Beware the Warm Fuzzy

“There are only two products in this world.  Solutions to Problems and Warm Fuzzies.”  Author Unknown.

In a recent letter to the editor in the AOA News, Kevin Katz, O.D., the president of the Texas Optometric Association laid his feelings on the line about a recent meeting VSP held with the TOA board.

“The Texas Optometric Association (TOA) board met with VSP representatives at our board meeting to try and answer some questions about our relationship with them.  Two days after the meeting, VSP announced that, in addition to Costco, Eyemasters will now be a VSP affiliate provider.  They somehow failed to mention that at our meeting, and I believe that is a commentary on the relationship.

We wanted to know why VSP wants to identify diabetic and medical patients and what their endgame is in this regard.  We wanted to know why our reimbursements keep going down while the company seems to be very profitable and acquiring other companies.  We wanted to know how the VSP board sees the future of VSP vision care by independent doctors of optometry and how the board is constituted.  We wanted to know if VSP is really committed to the independent O.D.

We heard a lot of rhetoric that any one of you could have parroted.  It was all about reducing costs to cover more lives and get you more patients.  It was all about identifying medical patients so that they can offer more value to employers.  It was all about being competitive.

We were hoping to have some common ground so that we could work together.  Seems to me that VSP is just a business intent on maximizing its profits.  Nothing wrong with that, except many of us were under the misconception that there was a partnership and relationship of trust built over the years.

I guess the world has changed and it doesn’t make me feel warm and fuzzy. “



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