Jerry Godwin of OMS

The optometric healthcare market is primed for tremendous growth. At least, that’s what Jerry Godwin of Optometric Medical Solutions has to say.

Optometric Medical Solutions (OMS) is a practice management, revenue cycle management, and consulting firm based out of San Antonio, Texas.

Jerry, President and CEO, has been working in the eye care space for years now. OMS runs like a well-oiled machine, fueled by extensive audits of the eye care space and tangible market research.

We sat down to talk about changes in the eye care industry and how OMS can help ODs capitalize on these trends to dramatically grow their business.

To hear more from Jerry, reserve your seat for our upcoming “3 Key Elements to Take Your Eye Care Practice to the Next Level” webinar on Tuesday May 23rd, at 2:00pm Eastern.


Compliancy Group: How is the eye care industry changing?

Jerry: The biggest change coming to the healthcare industry in general is the growing population of baby-boomers. 10,000 people a day are reaching the age of 65–which means that by 2030, America will have 74 million people over the age of 65. That’s a huge market, and the biggest vacuum we’re seeing is in primary eye care. One of the top billed Medicare procedures outside of patient exams is cataract surgery. It’s a prime opportunity for ODs to capitalize on this demand for patient care, and that’s exactly the service that OMS can provide–we teach the practice how to implement and capitalize on medical eye care.


CG: So should optometrists consider moving to a more medically-oriented business model?

J: Well, that’s the big question, isn’t it? Right now, the number of ODs across the country is growing, while the number of eye surgeons remains static. Pair this with the surging demand for medical eye procedures, and there’s an obvious entry-point for ODs into the medical space. The key for optometrists isn’t necessarily “medical eye care,” it’s practicing optometry at the full scope of their licensure.


CG: Something tells me it isn’t as easy as ODs simply deciding to shift their focus to medical treatment, though, is it?

J: Right now, with the infrastructure that many ODs have access to, you’re right. The aggregation of independent eye care practices into retail- and vision-focused models effectively closes ODs off from medical opportunities. And when ODs do make the transition to medical, they’re unprepared for the administrative requirements required to ensure they’re getting paid for medical procedures they provide, appropriately.


CG: What’s the solution, then? Is there an easier way for ODs to enter the medical space?

J: For optometrists looking to enter the medical space, these barriers to entry can be imposing. That’s where OMS comes in. We give ODs tools, knowledge, and guidance to optimize the transition into the full scope optometric eye care. ODs want to keep quality patient care at the forefront of their business, but need to realize that the administrative side of medical treatment is essential to advancing that goal. We help ODs address credentialing, billing, coding, reimbursement, revenue management, and compliance to optimize medical eye care.


CG: You mention billing and coding–how does that impact ODs who shift to medical focus?

J: Based on research and audits after working with hundreds of practices, we’ve found that the best way to break barriers to medical eye care is by starting with billing and record review, and working out from there. OMS looks at billing and coding as a process. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve done claims analyses and found billing errors, usually resulting from an automated EHR system. The point we try to stress is that administration is just as important to patient care as treatment is. You wouldn’t let an algorithm diagnose your patients, so don’t let one replace the subjective expertise of the doctor’s role in reimbursement.


CG: Are there any bigger trends at work in the eye care space that OMS has identified?

J: Historically, ODs have thought themselves immune to Fraud, Waste, and Abuse enforcement, but we’re finding that that’s simply no longer the case. It’s the same with HIPAA: smaller practices thinking they’re exempt from enforcement until they have a data breach that needs reporting. The odds of an audit increase dramatically when ODs rely on automated billing and coding. We develop a process for billing and coding alongside ODs as a foundation for the rest of their reimbursement, revenue cycles, and overall compliance.


CG: What do you see as the most important take-away from all this?

J: In the end, it’s about two things: delivering quality patient care, and increasing revenues. Having proper credentialing, billing, HIPAA, practice assessments, and training are essential to achieving this balance. That’s what OMS does–we fill these needs and offer effective solutions for growth.


To hear more from Jerry, reserve your seat for our upcoming “3 Key Elements to Take Your Eye Care Practice to the Next Level” webinar on Tuesday May 23rd, at 2:00pm Eastern.