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Another Optometry school set to open 2014

Discussion in 'Optometry' started by hello07, May 29, 2012.

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  1. hello07

    hello07

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    in Virginia. New one opening up this summer in Mass.
    This is what I call a disgrace. From 16 US Optometry schools back when I was in school to 19 to 21 plus PR.
    Now you realize why thousands and thousands of ODs across this country are NO LONGER AOA members after being for decades.
    Shame! Greed and corruption has taken over

    I'm sorry..........................:(:mad:
  2. Shnurek

    Shnurek

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    One good thing about this school is it is started in a state with no other OD schools (unlike Western and MCPHS) and no ophthalmology presence in the area which is where optometry excels. To provide care to those that need it most especially in rural areas. So I'd rather have this school start than Western/MCPHS.
  3. Jason K

    Jason K

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    There is nothing good about any optometry program opening in the US, regardless of its location. Grundy is another money-making machine that's only reason for existence is generate high salaries for its administrators and profit investors. The "not for profit" designation is a farce.

    It'll be great when their 3rd year students are sharing one patient among 5 interns due to the fact that the clinic will be located in a place that is only slightly more populated than the moon. All new programs face patient count issues, but this one will be far more pathetic than Midwestern is right now - a place where interns routinely have to share patients due to low counts.

    I wonder what the starting salary for Brian Looney, OD, the founding president of Grundy will be. Probably not as high as Leslee Walls' astronomically high salary for founding MCPHS' optometry program. Must be nice when you can lure lemmings into your profession, secure in the notion that your $400K annual salary is virtually guaranteed. I'm assuming ol' Leslee's income must be near that. It would take quite a package to get a fossil as old as he is to assume that role.

    Make no mistake - there is nothing good about the Grundy program. Even the name is awful.
  4. Tippytoe

    Tippytoe

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    People don't graduate optometry school and all set up shop within a 30 mile radius. Like every other school, the students will be from all over the country and most will return to where they grew up or a place they previously picked.

    The rural nonsense in just that- non-sense. You will be challenged to find 3 places, WITH ENOUGH PEOPLE LIVING THERE TO SUPPORT AN OD, in the US without a significant OD presence already (except maybe on the Mexican border).

    You are not the first to think of this "go rural my son" idea. This is what ODs have been doing for 50 years now. It's the only way we really got TPA laws past, convincing legislators that we are in rural areas that OMDs are not and patient need us to Rx meds or they'd have to drive 100 miles to see Dr. OMD.

    You are correct, there are plenty of rural areas in the US without an OD. But it takes quiet a population to support an optometrist. Much more now than in yesteryear. You not going to have a private practice in an area with a population of 4,500. This is where you RURAL fantasy falls apart my friend.

    Your idea is about 50 years too late.
    Last edited: May 29, 2012
  5. Jason K

    Jason K

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    I've worked along side a couple of AOA representatives over the past few years. The most hilarious justification for the new schools I've ever heard, which could only come from an AOA or ABO rep, cited the need for "more ODs in underserved areas," as if new programs had anything to do with filling that need. Sure, let's place a school in the middle of nowhere and hope that those who attend it will somehow choose to practice in underserved communities around the school? This makes less than no sense.

    The solution is to create incentives for new grads to actively choose to practice in those types of settings. They need to be drawn there since virtually no one wants to live in those settings. But since that solution does not involve the creation of more ODs, more schools, more commercial optometry, and more money for investors in programs, it will never happen. The AOA has to be one of the most shortsighted organizations in history - led by people who are absolutely out of touch with their own profession.

    As Tippytoe points out, the idea of going rural now days doesn't fly anymore. Back when ODs could make a good living seeing 6-10 patients per day, the rural doc could do just fine. Those days are over, baby. Now, thanks to vision plans, it's all about "making it up on volume." "Don't worry doc, we'll only pay you $12 for that comprehensive eye exam with a laundry list of requirements, both in and out of the exam room, but you can must make it up on volume. Oh, we hope you don't mind, but we're going to allow our plans to be accepted at every WM, Sam's Club, Costco, Burger King, America's Best, Shop N Save, Toys R Us, and Cinnabon that's within 100 miles of your office, but no worries - it's all good."
    Last edited: May 29, 2012
  6. Optomchick

    Optomchick

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    I would totally work at an Optometrist office inside a Cinnabon- that would be fun and yummy :p
  7. Shnurek

    Shnurek

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    You know JasonK, you don't have to take vision plans. If its down to $12 why not just make it cash only and not deal with the bs. I know a few optometrists that only take medical plans in other states for example and have reasonable rates for refractions because people are realizing vision plans are crap on both ends and the insurance companies just get most of the profits. I know its not easy to do and it might take a while but its certainly possible if you are ambitious and live in a state where it is legally possible such as Texas recently.
    Last edited: May 30, 2012
  8. Jason K

    Jason K

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    Shnurek, not all ODs can get onto medical panels. Just because you want to bill medically in your office and banish all vision plans, doesn't mean you can. Many patients, for some reason, also don't like the idea of paying cash for an eye exam when they have vision coverage. That the vision plan pays the OD nothing is of no concern to the patient - and quite honestly, it shouldn't be. It's not their problem. ODs do have the choice to refuse to take vision plans - many do. Some cannot afford to. You'll see one day soon that the simple plan you've hatched in your head is fatally flawed because it's rooted in a dying profession.
  9. Tippytoe

    Tippytoe

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    I didn't take any vision plan the first 6 years of my practice. Only medical and a sprinkle of cash. I was beat down by the market, my colleagues and my patients until I gave in. If they have a $15 vision plan co-pay and a $75 medical copay, which do you think you will be charging them? Tell 'em it's $75 because you saw some arcus and they now owe you $75 for their eye exam instead of $15. Do that few times and see how well that goes over for ya. :)

    I was an idealist like you. Most of us were. It's just not reality any longer. Vision plans have carved out a deep niche and optometry's oversupply guarantees they will prosper with continually lower and lower prices. They are competing with each other (VSP, EyeMed, etc..) for company contracts, each underbidding the other year after year. They KNOW there will be willing providers because a $30 exam fee is better than no exam fee (not really if we want to discuss chair costs but that's another story). But in the eyes of thousands of ODs that don't understand the first ounce of business 101 they jump at the chance.

    IF you can get on every medical plan in your area (which is highly unlikely in most places). And

    IF there are no OMDs, pediatricians or family doctors within a 50 mile radius to treat the red eyes before you.

    You may be able to make a living without vision plans. I personally know of no ODs that do. But I'm sure there are a few 80 year old guys hanging on doing refractions for $25 cash and one or two dudes in the mountain hollars and border towns making a living off Medicaid and Medicare......if you consider that 'medical'.
    Last edited: May 30, 2012
  10. hello07

    hello07

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    Listen to JasonK what he says because the guy knows very well what he's talking about. I was disappointed to see another school opening up 2 years from now. And let's not forget the new school opening up this summer in Mass. Very disappointed in our profession and its leaders.
    The AOA was at one time a stellar organization which promoted optometry on every level-national-state and city. Those days are gone. I personally believe new blood needs to come into the AOA. The greed among them has to stop.

    Looking forward to seeing the AOS win the battle against the AOA.
    SPPORT THE AOS ! BAN BOARD CERTIFICATION AND REUNITE THIS DIVIDED PROFESSION. THE AOA HAS DISGRACED US!
  11. KHE

    KHE Senior Member SDN Advisor

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    Every single one of the new schools and UIW in particular have specifically stated that they have opened to meet the needs of some mythical "unserved" population.

    I would ask them then, just as I asked that Marie woman from UIW a few years ago and got no response....

    What steps if any have they taken to ensure that the graduates of their programs will actually work in these so called underserved areas?
  12. mclem222

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    You know JasonK, you don't have to take vision plans. If its down to $12 why not just make it cash only and not deal with the bs. I know a few optometrists that only take medical plans in other states for example and have reasonable rates for refractions because people are realizing vision plans are crap on both ends and the insurance companies just get most of the profits. I know its not easy to do and it might take a while but its certainly possible if you are ambitious and live in a state where it is legally possible such as Texas recently.

    Why would a patient care if a vision plan was crap or not. How does it affect the average patient who wants a refraction? Also why would a patient give a rip if the insurance company gets most of the profit. For one minute do you think the average Joe on the street cares about that?
    Patients just want to go where they can get the cheapest refraction or not pay for anything at all..period...

    You can try to be a "cash" only optometrist but it is hard to compete with the cash only OMDs. Just like boutique medicine, patients will care about the credentials of the doctor who is serving them. My classmate tried the "cash only" model in rural virginia and it totally bombed. After 1.5 years of hemorrhaging money (he was net -2K a month for the first 8 months and then go to -1K/month for the next 10), he started taking VSP and other vision plans. Getting $30 a patient and seeing 10 people is better than saying you only take cash and seeing one person for $60 all day.

    This is where practicality and experience counts and naiveity and inexperience show.
  13. Jason K

    Jason K

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    .
    Last edited: May 31, 2012
  14. pinipig523

    pinipig523 I like my job!

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    Jason -

    If you read mclem's post carefully, the bolded part is actually a quote to Shnurek's post earlier.

  15. Jason K

    Jason K

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    Noted - I try to avoid Shnurek's mindless jabbering whenever possible. Use of the "quote" function avoids confusion and comes in very handy on this site, however.
    Last edited: May 31, 2012
  16. mclem222

    mclem222

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    sorry about that
  17. Visionary

    Visionary Medical Retinologist

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    Fact is, it doesn't matter if you can get on medical panels or not. My group (8 ophthalmologists) take all the local vision plans. Sure, they pay terribly, but the patients will go somewhere that will take them, if you don't. And they definitely prefer the smaller co-pay. Many will try and sneak in medical evaluations with their vision plan exams. I explain to them that is not covered, and they will have to either bill medical or schedule another appointment. The time/resources it takes me to dictate a diabetic letter, have it transcribed and faxed, for instance, justifies the difference. Most patients seem to understand that.

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