November 2023

So Much Gratitude

From the SNAPP Board

As so many of us do at this time of year, we think of the many things for which we are so abundantly grateful.

•  Our health, our families and our friends

•  Our home and our communities

•  Our businesses and the opportunity to help people see their best

•  Our profession for all it does to advance the importance of eye care and our ability to deliver that care

•  Our patients and customers for trusting us with their cherished eyesight

•  Our SNAPP colleagues for their kindness, professionalism and inspiration

•  Our vendors for their unwavering support of SNAPP and their efforts to bring excellent products and services to the market

Thank you all for being a part of this network. Enjoy your holidays, and be sure to count your blessings!

Great Ideas

SNAPP Meeting Sparks New Idea in Staffing

Nadia Sledge, OD, attended her first SNAPP Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, in September because she thought it would be convenient to get several hours of continuing education in one place. “I got so much more out of it than CE, though. It was wonderful,” she says.

Dr. Sledge

Dr. Sledge, who has been a Pearle leaseholder in Houston, Texas, since 2005, says she particularly enjoyed the session on nutrition presented by Joe DeLoach, OD. “That information was helpful on a personal note as I’m trying to improve my own health,” she says.

But presenter Mark Hinton’s mention of the benefits of hiring a remote receptionist piqued her interest. Dr. Sledge onboarded her first two remote receptionists in October, following the resignation of another staff member. With staff turnover and the time and effort it takes to hire and train someone, she was curious to see if there was a better way.

These new employees will answer phones remotely and follow a protocol for transferring calls to the office that deal with clinical questions. Virtual Assistants perform the administrative tasks of booking appointments, verifying insurance, sending intake paperwork, and entering patient data into Acuity. “This alleviates a lot of the strain on the staff,” says Dr. Sledge. “My in-office employees can be on the phone less and engaged with patients in the office more.”

Dr. Sledge is using Teem (, which screened applicants for her and employs the remote workers. The two virtual receptionists are dedicated exclusively to Dr. Sledge’s practice, so there is continuity. The process has gone so well that Dr. Sledge is thinking about adding a virtual scribe in the future.

“I had not considered this option at all. I thought that virtual employees could work for a large ophthalmology practice, but it wasn’t until Mark Hinton talked about it working in his location that I chose to explore it. I’ve gone through so many receptionists in the past 20 years that it is exciting to think there might be a better way,” she says.

Billing Tip of the Month from VisionWeb

Crossing the 2023 Finish Line in Style

By Amanda Whitener,
Revenue Cycle Management Team at VisionWeb

As we approach the end of 2023 and prepare for 2024, it’s imperative to evaluate your processes to end the year in style. So that you can make the most of this time, we’ve compiled a list of essential processes to help maximize your potential through to the end of this year from effective scheduling to patient communication and reporting.

Scheduling efficiencies

Is your staff well-versed in reading and interpreting benefits? It’s common to have an influx in patients scheduling with the practice toward the end of the year because they think their benefits are expiring. With limited scheduling space, strategies must be put in place to schedule properly.

Make sure that your staff knows the difference between the benefits that are truly expiring and those that start over a year from their last date of service. Fill up your schedule strategically.

Staff should also be mindful of those who have an exam benefit left but have already used their materials benefit so that patients can plan accordingly.

Patient communication

Do you have a set process to confirm patients for their appointments? Make sure your staff communicates any no-show policy upon scheduling and again when confirming the appointment.

Also, remember that flexible savings account (FSA) money typically expires at the end of the year and can be applied to optical purchases. Staff can be on the lookout for patients with FSA balances who might want to splurge on a pair of prescription sunglasses or that second pair of frames they’ve been eyeing.


Do you have a set of reports that your practice runs at the end of the year? Running an “open balances” report for the entire year can give you transparency into claims that are either still being worked on or possibly have been paid and just not been posted. Either way, it’s a good time to ensure they are captured and worked. Until the payments are posted and the ledger is properly reconciled, it’s likely the patients won’t be getting their statements.

You can also identify claims that may not have been submitted by running an “open invoice” or “open claims” report—or your practice management system’s version of these. Catching these before your payers’ timely limits can be the difference between a payment and no payment.

Finally, smile! Ending this year in style can help ring in the new year with less stress! Keep these tips in mind and feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

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

HR Update From AmCheck

Pay Transparency

What is pay transparency, and how does it help employers?

Pay transparency refers to sharing information about pay with applicants, employees and possibly the entire world.

While some states and localities require that employers include a pay range with job postings, many employers now choose to do this on their own to stay competitive. But pay transparency can be taken much further. Employers that really want to commit to the project will often share pay ranges for positions or job types with their entire organization.

While being transparent about pay may feel uncomfortable, and may not go smoothly at first, it does have advantages. First, it saves time during the recruitment process. By disclosing compensation up front, typically in the job posting, employers discourage people who wouldn’t accept the salary offer from ever applying. Second, pay transparency on job postings has been shown to increase the number of applicants significantly. Many job seekers are unwilling to apply for positions that don’t indicate a pay range, and others will value the transparency for what it says about the organization. Third, it encourages compliance with equal pay laws by essentially forcing employers to choose and stick with a logical pay range for a position, at least on a going-forward basis. Finally, internal pay transparency, like sharing position pay ranges with the entire company (not each person’s individual wage rate), can reduce pay paranoia and gossip while also enabling employees to see what they can look forward to as they advance in their career.

This Q&A does not constitute legal advice and does not address state or local law.

News of Interest

Eye Drop Recalls

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned consumers to stop purchasing a host of over-the-counter eye drops due to a potential risk of infection that may lead to partial vision loss or blindness.

Visit the FDA for an updated list here.

Feeling Forgetful?

In a new story from Medscape, a study found that in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a significant drop in working memory and executive function in older individuals, which is linked to known dementia risk factors including increased alcohol use and a more sedentary lifestyle.

The trend persisted into the second year of the pandemic after social restrictions had eased. The good news: life-style changes and improved health management can positively influence mental functioning. Read more here.

Smartphone Attachment Could Help Screenings

A new smartphone attachment could enable users to screen for a variety of neurological conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease and traumatic brain injury. In patients with darker skin tones and darker eye colors, pupil size changes may be difficult to catch—but this attachment fits over a smartphone’s camera to capture clear video of pupil size changes more reliably. See story here.

World’s First Eye Transplant a Success

A surgical team from NYU Langone Health performed the world’s first whole-eye and partial-face transplant for a 46-year-old military veteran from Arkansas who survived a work-related high-voltage electrical accident.

The surgery included transplanting the entire left eye and a portion of the face from a single donor, making this the first-ever human whole-eye transplant in medical history and the only successful combined transplant case of its kind. Read the story here.

Getty Images photo credits—eye drops: Hitoshi_Nishimura; finish line: Alan_Thornton; forgetful: Maskot; gratitude: Galina_Atroshchenko; new idea: JuSun; pay transparency: Yulia_Reznikov; and surgery: Ruben_Earth

Smartphone Attachment photo credit—Scientific Reports, 13.

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