VSP Vision Care Study: Annual Eye Exams Save Companies Nearly $3 Billion

Rancho Cordova, Calif., May 12, 2009 – According to a new study issued today, VSP® Vision Care helps save its customers an estimated $3 billion on healthcare costs associated with the treatment of chronic diseases detectable via an eye examination.
The study was undertaken by Human Capital Management Services, Inc. (HCMS) on behalf of VSP and showed that five major U.S. corporations with over 90,000 VSP members realized nearly $1 million each in the first year alone, through early detection of diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol. Through VSP Vision Care’s regular comprehensive eye exams, conditions detected early generate savings in related health plan, disability and employee termination costs.
Specifically, companies save nearly $2,900 in the first year for each employee with diabetes, when the disease is detected early.

“Vision benefits are often seen as a non-core healthcare service, but the HCMS data shows vision care benefits help lower corporate providers’ long-term healthcare liabilities, with early detection of chronic diseases for employees,” said Rob Lynch, CEO of VSP.  “Study data on the VSP Eye Health Management Program® found that every dollar spent on VSP exam services resulted in a $0.94 recuperation of medical related costs that could be avoided.”

When the findings of the HCMS study are applied to the past three years for each of the five VSP Vision Care corporate clients included in the study, the results show that nearly 2,000 members received early treatment for diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension as a result of their annual eye exams.

Of the 3.6 million VSP Vision Care members living with diabetes and hypertension who had an eye exam last year, over 25 percent received early treatment for their chronic disease as a result of their VSP eye doctor according to the HCMS study.
When the findings of the study are applied to VSP’s entire membership of 55,000,000 over a one year period, the results show that:
  • Of 1,457,500 people with diabetes, 20 percent (291,500) received early treatment as a result of their eye exam; and,
  • Of 2,186,250 people with hypertension, 30 percent (655,875) received early treatment as a result of their eye exam.
Such results suggest that large VSP clients such as the U.S. Federal Government, which includes over 8 million employees, dependents and retirees, could save an estimated  $423 million annually in potential cost avoidance due to early detection through VSP’s Eye Health Management Program®. “The research we've conducted, and translated into cost savings for companies, could help improve company financials for years to come," Lynch said.
Annual Health Plan, lost-time, and turnover costs per person graph 
About the study
Human Capital Management Services Group (HCMS), a national health care and workplace productivity consulting firm, matched medical condition data for 5 large clients with 90,000 members covered by VSP Vision Care, spanning two years to medical and pharmacy data obtained from the clients’ medical and drug carriers.  HCMS compared chronic patients who were first identified by VSP Vision Care against those who entered the health care system via traditional means.  Patient privacy was maintained throughout the process.
About HCMS
Human Capital Management Services, Inc.(HCMS) is a research and consulting firm founded by Dr. Harold H. Gardner, MD. Its mission is to partner with governments, national employers and health organizations to reduce healthcare costs, empower personal ownership of health decisions, measurably grow productivity and business performance, and inform public policy.
About VSP Global
VSP GlobalSM is composed of a complementary group of leading companies, all working together to meet and exceed today’s eyecare professionals’ business needs. The companies include VSP® Vision Care, the largest not-for-profit vision benefits and services company in the United States; Marchon® and Altair®, cutting-edge manufacturers, designers, and distributors of quality fashion and technologically advanced sunwear and eyewear; Eye Designs, a leader in the design of custom interiors and merchandising systems for the optical industry; Eyefinity®OfficeMate®, innovative e-commerce and practice management solutions, and electronic medical records software; and VSP Optics Group, offering ophthalmic products and providing technologically advanced lab services. VSP Global, combining the strength and expertise of each of these companies, offers a choice of integrated eyecare and eyewear programs and services that enhance eyecare professionals’ ability to deliver the best patient experience and build a thriving business.
Since 1997, VSP has provided more than 553,000 low-income, uninsured children with free eyecare. Through relationships including those with the American Diabetes Association and Prevent Blindness America, VSP promotes the importance of annual eye exams for maintaining eye health and overall wellness.





Pat McNeil