Ophthalmology Business

JUL 2013

Ophthalmology Business is focused on business topics relevant to the entrepreneurial ophthalmologist. It offers editorial, opinion, and practical tips for physicians running an ophthalmic practice. It is a companion publication of EyeWorld.

Issue link: http://digital.ophthalmologybusiness.org/i/138484

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Page 23 of 27

"Second look" financing by Bill Rabourn N ot all that long ago, people with good jobs and good credit routinely used it to purchase goods and services. More than a few of them used that credit to purchase LASIK and other refractive procedures, then enjoyed the benefits of their new vision while they paid down the balance rather than postponing until they saved enough to pay cash. Your ability to monetize their demand by offering easy-to-apply, fast decision credit supported your procedure numbers. That was then. Since the economic downturn that began in 2007, far too many applicants are being turned down by the financing services most practices have relied upon to serve the needs of patients with good credit. People with good jobs and good credit are still using their credit to purchase goods and services, but for several reasons there are simply fewer of them to go around. During the downturn of the business cycle, the unemployment rate that had been stable for the previous 30 months doubled from 5.0% (December 2007) to 10.0% (October 2009). According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the decline in employment during that same period was greater than that of any recession of recent decades, and average consumer expenditures across all sectors of the economy— including healthcare—dropped to 2003-2004 levels. The recession officially ended in June 2009, though many economic indicators, including unemployment, still have not returned to pre-2007 levels. continued on page 26 24 Ophthalmology Business • July 2013

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