In response to the challenges that many independent eye care professionals (IECPs) face, Healthy Eyes Advantage has developed five Solution Pathways that deliver a simple and effective course of action to address each of those key areas: savings, technology, education, patient engagement and payment solutions. The cover story of this issue of Solutions magazine details all five, but we’ll summarize two here: the Savings Pathway and the Technology Pathway.

Every doctor is looking for ways to control cost of goods as one means to increase profitability. HEA’s Savings Pathway includes preferred member pricing from more than 250 vendors, and prominent within this pathway is the HEA 20/20 program that launched in July. This program represents a new level of partnership with select vendors who are now offering HEA members elite pricing and rebate programs, exclusive promotions and other benefits.

What it means for members

National Advisory Board members weigh in. Kimberly K. Friedman, OD, FAAO, of Moorestown Eye Associates in Moorestown, New Jersey, says that she was pleasantly surprised when she reviewed some of the new vendor pricing for contact lens vendors. “It’s better than what I was receiving. Any time that we can find an area of increased savings, that’s important for the bottom line and the health of the practice.”

Mark Sabre, OD, of Uptown Vision in Minneapolis, Minnesota, agrees. “The pressure on margins is extreme, and anything that allows us to remain competitive for our patients is a win-win for them and for us.”

John Rosten, OD, of Dixon Eyecare Associates in Dixon, California, says, “The negotiating strength of the organization is also going to help attract other IECPs who are interested in the savings and who will soon discover other HEA benefits.”

While the Savings Pathway addresses products across the board, one area of particular interest – especially at the end of the calendar year – is savings on instrumentation and advanced technologies for the practice. Indeed, the Technology Pathway seeks to address the complexity of negotiating for and maximizing ultilzation of technology by developing comprehensive programs with best-in-class technology companies to improve patient outcomes, practice performance and workflow efficiencies while providing staff training. In addition to these benefits, the Technology Pathway could lead to improved profitability.

Kevin Henne, OD, of Family Eye Care in Winter Haven, Florida, notes that he often makes acquisition decisions based on input from his peers. Lorie Lippiatt, OD, EVP, HEA Professional Strategies, says that’s one of the fundamental goals in the Technology Pathway. “It’s powerful for our profession to understand how we’re using these technologies.” She notes that the more IECPs talk with each other and share their technology uses and best strategies, the more cohesive these Solutions Pathways become.

Dustin Krassin, OD, of Wicker Park Eye Center, in Chicago, Illinois, adds that technology implementation goes beyond the exam room. “We’ve added patient education tools, such as touchscreen video clips in the waiting area. That helps keep patients engaged and creates a passive exposure to what we can do for them,” as well as create an unexpected patient experience.

Read the full cover story in the digital edition of Solutions.