Unfortunately, practitioners who venture down the path of bringing myopia management into their practice likely encounter one of the following two obstacles.
First, and most commonly, when explaining myopia and myopia management to parents, nearly all of them ask, “Why haven’t I heard about this before?” Regardless of your answer, there is an undeniable credibility gap that you need to quickly bridge.
If you succeed and parents are interested in learning more, the next obstacle that you’ll often encounter is the decision-making delay: “OK, sounds good. However, I was only expecting to get a pair of eyeglasses with our vision plan today, I had no idea about this myopia management thing. Let me go home and talk to my husband/wife/partner/significant other, and I’ll get back to you.”
The “Why” Behind the Delay
Should you receive that comment, all hope is not lost. Our consumer research and experience has taught us that “let me think about it” is often said in relation to fees. In the case of myopia management fees, less is more.
To clarify, less does not refer to the absolute number of dollars that you charge for myopia management services. In fact, “too less” in that regard will decrease your case acceptance rate, because the value proposition for what you’re offering will be perceived as being too low to be worth pursuing.
Rather, less refers to how your fees are presented. Our consumer research strongly suggests that you limit payment choices and make your explanation clear and concise. This is especially important in the context of, “Why haven’t I heard about this before?”
Given a wide array of choices for anything—color options for a car, places to go on vacation, or songs for a playlist—too many choices often lead to a delay in making any choice at all.
What to Do About It
In the case of “Why I haven’t I heard about this before?” leading to, “Let me talk to my significant other,” here’s what is happening and why your fee presentation is so important.
Parents who opt to delay treatment for their kids often have been bombarded with too many choices and with too much information. When is too much information a bad thing when it comes to the treatment of a child? When it causes a delay in treatment. The following is a common scenario in which that is happening.
After practitioners collect their clinical findings, they then educate the parents. So far so good, at least in theory. But the content of that education is where things can often break down.
Parents are often given explanations that go much too deeply into the science of myopia and especially the treatment modalities available. It’s true that one of the responsibilities of a practitioner is to educate. But educate does not mean overwhelm. Make sure that your explanations are parent-friendly and relevant to their child.
Next, when it comes to fees, keep the presentation simple, with as few payment options as possible. Remember, the parents with whom you’re speaking are the same ones who have never heard of myopia management, and you’ve already given them much to think about. Before even considering fees, they need to decide whether they believe your story about myopia, to treat versus to not treat, different treatment modalities with their inherent clinical and scheduling differences, risks/benefits of treatment versus non-treatment, etc. Sending parents off with yet another confusing matrix and timetable of fees and payment plans is throwing another log on the indecision fire of “I’ll get back to you.”
Keep It Simple
Educate? For sure. But don’t forget that your education should lead to more kids—not fewer kids—getting treated. If you’re not getting as many parents across the myopia management finish line as you think you should, your education process, including your fee presentation, is likely overly complex. CLS