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Dr. Gailmard Says Private Practice Optometry Has Bright Future

on January 31st, 2007 | Filed under Optoblog

Dr. Neil B. Gailmard, OD, MBA, FAAO, a practice consultant and editor of Optometric Management Tip of the Week says in his latest tip that private practice optometry still has a chance. Actually, when I read the tip, it was more about how it’s still possible for new/recent grads to open up cold. I agree with that because I just did.

He still didn’t convince me that private practice has a bright future. Acquiring financing is not the same thing as making money. Big box stores can sell eyewear for less than I can buy it, and while I can argue until I’m blue in the face that my lenses are better, it still doesn’t change the general public perception. Private practice competitor Luxottica, parent of Lenscrafters, keeps getting all the trendy, hot brand names like D&G, Prada, and even Tiffany’s to plaster on their frames. Vision plans reimburse less for eye exams than Medicare. Big box optometrists charge about as much for exams as what we eventually…someday…hopefully will get reimbursed from insurance. So that smaller cut of cash up front starts to make sense except private practice has 60-75% overhead while they have ~20%.

So, someone blog a compelling argument that private practice is here to stay instead of going the way of the pharmacist.

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