Hire More, Earn More?

The average salary of OD owner/partners in practices with one to three people is $87,188, according to Jobson Optical Research’s and Local Eye Site’s ECP Compensation Study. The average salary of OD owner/partners increases to $182,592 in practices with four or more people. The average OD owner/partner’s salary at practices with one location is $137,546, while the average salary of OD owner/partner’s at practices with more than one location is $207, 771.

A common problem in a smaller practice is the doctor who is doing two jobs-the jobs of both a data gatherer and a data analyzer. If the doctor is doing the entire examination without assistance from staff, then the doctor is seeing fewer patients per day than is possible. Delegating some of the examination to staff frees up the doctor to see more patients per day. This raises the gross revenue of the practice and, with careful management, also raises the doctor’s income.

A common misconception why doctors do not delegate is the belief that patients think they are getting a better examination if the doctor does all the testing. This is simply not true. Think about your last visit with your general physician. Who did the majority of the testing? Odds are it was not the doctor. The doctor came in at the end, looked over the results, maybe did a test or two, then, made the case presentation.  

If we are going to exist in the medical world, then we need to make our practices look more like the medical world. That means the doctor needs to become more of a data analyzer and less of a data gatherer. Start today by assigning a few tests to staff to do for you such as visual acuity. As you get comfortable, then you can assign more tests to staff to do for you. When you feel proficiency levels are reached, then you can readjust your schedule to see more patients per day without working any more hours per day.  

Efficiency is the key word for making the practice work well in the managed care environment in which we live today.


How Much More Do Male Optometric Office Managers Make than Female Counterparts?

The average male optometric office manager earns an annual salary of $68,563 while his female counterpart earns $49,779-an $18,784 differential, according to Local Eye Site’s and Jobson Optical Research’s 2011 ECP Compensation Study. Optometric office managers at independent practices earned annual salaries of $50,359, while those working in corporate optometric chains earned $63,675 annually. Optometric office managers in the Northeast reported the highest salary at $61,263, while those in the South earned the least, at $47,042.

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces anti-discrimination laws and related regulations. You must know that it is illegal to adversely treat employees on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, genetics, military duty, national origin, race or religion.

Use this checklist to make sure you do not discriminate in:
•    Hiring
•    Firing
•    Compensation
•    Bonuses and Benefits
•    Promotions
•    Disability leave
•    Use of practice facilities
•    Training
•    Layoffs

In today’s world, it is a valuable exercise to have an attorney or a professional human resources group review your employment practices. Any time you are hiring or, more importantly, firing, then you must consult professionals in this area to make sure you are following the rules.