rather than later, compounding the cost of filling the role.

Let’s look at some basic practices that will enable you and your job candidates to make the best use of this time.

 Before you conduct any interviews, document what the job entails and what core competencies will be needed to do it.

 Include questions about specific occasions when candidates used those competencies and what the outcomes were. For example, you might ask candidates to tell you about a time in which they were able to calm an irate customer. For behavioral questions to be most effective, pose the same questions to each candidate and evaluate their responses using the same criteria.

 Put your interview team together (if needed), and coordinate who’s asking what.

 Connect each response to what’s needed for this new job. After a candidate has answered each question, take a moment to explain how this job may be both similar to and different from what the candidate did previously. The purpose of doing this is to give the candidates a clear picture of the tasks and challenges they can expect in the role, so they know what to anticipate if they eventually accept a job offer.

 Don’t ask cute or clever questions.

 Keep questions job-related. This can help you avoid a discrimination claim. For example, if the job has a legitimate age requirement (such as operating machinery or serving alcohol), don’t ask: “How old are you?” Instead, ask if they’re at least 18 years old (or whatever the required minimum age is).

News of Interest

Eat Your Veggies

Women tend to live longer than men but typically have higher rates of illness. Now, new research from the University of Georgia suggests these rates of illness can be improved by a better diet, one that is rich in pigmented carotenoids such as yams, kale, spinach, watermelon, bell peppers, tomatoes, oranges, and carrots.

Dietary pigmented carotenoids act as antioxidants. Two carotenoids—lutein and zeaxanthin—are found in tissues of the eye and brain and have been shown to improve central nervous system degeneration. “Men and women eat about the same amount of these carotenoids, but the requirements for women are much higher,” the study found. Read more here.

Sight Problems May Escalate Dementia

Older adults with untreated sight conditions may be at increased risk of dementia, according to a new systematic review and meta-analysis of 16 studies involving 76,373 participants. Read more here.

Light and Mood

Researchers have discovered a brain pathway that helps to explain light’s effect on mood. In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, a research team from Brown University used functional MRI to reveal how light-intensity signals reach the brain, and how brain structures involved in mood process those signals.

The study demonstrated that some regions of the cerebral cortex involved in cognitive processing and mood show sensitivity for light intensity. Read more here.

Retinal Exams Might Predict Heart Attacks

A retinal exam may be able to predict a person’s risk of heart attack when combined with other information, according to a recent study. Researchers found that the pattern of blood vessels in the retina could help identify those who are likely to experience heart problems, according to The Guardian.

In a recent article posted on WebMD, writer Carolyn Crist reported that the researchers used data from UK Biobank, which contains medical and lifestyle records for 500,000 people, to calculate a measure known as fractal dimension. The research team then studied people in the database who had experienced a heart attack, or myocardial infarction, after retinal images had been collected. Read more here.

Getty Images photo credits—collaborate: Pavlo_Stavnichuk; dementia: ImagesBazaar; heart attack: SEBASTIAN_KAULITZKI; interview: Orathai_Mayer_EyeEm; and light and mood: Westen61

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