Why are Russians checking my website? According to Google Analytics, they’re 20 percent of my audience. It’s freaking me out.
These are not human visitors, says Matthew Perosi, a SEO expert and SCORE mentor on website design. Most are from Russian search engines scanning your site or spam bots, he says. “Google Analytics has a flaw that allows fake website visits, ‘ghost spam,’ to be recorded as real,” he says. They’ve been fighting it for years with little success. However, you should never visit these suspicious sites. That’s what they’re hoping for, Perosi says. “Many of those sites have viruses or Trojan attacks hiding in wait.”
What’s the real downside of hiring an optician or frame stylist with no in-clinic experience?
If you’re taking a chance on someone without experience because you believe it will save you money, that’s a bad reason. When it comes to skilled employees, the old rule of thumb reigns: hire the best you can get and pay them what they’re worth. A good, well-qualified optician will never cost you money. They will make you money. If such people just aren’t available in your market, and you have a young candidate you feel has potential and is the right personality fit for your store then sure, give them a shot. Just be aware of the serious time investment they will require from you before they’re up to speed on your equipment; fully understand your instructions with regard to lens design, lens enhancements, tints, coatings, etc, and (possibly) your insurance billing system. No matter how good you are, if they can’t sell your recommendations, your patient won’t have the best vision. In many ways, it comes back to the same thing — terrific experienced optician or bright young apprentice — never pass up the chance to hire great staff. If you can’t afford a full-time optician maybe start with a part-timer, and limit your dispensary hours until your business grows a little more.
A lot more of my managed care claims are getting rejected for coding errors. What’s going on?
On Oct. 1, the waiver our industry had to adopt the new ICD-10 codes ended. We went from ICD-9’s 13,000 codes to over 68,000 with ICD-10. Thousands of new codes mean ODs need to code every service to the highest degree of specificity or face their claims being rejected. According to Kathy Dyson of Dyson Consulting, who helps clients with medical claims billing, coding and auditing, “expect more stringent edits around unspecified codes” and “be prepared for more requests for medical records” or risk having your claim rejected.
With interest rates heading up again, should I refinance my business loans?
With most practices carrying debt, even a one percent reduction would provide savings. But a business loan is not like a home mortgage. With the former, the bank is betting on you running your practice profitably. That means any change will trigger a review of the risks facing your business. It also means a new lender will scrutinize your payment record, the local eyecare market and probably demand a personal guarantee. Finally, assess your relationship with your current banker. An understanding banker can be worth more than a point of interest.
This article originally appeared in the February 2017 edition of INVISION.