Freedom Marches On

I believe in the “law of the marketplace.” Under that “law,” businesses and professions operate without artificial restrictions (but with reasonable regulation necessary for consumer protection). Artificial control of one party over another — whether the result of oligopoly, policy manipulation, or special-interest statutory interference — is bad. Competition is good. Competition results in continuous improvement. With fair competition, the consumer ultimately prevails. With fair competition, everyone wins.

Lessons from John Steinbeck

While here, I’ve had the pleasure of reading John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath.  This amazingly well-written and ambitious novel (Pulitzer Prize – 1940) is about the Joad family, who suffers the loss of their Oklahoma farm to the depression and dust bowl, and flees to California to seek their destiny.  The story follows the […]

Optometry Ousted from Eyeware Business?

As you read this release, consider if there are implications for private practice optometrists?  While perhaps a stretch, is this a precursor to the elimination of the ability for optometrists to sell eyeware?  What impact might this have on Vision Plans, who both secure exams and sell eyeware direct to consumer?   How about impact […]

Why is HVHC (Highmark) Ejecting Viva?

MILAN, Italy and SAN ANTONIO, Oct. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Marcolin SpA and its affiliates backed by leading European private equity firm PAI Partners together with HVHC Inc., the holding company for Visionworks of America, Inc., Davis Vision, Inc. and Viva Optique, Inc. (Viva International), today announced the signing of a Stock Purchase Agreement under which Marcolin agrees to […]

Canadian Optometry’s Perspective

There seems to be a distinct advantage to living “up there.”  Our Canadian friends can look “down here” and learn from our mistakes.  Here’s a letter sent to the members of Eye Recommend, one of Canada’s premier alliance groups, about VSP’s entry into Canada.  Enjoy their perspective. 2013 Managed Care Letter            

You’re an EyeMed Provider Because???

I read a report of a recent meeting between representatives of a group of Texas providers and EyeMed.   The following is in regards to the recent bill passed by the Texas legislature that prohibits vision plans from enforcing discounts on non-covered services (Texas SB 632). “EyeMed’s new contract will honor the option of doctors to […]

Congratulations Maryland!!!

Maryland House Bill 1160 passed into law on May 16th.  Similar to that of the Texas bill noted in my last post, the Maryland bill “prohibits a carrier from including in a vision plan contract a provision that requires a vision plan provider to …provide discounts on materials that are not covered benefits.”   In my opinion, this […]

Your Future is at Stake!

As I have communicated to my audiences over the past couple of years,  it is my strong belief that Private Optometry is at a crossroads.  It’s no longer business as usual.  Those who take bold action to build their respective brands and effectively communicate directly with their patients will be imminently successful.  Those that sit back […]

The Dealer and the Junkie

Back in the day, Vision Plan was developed as a methodology for selling the services of its owner, the profession of optometry.  Vision Plan acted as optometry’s agent; effectively owned and controlled by the profession itself.  Vision Plan represented an efficient institutional marketing effort; a sophisticated marketing tool utilized by otherwise unsophisticated marketers.  Reimbursements were reasonable and […]