I share this with my readers simply as a reporter. What follows is apparantly a letter from the American Optometric Society to their members, followed by press release on the same topic.
I make no comment…what follows speaks for itself.
Last October, in order to bring accurate information to our members about VSP’s new relationship with Costco, we sat down with VSP’s Chairman of the Board, Tim Jankowski, O.D., and its President Rob Lynch, for an interview. After the interview VSP tried to tell us what we could and could not do with the interview transcript. We rejected VSP’s demands. VSP threatened to sue the AOS if we did not do what they wanted. Again, we rejected VSP’s efforts to control the AOS. The AOS considers it critical that we are independent and do not allow outside organizations to influence our decisions. It distinguishes us from many other organizations.
With that in mind, the AOS told VSP that we had an obligation to our members and would not be told by VSP what we could and could not do. We published the transcript and allowed our members to read it. VSP responded with more threats from their lawyers. But the AOS again refused to permit VSP to tell us what we may and may not do. So, this past week VSP sued the AOS, two of its Board members (Pam Miller and Rich Driscoll) and its attorney, Craig Steinberg claiming that the VSP interview was recorded without permission, and that the transcript was wrongfully published. The Press Release regarding this sets forth the facts as we believe them to be. Please read it. A copy of the Press Release is included at the bottom of this news bulletin.
This past year VSP has initiated a program allowing some groups to obtain VSP covered eye care through Costco. VSP then began selling frames and glasses on-line, in direct competition with their network providers. Most recently VSP initiated a program where, if you sell enough Altair and Marchon frames you receive preferential listing when a VSP patient searches for VSP providers in their area. If you don’t sell enough VSP frames you are listed after the other doctors in your area. And now VSP has sued the AOS for providing our members with the most accurate information we could obtain about VSP