I set out to survey the owners of corporate optometry affiliated practices to learn the similarities and differences that exist between the corporate lessors. What I discovered was even more variety—across and even within lessors—more than you might believe.
If you are familiar with one corporate-affiliated practice, then you are familiar with one corporate-affiliated practice.
From corporate optometry lessor to lessor and even within the offices leased out by a single lessor, the variety is staggering. Everything from the number of exam rooms to the provision of support staff to the length and the terms of the lease itself can vary wildly across and even within lessors.
A survey I conducted among corporate practice-owner ODs illustrates this. Feel free to download the results of the entire survey.
- Offices range from 200 to 1200 sq ft.
- Equipment differs with the lease.
- Some supply staff and others do not.
- There are differences in lengths of contract and restrictions within the contract.
- The OD is charged different amounts under different structures to be there.
If you are considering owning a corporate optometry practice, be sure you know:
How many square feet you are being provided, and how that floor plan is organized
- How many exam rooms?
- Pre/advanced testing room?
- Waiting room?
What fees will be owed to the lessor, and how they are calculated
- A fixed monthly or weekly rent
- A daily rent, which may be preferable for part-time
- A percentage of your gross, which protects you if the practice is under performing and hurts if you are doing well
The term of your contract
- How can it be terminated? (a 30-day no-cause “out” clause is common)
- Will your fees change upon renewal?
Restrictions in your contract
- Non-compete clauses
- Hours or days which the doctor must provide coverage
- Restrictions on use of the corporation’s name in your advertising if you leave
What equipment is included with your lease
- This showed the most consistency within and across lessors, with most supplying a phoropter, autorefractor, tonometer, slit lamp, and exam chair
- Extra equipment can be a negotiation point for you; one doc I surveyed was supplied with a fundus camera