VSP just announced that it was adding a second on-site clinic for one of its clients.
VSP previously and quietly opened an on-site vision care clinic at a facility for Cisco Systems in the Silicon Valley over a year ago (see my post of 6/14). The Cisco facility serves 17,000 Cisco employees.
VSP is now working with BP in Houston, Texas to build a similar facility.
VSP has all kinds of rationale for doing this from a pure business perspective. They cite that if they don’t do this, a competitor will. They cite that the majority of the patients using these facilities haven’t been to a provider in several years. They cite that this action is good for all of their providers.
What VSP doesn’t cite is that, in the interest of good provider relations, they will be taking the profits from these activities (in San Jose alone, they’ve effectively carved 17,000 Cisco employees out of the provider network and directed them to the VSP owned center) and distribute those profits on an equitable basis to the VSP providers in the effected area. Why not?
In the absence of some form of direct profit sharing mechanism, is this not just a profit grab by VSP? Of course, since most VSP patients are of dubious economic value to the optometrist provider, perhaps this is a good thing. What do you think?