A new contact lens delivery service offers convenience to patients and financial benefits for practitioners-while offering an alternative to other online contact lens retailers.
Pleasanton, CA-A new contact lens delivery service offers convenience to patients and financial benefits for practitioners-while offering an alternative to other online contact lens retailers.
LensFerry allows patients to order contact lenses via a mobile device, tablet, or computer for direct shipment to their homes. The contact lenses are sold at eyecare practitioners’ specified prices, and the prescribing practice receives the sales revenue.
“Thanks to UPP, we’re pretty much the same price as the 1-800s of the world,” says Greg Kraskowsky, OD, of Alamo, CA, an early adopter of LensFerry.
The LensFerry communications are customized for each individual practice, with the practice’s name and logo.
“With the marketplace going mobile, we want to make it very easy for the consumer to make a purchase from the storefront,” says Jeremy Godsil, general manager of WebSystems3. WebSystem3 is CooperVision’s cloud-based software to automate office communications and improve practice productivity. LensFerry is able to work in conjunction with WebSystem3.
LensFerry offers a few different ways patients can purchase their lenses:
• A monthly plan to purchase a year’s supply of lenses-ideally increasing compliance.
• By enrolling in LensFerry, the company can contact the patient via text or e-mail when it’s time to purchase new lenses. Lenses are shipped directly to the patient.
• When the patient is ready to order lenses, he is able to contact LensFerry via text with a specified number. The company will respond with the product and pricing. The patient confirms the order by replying “yes” via text.
The service is currently available for practices in New York and California, with a nationwide rollout planned for later this year. LensFerry will be open to both optometrists and ophthalmologists.
Participating in WebSystem3 is not required for LensFerry availability; however, all orders are fulfilled via ABB Optical Group. Practices must create an account with ABB Optical in order to offer LensFerry to patients.
Next: Benefits for patient and practitioner
Dr. Krakowsky says convenience is the biggest benefit he’s seen while using LensFerry. For his staff, LensFerry hasn’t been yet another platform to learn-it’s nearly identical to the ABB Concise site they were already using. It also frees up the staff members who would normally place and fill contact lens orders.
For those patients who wish to price shop, an e-mail from LensFerry provides them with their actual out-of-pocket costs, including any vision benefits.
“If patients don’t pull the trigger right there and place an order in your office, they’re looking to see if they can get the same thing for a lower price,” says Dr. Kraskowsky. “The general assumption is that Costco-or whatever retailer-is cheaper. But a lot of times, with insurance and rebates, they’re actually more expensive. And the patients who price shop will see that it’s less expensive.”
When it comes to adding LensFerry to your practice’s offerings, Dr. Kraskowsky says both patient and staff education are important. It’s important to set the expectations-let everyone know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, he says.
“The biggest hurdle people need to get over is change,” says Dr. Kraskowsky. “When it has a positive effect on both the office and the patient side, I think it makes this a no-brainer. It’s hard to get offices to start a new way of doing things. But it’s important to get your staff on board.”