Background and Purpose: The profession of orthoptics has been present for over 100 years and was created as a partnership with pediatric ophthalmology in an effort to provide better strabismus care to children. Orthoptists are known to improve practice efficiency, but to date, no quantitative data has been presented in the literature to support this claim. Proper utilization of an orthoptist is critical to improving practice efficiency and revenue. Methods: Over a 6- month period, the financial impact to a pediatric ophthalmology practice by the addition of a second certified orthoptist (C.O.) was analyzed. Both indirect and direct income and expenses were considered. Results: Despite their increased salary compared to an ophthalmic assistant, the utilization of an orthoptist provides considerable return on investment. The addition of a certified orthoptist increased practice revenue by over $70,000. Conclusion: The addition of a certified orthoptist in a physician's practice significantly increases practice revenue generated. When considering models of healthcare within ophthalmology, the use of an orthoptist as a physician extender has been shown to improve practice efficiency in a cost-effective manner.
- Practice management
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