September 2023

Third Speaker; Last Chance

From the SNAPP Board

The window of opportunity is narrowing.

You can still register for the 2023 SNAPP Las Vegas meeting Sept. 26-28, but you’ll need to hurry.

Since our August newsletter, we added another speaker, enabling us to provide up to five hours of COPE/ABO continuing education.

Sarah Connolly, OD, will present Eye Care Considerations for Patients Treated With ELAHERE™: An Overview for Eye Care Providers. She’ll review antibody-drug conjugates, a new class of targeted drugs for cancer therapy; what optometrists should know about the ocular adverse events; and how ODs and oncologists can create effective partnerships to maximize effectiveness of ELAHERE. It is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with folate receptor-alpha (FRα) positive, platinum-resistant epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer who have received one-to-three prior systemic treatment regimens. Dr. Connolly is an Ocular Medical Director at Immunogen.

Dr. Connolly

Dr. Connolly joins our amazing lineup of speakers. Mark Hinton will present 8 Proven Strategies That Increase Optical Capture, and Joe DeLoach, OD, is presenting Nutrition, Disease and Aging.

Mark Hinton and Dr. DeLoach

In Hinton’s session, attendees will learn and develop processes, narratives and effective patient communication to ensure that the entire eye care team meets objective goals in the business—and improves the patient experience along the way.

In addition to his expertise in all things related to practice compliance, Dr. DeLoach, of Practice Compliance Solutions, has a new-found passion for the role nutrition plays in disease management and aging.

While the education will be world-class, there are plenty of other reasons to come: “Meet Your Fellow Operators” events, opportunities for networking and idea-sharing with like-minded eye care professionals, focused time with vendors partners and more. Plus, our member rewards program allows you to receive stipends for attendance!

Learn everything you need to know here and register now.

Meeting Excitement Builds

Timing Is Finally Right for First-time Attendee

Nadia Sledge, OD, has been working in Pearle practices for nearly 25 years, but for as long as she’s been affiliated, she had not been able to attend a SNAPP meeting—until this year.

Dr. Sledge

Dr. Sledge started as an employed OD in the Houston, Texas, area when she was presented with the opportunity to acquire a franchise location in the Galleria Mall in Houston in 2005. “I was five months pregnant with my second child, and the store was losing about $20,000 a month. Still, I saw the potential,” she says.

Her “leap of faith” turned out to be a good call. She knew the lease would be renegotiated about 18 months later, and she’d be able to reduce her footprint from 4,000 square feet to 2,000 square feet, resulting in immediate overhead savings. Plus, she was willing to be the “jack-of-all-trades” to help turn the business around.

In 2009, Dr. Sledge acquired a second Pearle location on the west side of Houston and has since hired Maria Courson, OD, as the primary optometrist there. That arrangement has helped her create an in-house referral system, as Dr. Courson has recently added dry eye, scleral and specialty contact lenses, and nutraceutical services to the office. “She is energetic and excited to bring new services in, and if patients in my primary care practice need those services, we can refer them easily.”

Both practices do well with comprehensive eye exams, and in 2018, Dr. Sledge moved her first location out of the mall and into a nearby outdoor lifestyle shopping center. While it doesn’t have the foot traffic, it does gain some visibility from the street—and the rents are much lower than in the mall location, she says. “It was a good move, and I don’t have to be open on Sundays,” she says.

First SNAPP meeting

While Dr. Sledge has been aware of SNAPP offerings since she became a licensed operator, the 2023 Las Vegas meeting will be the first one she is able to attend—and she’s looking forward to it. “With two practice locations, two children and a spouse who travels extensively for work, I was limited in my ability to pick up and go,” she says. Now her son is in college and her daughter is a senior in high school. “Plus, I need the CE. I always have enjoyed my one-on-one connections with SNAPP colleagues, so there is value at so many levels,” she says.

Billing Tip of the Month from VisionWeb

Five Quick Tips so Billing Doesn’t Slip During Q4

By Amanda Whitener,
Revenue Cycle Management Team at VisionWeb

During this busy time, it’s imperative to stay on top of billing to prevent your practice from playing catch-up with your claims. Below are a few tips to ensure proper planning and solid checks and balances.

1. Use reporting: Find the report that your particular practice management (PM) system uses to capture invoices that were created but not billed. This report should be run consistently throughout the month to ensure all claims are sent to the payers promptly. Find a cadence that works for your practice.

2. Hold the billing team accountable: Ask your biller to give you a regular update on the rejections and denials they’ve worked. Keep in mind that in both rejections and denials, the payer is telling the practice what is wrong with the claim. It could be that the biller simply needs to change an “0” in the patient’s ID to an “O.” If this isn’t worked timely, the practice could lose out on the cash it already worked so hard to collect simply due to a typo.

3. Use electronic funds transfers (EFTs): Make sure that any payer that can pay by EFT is set up to do so for your practice. Waiting for a paper check takes too long and can end up in a pile on someone’s desk. If payments are not posted in a timely manner, your office will be working the claim as a false accounts receivable, wasting valuable time. Additionally, if the ledger isn’t reconciled, there will be a delay in issuing a statement.

4. Check into auto-posting: Auto-posting is available in many PMs. This feature takes quite a bit of the manual labor out of payment posting so it can be much less time-consuming.

5. Collect up front from patients: Due to your staff being busy, there may be a lag time in sending statements to patients. That said, collecting up front can help mitigate the statements needing to be sent in the first place.

Don’t stop there. These are just a few tips and tricks to follow when trying to make it through the busy season unscathed. Start planning early and watch the practice move through the busy season much more efficiently.

Reach out to the VisionWeb team with any billing questions you have at this link; we might have the solution for you.

Staying Connected

8 Features to Look for in a Patient Relationship Management Software

A patient relationship management software (PRM) solution is a must for any vision care practice looking to automate front office tasks, drive new appointments, and improve the patient experience. If you’re looking for a PRM solution for your practice, look for these eight features for the best results.

1. Integration with your practice management solution: To make sure your system is running smoothly, be sure that your PRM system integrates and writes back to your management system.

2. Email marketing: Email is an excellent way to stay connected with patients between visits. Look for software that provides customizable templates, segmentation, automation and results tracking.

3. Text messaging: Most people carry smartphones everywhere they go—and they read text messages almost immediately. Tap into this trend with software that lets you send mass texts, two-way texts, appointment reminders, confirmations and more.

4. Appointment reminders and confirmations: Every no-show results in unwanted downtime and revenue loss. Prevent no-shows with software that lets you send reminders and assists with appointment confirmation via text, email and voice.

5. Automated recall: Don’t let inactive patients slip away to a competing practice. Implement an automated recall program that sends notifications to patients you haven’t seen in a while.

6. Online booking and live scheduling: Having a solution for online scheduling lets you schedule appointments around the clock. Look for a solution that lets you add online booking options to your Google My Business page, Yelp, Facebook and more.

7. Automated review requests: Happy patients are your best champions. Make it easy for patients to share positive feedback by automatically requesting reviews via text or email.

8. Customer support: Running a practice is no joke, so when you need help, make sure that your PRM system offers support to help you with questions and provide quick solutions.

For more information, visit or call (800) 246-9853.

News of Interest

Eye-tracking Device Might Speed Autism Diagnoses

A device that follows kids’ eye movements as they watch a video showing a social interaction between two children may help speed up diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder, researchers say.

Data from two new studies, published simultaneously in September in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and JAMA Network Open, suggest that the tablet-based device can identify the disorder in children ages 16 months to 30 months as accurately as a specialist would. Read more here.

Do Your Old COVID-19 At-home Tests Still Work? Plus, New Vaccines Approved

With an uptick in hospitalization rates for patients with COVID-19, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has extended the expiration dates of many popular at-home COVID-19 test products, which means some old kits may still be safe to use. Check by visiting a page on the FDA’s website that lists expiration information for each test brand. Read more here.

Also, on Sept. 11, the Food and Drug Administration approved updated COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna targeting the omicron variant XBB.1.5. The vaccines could be available to Americans within days. Read more here.

Game Educates Gamers on Eye Health

Gaming and eye health come together in an all-new mobile game from the American Optometric Association, Blink Land, available on iOS and Android devices. Users can play mini games, answer trivia and learn more ways to develop eye-friendly screen habits. Read more here.

Getty Images photo credits—baby: Andersen_Ross_Photography_Inc; billing: AndreyPopov; Covid 19: SEAN_GLADWELL; time for Vegas: MicroStockHub; and top PRM features: KTSDESIGN_SCIENCE_PHOTO_LIBRARY

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