Staying independent in optometry is a challenge.
There are a lot of complexities the independent optometrist faces, particularly administrative roles.
We had the opportunity to sit down with Aaron Lech, OD owner at ClearVue Eye Care, during Vision Expo East, and asked him to share some thoughts on how the independent OD can stay independent in the face of so much consolidation in eyecare.
Existing providers and new ODs both face similar but different challenges. It can be difficult for a new provider to have a strong network to create business synergies when first starting out.
As a result, we are seeing consolidation even amongst independents.
Group practices are becoming more common than solo practices. There are a lot of consolidators in eyecare, most of whom are equity backed, which means profits, rather than enhanced patient care oftentimes drives business decisions.
Doctor owned and run models may be the key to staying independent in optometry.
This doesn’t mean the doctor won’t have a team of personnel to run and manage certain aspects of business. However, if providing enhanced patient care is key, then these practices might want to avoid consolidating with private equity backed companies and corporations.