South Georgia Eye Partners Offers Leading-Edge Care
Tuesday, November 27th, 2012
Patient visits to South Georgia Eye Partners are up 15 to 20 percent in 2012 over prior year across three locations in Tifton, Valdosta and Douglas. Owner and ophthalmologist Dr. Scott Petermann attributes the growth to great patient care and the breadth of services the practice offers.
"We offer high-tech lens implants for cataract surgeries that correct astigmatism and both near and distance vision. Although they are not covered by Medicare, we've found patients will pay out of pocket for them," Petermann said.
"By providing these types of enhanced services to patients, we can generate additional revenues and be less exposed to insurance cutbacks."
In recent years insurance plans have moved to higher deductibles, which often means people are less likely to visit a doctor. Additionally, some insurance reforms have reduced coverage.
With the slow economy, the practice has changed somewhat from predominantly LASIK surgeries four to five years ago to more geriatric procedures such as cataract surgeries. Additionally, South Georgia Eye Partners offers other services to provide more comprehensive patient care such as Obagi Medical products to treat the skin around the eyes.
"We heard from many patients looking for treatments for the wrinkles around their eyelids or for rosacea so we researched it and now offer Obagi skin care systems," Petermann said.
Available only through physicians, Obagi Medical products are designed to maintain, enhance and revitalize skin. According to Petermann, offering Obagi and similar products also has helped insulate the practice from the economic downturn and insurance reforms.
On the Cutting Edge
Petermann has practiced ophthalmology since 1999. He founded South Georgia Eye Partners in April 2010 with offices in Tifton and Valdosta. In 2011, South Georgia Eye Partners purchased a practice in Douglas. The medical-based practice includes Petermann and three optometrists, and they are actively recruiting another ophthalmologist.
"One of the things that has made us successful is that we run the gamut from wellness visits, routine eye exams, glasses and contact lenses to eye surgeries like LASIK and cataract surgeries," Petermann said.
"We're also on the cutting edge with electronic medical records and marketing to patients and referral sources."
Offering Patients Greater Flexibility
With electronic medical records, South Georgia Eye Partners can treat patients at any of its three locations. That flexibility is helpful to people who may live in Tifton but work in Valdosta, for example.
"I often see the same patients in different offices. Our offices form a triangle and we serve many patients from smaller communities located within that triangle," Petermann said.
In August, the practice purchased its office building in Tifton and last month, celebrated the occasion with an open house. South Georgia Eye Partners owns the buildings it occupies in Tifton, Valdosta and Douglas.
More information on South Georgia Eye Partners is available at southgeorgiaeye.com.