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Obama’s Recession Hits Walmart Doctors

on April 10th, 2009 | Filed under Optoblog

Well, it appears that we Walmart doctors are finally going to get hit by the recession created by statist policies. Apparently it was announced at the W-M Health and Wellness conference that beginning this fall sometime, W-M optical staff won’t be billing the vision plans for us anymore. Currently, Wal-Mart pays me the same day what is expected to be collected from these vision plans, then they bill them and get reimbursed. Of course, insurance companies are notorious for saying the benefits are X, but they turn out to be Y, so they’re not paying what we all expected. I’m sure Walmart is looking for ways to cut costs, so getting rid of these insurance denials and chargebacks sounds like a great idea for them.

Considering that around 25-30% of my patients are Spectera and Davis, this is going to cause me a big headache. Now I’ll have to get internet access so I can bill them on their website. Then I’ll have to figure out what my privider ID and password are. Oh, and it takes a lot of time, probably an average of 10 minutes per patient, to figure out stupid exam benefits. Now that W-M won’t be billing them for me, they probably aren’t going to volunteer to find out the benefit information for me either. Oh, and most of these vision plans don’t even reimburse the full amount of what many Walmart doctors charge. So we’re going to have to increase our work and probably recoup less.

Most impacting is that my accounts receivable is going to skyrocket. It’s already bad enough dealing with BlueCross and their incomprehensible way of figuring out who has routine eye exam coverage and if so does that include a contact lens evaluation and what their copay is and does the deductible apply or not. Now to add more insurances that I can’t trust to pay me what I’m expecting and pay it in a timely manner…I’m just sick of it.

I hate insurance! Seriously, who ever came up with the idea of vision insurance should be sent to Guantanamo for domestic terrorism towards eye doctors- oh, wait, that facility is closing…so, maybe we’ll just give that person a really stern warning and then give them food stamps.
I don’t know if I’m going to re-credential with Davis. Getting through their phone tree takes longer than doing the actual exam!


10 Responses to “Obama’s Recession Hits Walmart Doctors”

  1. I don’t see how Obama has anything to do with this. For the record, I voted for McCain. No Obama apologist.

  2. Do you doubt that if a republican were inaugurated, main stream media would be calling it the republican president’s recession?

    And look at the Dow. It started tanking last fall when it was apparent Obama was the front runner. Obama could have stopped the recession the moment he entered office if he simply would have announced that there would be an entire year of no income tax or capital gains.

    Don’t forget that what started this death spiral was statist home loan programs set up by democrats like Frank and Dodd and racketed by Janet Reno.

    I would prescribe listening to Rush Limbaugh for 6 weeks and reading every Ann Coulter book. Also read Liberty and Tyranny by Mark Levin.

    When the USA returns to Reganomics, we’ll prosper again.

  3. mike judkins says:


    The media would call it a Republican recession because that’s what it is (that is from a registered Republican). Can you really expect to fight two wars “off the books” and not expect it to hit home sometime. I do agree with your views on home lending started by Clinton. However, I didn’t see Bush put a stop to it when it kept the economy going. No taxes for a year? Come on, if that was even possible one of the Republican’s would have floated it. I think there is value in each party and by simply going with one on all issues you have given up a lot.

    But that is not what I wanted to address. What was of interest to me was the WalMart not billing and fronting money for you anymore. Essentially all that is happening is WalMart is no longer willing to subsidize your practice. They have done so in the past in order to make sure you take all those bad plans that pay so low. That way they can upsell all the people that come in for glasses.
    Your description of what you will now have to do is magnified many times over in private practice. You wonder why private OD’s charge so much? It is because we have to spend about $20 (or more) in staff time every time we bill. WalMart knows this and they are cutting off your Welfare. After all, you have a private practice inside WalMart. Time to hire a staff person to look up, confirm and bill benefits. I bet you rethink taking that plan that pays $39 for an exam.
    I look at it as a good thing. Now perhaps some of those plans will be forced to increase their payments to something reasonable and patients will have a plan they can use in a setting of their choice.
    Let me know if you want some tips on hiring staff. Oh, better make sure you have unemployment, workers comp. and you make those payroll tax deposits each month.

  4. Bush was no Reagan and the Republican Party is Democrat Lite while the Democrats are currently Marxists.

    It was a huge perk. That’s why I am lamenting that it’s gone. Time to raise my fees, as the robo-consultants would say. Any insurance that isn’t easy to work with (*cough* Davis *Cough*) or doesn’t pay promptly or as expected will be gone.

  5. Perry Christopher says:

    No, I mean do you think it is Obama’s fault that we have to file our own insurance. I think this was going to happen no matter what. I just don’t get your link between Obama, recession, and insurance filing. I think this would have happened with Romney as President (my candidate) and a booming economy. The suits just found a way to increase profit margin and decrease chargebacks.

  6. Obama’s recession-soon-to-be-depression is causing all companies to look for ways to save money. Walmart has been doing this billing arrangement for years as a very nice perk, so I sincerely doubt they’d be cutting this corner if it weren’t for the present state of the economy now due to Obama’s uninspiring economic “plan.”
    By plan I mean his printing/borrowing/taxing 12 trillion dollars to bring to pass the systematic economic enslavement of our nation in his effort to change our government to something else that the Founding Fathers would never agree with (socialism, fascism, communism, monarchism- take your pick). The man is a Statist radical, and I still can’t believe a majority of Americans were duped.

  7. Bill M. says:

    If you are interested and your business partners (other optomotrists). I will do all of your billing for you have many years in the medical billing industry.

    contact: Bill Maurice,RHIT,CCS-P

  8. Bill Maurice says:

    Hi David (Langford)

    I noticed your posting about Walmart not billing for you anymore. Can you tell me a little more about the situation? I have many years experience in the world of coding and billing. Matter of fact, I can do the billing for you, as well as, your partners/other Optometrists. I work with hospitals and physician practices. Performed many reimbursement audits, etc. etc.. Let me know if you and your partners or others would be interested? I can send you my BIO and talk to you by phone.


    Bill Maurice,RHIT,CCS-P

  9. I don’t have the volume of insurance necessary to need a separate biller. It only takes maybe 15-20 minutes per day to handle billing with Apex EDI, so I’m good. Thanks anyway.

  10. Ryan M. says:


    I know how you feel about the situation and it will cause you more stress. I have always billed my own insurance since Walmart is not allowed to help me or bill insurances in my state (2 door). I don’t blame you about Davis vision as it poorly reimbursed and the customer service is poor.

    Your AR will go up, but whoever you trust to check insurance had better learn them very well. My AR has stayed relatively pretty low since I know the insurances around here pretty well.

    I’m surprised to see billing and coding people asking to do this service for you. Attn all: vision plans do not pay crap to the doctor. In one more year I’ll be down to Spectera. They pay the doctors like its still 1985.

    The best vision plan is one where the patient saves all their money all year and pays cash. I forgot we live in America where no one saves and has to text on their I-pod while on Medicaid.