Who We Do Business With Matters

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO November 01, 2013

Have you ever thought about what happens when you sign up with a vision plan that’s directing patients away from your practice and also choose to purchase materials from their retail supply chain? Initially, your volume goes up, but over time, both profitability and volume go down as patients leave your practice because they are enticed to purchase their materials at your competitor’s stores.

I am reminded of a DirecTV ad which talks about the fact that purchasing choices matter.

The scenario might go something like this:

You continue to purchase your materials from your competitors. Ultimately, your income begins to suffer as patients are encouraged to purchase their materials from competitor-owned stores. Exasperated, you decide to fly to Las Vegas and take up gambling. You lose your money and are forced to cut your hair and sell it to a wig store to buy food. Bottom line: don't sell your hair to a wig store.


Be careful in your dealings with vision plans that have a vested interest in directing patients away from your practice. And, whatever you do, be mindful that who you purchase materials from does matter. Material purchases from retail organizations increase their competitive advantage.

Remember, all vision plans are not created equal. VSP Vision Care sends the vast majority of patients to VSP Network doctor practices like mine and yours. Surpluses are reinvested in the system to increase VSP's ability to win contracts and direct additional patients. VSP can only direct patients when it wins in the marketplace.

One opportunity we should all consider is Premier from VSP Global. It’s an innovative way to provide a high-value experience for VSP members and VSP Network providers who choose to participate. It’s designed to bring doctors more—more patients, more revenue, and more support.

As I See It, we shouldn't have to sell our hair to a wig store. It makes a big difference who we do business with, and I encourage you to consider Premier as an important way of improving patient acquisition and retention in your practice.

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