How To Prepare for the Cataract Surgery Influx

COVID-19 has created unique and challenging circumstances for us all. Elective surgeries are by-and-large on hold for at least the next 30 days and due to the outbreak and containment challenges that the virus brings, it’s still too early to know exactly how long the non-essential medical procedure “freeze” will go on.

But what we do know is that the Covid-19 crisis will eventually come to an end and things will get back to normal. When that happens, ophthalmologists and other specialties will likely start piling on the cases that have been put on hold during this time so that they can take care of their patients’ needs.

We foresee this potentially creating an elective surgery influx for the latter half of 2020.

How to prepare for the cataract surgery influx  after Covid-19.

If you are already doing cataracts in your facility….consider the following:

1) Take inventory of your case supplies and lenses.

Being prepared is the best way to make sure that you are ready to take on the influx. Take inventory of your case supplies and vendor relationships to make sure that the supply chain is ready for a busy spell. This might be more challenging than normal as many specialties will all be doing this at the same time, so getting all the supplies needed for each day might be stressful.

*Alternatively, forming a partnership with Surgical Direct eliminates the need to manage any of your cataract supply inventory (AND Lens Inventory) and drastically reduces the heavy-lifting for you and your team. We coordinate with you and your surgeons, providing tailor-made case supply lists and lens picks for each case, bringing all supplies with us on the day of surgery. Think of the hours you could save.

2) Check the health of your cataract equipment

Checking the health of your phaco machines, hand-pieces, and microscopes before the influx hits is important, which may include performing in-house tests, and scheduling PM checks with the manufacturer. You don’t want an equipment failure to halt surgery in the middle of an influx. If your equipment is 10+ years old, now may be a good time to consider upgrading to new technology. The real problem we will likely be facing is that facility budgets will be very tight for the remainder of the year.

*Alternatively, forming a partnership with Surgical Direct opens the door immediately to access the latest cataract technology. Our per-case pricing model allows you access with no capital expense. Plus, you won’t need to worry about PM’s, repair costs, or backups. We take care of everything.

If you are not doing cataracts in your facility….the near future may be the right time to start.

Surgical Direct’s turn-key cataract program allows you to get cataracts started in your facility, mitigating the hassle and upstart capital to do so.  Don’t have a relationship with a cataract surgeon in your area? No problem! Our plug & play program connects surgeons, hospitals/ASCs, and referring OD’s in your community, to get the ball rolling. We then provide the equipment and supplies to your facility on surgery day. Starting a cataract program in your facility is easier with Surgical Direct.

So, as we all think about preparing for the elective surgery influx after covid19, planning ahead is the key. Now is a great time to start the dialogue about an upgraded cataract program with Surgical Direct.

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Cataract Headwinds Will Change Revenue

Now is a Good Time for Eye Outsourcing

The ever-changing landscape of the ophthalmology specialty (specifically in cataract practice) can prove to be a tough market to forecast when it’s a good time to invest in technology. The past held much more certainty regarding the security of investment when purchasing Cataract equipment. And even though the baby-boomer cataract age is here, that doesn’t mean there is certainty in ROI, due to the constant evolution of the medical industry and the changing cataract headwinds on the horizon.

What do we mean by “Cataract Headwinds”? Headwinds change climates, spear-heading an area into a new season. We believe there are 3 things on the horizon that can change the climate of cataract surgery as we know it, all 3 creating unique twists to ROI.

1) Cataract Surgeon Reimbursements

This one, in truth, isn’t really a headwind. It’s already here. In 2020, Medicare reimbursements for cataract surgeons will drop, maybe as much as 15% for non-complicated procedures. That’s a hit! Read through Review of Ophthalmology’s article titled “Medicare Proposes Another Cut In Cataract Reimbursement” for yourself for more info.

Having the need to increase your case volume to make up the difference makes profitability more challenging. Eliminating capital investments and/or adding satellite locations to your practice can help increase your revenue by reducing overhead and increasing market expansion. Our mobile cataract program is the perfect partnership for satellite locations!

2) Office-Based Cataract Surgery

There has been much talk about Office-Based cataract surgery in recent years. The idea first came to the surface in the 80s and was quickly discarded due to the hurdles at the time. Healthcare and technology have rapidly grown since the 80s, and now the discussion is back on the table in many circles, and serious thought and trials are in place to determine whether this is the future of cataract surgery (at least non-complicated cases).

Despite this not being here yet (it’s a headwind), if brought into effect would change the cataract climate dramatically. Patients and surgeons alike would appreciate the benefits and convenience of the office-based approach. Any practice with the means would likely be very interested. Of the many questions on the table in this discussion, 1 would be technology investment, and 2, whether the office-based model will be a short-lived trend. Either way, let Surgical Direct take on the risk of providing equipment and technology.

3) Bi-Lateral Cataract Surgery

The “Two-for-One” cataract model has been in debate for some time. Initially, this model was frowned upon due to the risk of infection and longer recoveries, but recently the discussion is back on the table and CMS is looking at this model again.
Bi-Lateral case-coding for the second same-day eye will reduce the reimbursement rate on the second eye by 50%, so if thinking about offering bi-lateral cataract surgery, you have to take into account the loss in revenue that you’ll encounter on these cases.

Let Surgical Direct Take Your Cataract Technology Risk.

The bottom line is that in today’s cataract surgery landscape, there is a lot of risk in investing in new technology. Surgical Direct offers a turn-key, zero-risk solution for your cataract program. Our Mobile Cataract Service model provides the newest technology to your OR of choice, full-service case supply management (including lenses), and no capital fund investments. You only pay for our service when you use our service.

Want to know more about Surgical Direct and our services? Check out our recent post about 5 Headaches Eliminated with Mobile Cataract Services to see how Surgical Direct can help alleviate your cataract surgery woes.

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Successful Satellite Cataract Surgery

Satellite surgery is a very effective way to grow revenue for your ophthalmic practice, and as mentioned in our previous blog on upcoming Cataract Reimbursement Changes, satellite surgery is a reliable way to regain lost revenue after the new reimbursement cuts take effect.

Half the battle in a successful satellite cataract surgery arrangement is the startup!

Surgical Direct Inc (SDI) simplifies the process in 4 primary ways:

4 Ways SDI Simplifies Satellite Cataract Surgery.

 

1) Referral Network Connections

SDI is well connected. If you are a surgeon and you approach us with the desire to start a satellite connection, we do the legwork in connecting you with referring ODs in your desired satellite region. If you are a surgical facility with a desire to add cataract cases but have no equipment (or capital for equipment), we provide the latest technology directly to your facility on surgery day at no upfront cost. Have no surgeon connections? Not a problem! We simply connect the dots in our referral program, connecting you with surgeons who are ready to take on surgery in your area. It’s a win-win-win!

2) Supply Management & Coordination

A big detail in starting a new surgery in your facility is supply management and inventory. For Cataracts, there are quite a few supplies needed for a normal case, but additional items that must be on hand in case of an unexpected instance during surgery. With Surgical Direct, you don’t need to worry about supplies (even back up supplies) or lenses. We coordinate with surgeons and facilities, filling the gaps, and often providing the majority of case supplies, alleviating inventory hassle for the facility, and ensuring the surgeon has everything he wants and needs…every time!

3) Full-Service Facility Setup

So what happens on surgery day? Our surgical coordinators arrive at your facility at least 1 hour before surgery starts, start setting up equipment and unloading case supplies for the day. They will dress-out, wheel-in the clean equipment, and prime/test to ensure that everything is ready to go well before the surgeon arrives. They will also hand-off/coordinate supplies for the day, working directly with your OR team. But that’s not all! Our coordinators offer knowledgeable and aware support during surgery. This includes machine setting adjustments, sterile supply opening, room-turnover, troubleshooting, and more.

4) Stable Equipment Provisions

No surgeon wants to use equipment that is not dependable. At Surgical Direct, we do our best to alleviate any equipment issues during surgery. All of our equipment is regularly maintained and always up to date with the manufacturers’ preventative maintenance specifications. However, we’ve been doing this long enough to know that unexpected things happen and even perfectly maintained equipment can act up. That’s why we also provide backup equipment (onsite or on-call) for every surgery day to minimize OR time as much as possible and keep the day running smoothly.

Surgical Direct reliably provides a stable turn-key solution for Ophthalmic technology access. We offer and deliver the best surgical service, platforms, devices, and supplies in cataract outsourcing.

We make the option of satellite cataract surgery a reality.

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Call Toll Free | 800-346-0544

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More about our Mobile Cataract Services