To the editor:

Judith Lee’s column (Vision – Monday, Aug. 15), “Profitable Pricing Calls for Strategy” addresses an issue we have been dealing with in the independent professional sector for more than five years. Of the components comprising professional services marketing, the art of pricing is second only to promotion (advertising) in terms of sensitivity.

If our results in working with/for independent optometry are any indication, the thought put forth in Lee’s column should be well-received. The ability to distinguish between product pricing and professional fees is something that has been recognized by commercial optometry for some time. Independent optometry is slowly, but surely, beginning to understand the difference as well.

This “unbundling” of professional fees from product pricing is currently being practiced by over 2,300 independent optometrists and dispensers in our nationwide PPO. These practitioners, too, have acknowledged that in the consumer’s eyes “perception is fact.”

Together, we are working to change some of these consumer perceptions by emphasizing the advantages of quality, professional vision care coupled with the economic benefits of “smart pricing.”

Paul J. Disser,
Overland Pack. Kan.