Optometry Practices

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 19,500 optometry practices in the US are the main providers of vision care. About 55% of optometrist revenue comes from fees for patient care, which includes exams and treatment for problems. The sale of eyeglasses and contact lenses, known as “dispensing revenue,” accounts for over 40% of overall revenue. There are about 36,690 optometrists in the US – a majority work in private optometry practices.

Competition From Retail Chains

Independent optometry practices face competition from large retail optical chains, as well as mass merchandisers offering optical services.

Reimbursement Issues Affect Profit

Since about 55% of their revenue comes from managed care and vision plans, changing reimbursement rates and rules creates challenges for optometry practices.

Industry size & Structure

The average optometry practice has a single location, 6-7 employees, and about $866,000 in annual revenue.

    • On an annual basis, the typical optometry practice logs 2,500-3,500 patient visits per optometrist.
    • There are about 19,500 optometry practices in the US with $17 billion in revenue.
    • About 81% of optometry practices have less than 10 employees.
    • There are about 36,690 optometrists in the US - a majority work in private optometry practices. The rest work for ophthalmologists, retail optical chains, hospitals, HMOs, or the military.
    • Optometrists need a Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree, which requires 4 years of graduate study at one of 20 accredited schools of optometry in the US.
    • All states require that optometrists be licensed, which requires an OD degree and passing a written National Board exam and a National, Regional, or State clinical exam. Licenses must be renewed every 1-3 years and continuing education credits are required for renewal.
                                  Industry Forecast
                                  Optometry Practices Industry Growth
                                  Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                  Recent Developments

                                  Mar 1, 2023 - Private Equity Deals Increase
                                  • Private equity (PE) funding continues to flow into healthcare, according to market data firm PitchBook. PE firms announced or closed an estimated 863 deals in 2022, making it the second-highest on record for activity in the sector, after 2021. PitchBook has been tracking the data since 2017. PE investments in eyecare began in 2014 with the acquisition of Katzen Eye Group by Varsity Healthcare Partners, according to Richard Edlow, OD. There were 51 private equity-backed eyecare platforms as of May 2022, with notable activity in the sector including “retail” optometry, medically focused optometry groups, vertical integrations (optical, optometry and ophthalmology), and sub-specialty retina care, according to Edlow. PitchBook expects deal activity to slow in the first half of 2023 amid staffing-related margin pressures, liquidity constraints, and fundraising difficulty. There could be a rebound in the second half of the year, however if macroeconomic conditions stabilize, Pitchbook researchers added.
                                  • The Biden administration plans to end in May the national and public health emergencies (PHEs) tied to the coronavirus pandemic. The US Congress used The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, to extend many telehealth flexibilities through December 31, 2024, however. More Medicare enrollees got care via telehealth during the PHEs. Telehealth is now no longer limited to those living in rural areas. Telehealth visits can be conducted at home, rather than a health care facility. Beneficiaries can also use smartphones and receive a wider array of services via telehealth.
                                  • Some optometry practices help their customers recycle disposable plastic contact lenses. Experts say that the only way to do this is through the TerraCycle and Bausch + Lomb's ONE by ONE recycling program, as most recycling facilities don't accept contact lenses since they're so small and made from medical-grade plastic. Lenses sent to recycling facilities are currently sorted out and sent to landfills. “Programs like the Bausch + Lomb Every Contact Counts Recycling Program allow eye doctors to work within their community and take an active role in preserving the environment, beyond what their local municipal recycling programs are able to provide,” said Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of TerraCycle.
                                  • Home confinement during the coronavirus pandemic appears to be associated with an increase in myopia prevalence in younger school-aged children. School closures and a shift to more online courses meant that millions of children spent large portions of their days working at computers instead of being outside. These are considered to be contributing factors to the increase, according to data published in JAMA Ophthalmology magazine. Children ages 6 years to 8 years had the highest prevalence of myopia, with only minimal shifts in the 9- to 13-year-olds.
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