A bottom-line case for moving your lens finishing in-house

March 1, 2012

Spectacle lens sales, excluding frames, generate about the same annual revenue as eye exams, yet are often an afterthought for many busy practices.

Spectacle lens sales, excluding frames, generate about the same annual revenue as eye exams, yet are often an afterthought for many busy practices. Adding in-office finishing can help maximize revenues, Mike Rothschild, OD, said.

Although two-thirds of patients see an optometrist for eye exams, three or four out of every 10 leave the office to purchase eyewear elsewhere, according to Dr. Rothschild. "In a practice with $750,000 annual gross revenue and an average eyewear capture rate of 61%, $160,000 in revenue walks out the door each year," he said.

Factors to consider

Compare the costs of the outsourcing business model to those of the in-office model by calculating monthly outsourcing costs, in-office finishing costs, insurance reimbursements, and in-office finishing savings. The result will be an estimate of the annual margin from in-office finishing.

In the financial analysis, remember to balance the cost of a major purchase, such as an edger, with new revenue. But generating that new revenue will cost money, and the formula doesn't work if both inputs are equal. Dr. Rothschild recommended that you plan to generate up to twice as much revenue as any new expense-$1,500 to $2,000 in revenue for a $1,000 cost.