Member Spotlight: Wake Family Eye Care
Providing Specialized Services to Improve Patient Outcomes
By offering allergy and dry eye testing and treatments to patients, Dr. Amjad M. Badwan has found he can help treat the root cause of vision problems while adding new revenue streams to his practice.
Dr. Badwan, owner and medical director at Wake Family Eye Care (Cary, N.C.), started using AllerFocus (allergy) testing, available through PECAA’s Care Access Vision vendor program, on patients a few years ago to improve care for patients experiencing recurring symptoms.
“I would put a patient on a steroid for a period, then have them come off of it,” he explains. “Then a couple of months later, we’d have to put them right back on it.”
Through the testing program, Dr. Badwan says he can confirm whether a patient has allergies, identify what allergens are causing symptoms, and discuss results with patients and treatment options. All without sending patients to an outside specialist.
“We’re able to now test people who may have chronic ocular allergies,” Dr. Badwan says. “And we can put them on a treatment program right away.”
Effective Relief for Dry Eye Sufferers
Another area Dr. Badwan has been able to expand his services and grow his business is dry eye diagnosis and treatment, for which there is an extensive need.
“Most patients have some kind of dryness, burning, itching, redness, or blurred vision,” Dr. Badwan says. “Probably 50% to 60% of patients we see have symptomatic issues for dryness, and another 10% to 20% are not symptomatic. And this is found generally during routine exams.”
“Sometimes, they’re complaining of blurred vision, but we’re not finding a change in the eyeglass prescription,” he says. “So, now we look at what’s going on with the corneal surface while also using equipment that can image the meibomian glands. By searching for it, you can typically find something going on that’s causing that problem.”
“I’m pretty passionate about properly treating dry eye because I was actually misdiagnosed many years ago with having just an allergy,” Dr. Badwan says.
Currently, his practice sets aside Wednesday afternoons for only dry eye consults and treatments.
“We set aside Wednesdays because it’s easier for the flow of the clinic,” Dr. Badwan explains. “Dry eye patients take a little more time because of the education, the time that you’re spending, talking to them, giving them the treatments.”
“One person could be 10 minutes, while another could take 45 minutes,” he adds. “This way we’re able to schedule longer time slots and give patients the time they need to ask all of the questions that they want.”
Taking this time to educate patients is important, Dr. Badwan says, especially with the numerous options available.
“We have pretty much everything: Miboflo, iLux, IPL, Radiofrequency, plugs, amniotic membranes, scleral contact lenses,” he says. “We also have the new iTear device, which is a
neurostimulator that stimulates the glands to work.”
Easy Getting Started
Getting started is simple with programs such as AllerFocus testing offered through PECAA vendor partner Care Access Vision, or PECAA’s 90 Days to Dry Eye Program.
“This is a way to grow your practice without a lot of upfront costs,” Dr. Badwan says. “Then you can use this added revenue to purchase the equipment and continue to grow the practice.”
Specialized services for dry eye and ocular allergies have boosted revenue about 10-20% for Wake Family Eye Care. “It’s been a game changer for our clinic,” he explains.
“Providing these services sets you up with a differentiator,” Dr. Badwan says. “You’re helping patients where they really need it.”