AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - 39

location can now sufficiently cover any subspecialty at
any of our locations for any of our physicians. That was
unheard of 3 years ago."
CONSIDERATIONS
The "bottom line" is always a factor, impacted by
reductions in reimbursement and technology costs
related to avoiding regulation penalties. To offset these
costs many physicians and practices are scaling back on
the investment of technician training, certification, and
continuing education of technical staff.
Recently an ophthalmologist told me, "I can get an
uncertified tech for a lot less money." Yes, he probably
could find an uncertified technician with less skill to
work for less money, but what will it cost him in the
long run? Technicians have the greatest overall impact
in provider productivity.1 The cost of a certified technician will be recovered, with studies showing they
are more productive than non-certified and can see
approximately 1,250 more patients per year.2 Seventy-nine percent of ophthalmologists have indicated
certified ophthalmic medical personnel perform more
services than their non-certified counterparts and
have made their practices more productive.3 They can
increase doctor productivity by 69%, increase patient
flow by 50%, improve triage screening by 72%, and

increase troubleshooting rapport by 71%.4 A majority
of ophthalmologists believe that certified ophthalmic
technicians improve provider productivity of volume
and patients seen per hour.5
When it comes to employing technicians in our
practices, education and providing the means to help
obtain certification benefits us all. AE
NOTES
Lynch, M. G. (2017, Summer). Eye care productivity and access in
veterans affairs healthcare system. ATPO Viewpoints, 18-22.
2
Woodworth, K, et al. (2008, January). A comparative study of the
impact of certified and non-certified ophthalmic medical personnel
on practice quality and productivity. Eye and Contact Lens (34)1.
3
Ibid, p. 30, para. 3; p. 32, para. 1.
4
Ibid.
5
Lynch, p. 21, para. 5.
1

Christine McDonald, COE, COA, ROUB,
OSC (314-367-1181; christine.mcdonald@
rc-stl.com), is Director of Billing and
Operations, The Retina Institute, St. Louis,
Mo.; a member of the JCAHPO Board of
Directors; and a past president of the Association of
Technical Personnel in Ophthalmology (APTO).

www.asoa.org // AE

39


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4

AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - Cover1
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AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - Cover3
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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ae_may_jun_20
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ae_mar_apr_20
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ae_jan_feb_20
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ae_nov_dec19
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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/g89361_ae_janfeb18
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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_sepoct15
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/APTA/g52750_apta_25ada
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_julyaug2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_mayjune2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_marapr2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_janfeb15
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_novdec14
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_sepoct14_AE
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_julaug14
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ASOA_MayJunAE
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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ASOA_JanFebAE
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ASOA_no4eZine
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_fall_2013
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