A Patient By Any Other Name

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO June 28, 2013
I am sure you know that the same product is often marketed under various names. For example, generic aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) can be found bearing the name of a manufacturer, a distributor, or a store. For various reasons, suppliers choose to market in ways that leverage consumer marketing and increase sales. Regardless of the name, aspirin still provides analgesia, pain relief, and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Did you ever wonder why some vision plans are administered as a VSP Vision Care plan, and yet, members know them by another name? VSP has contracted with many large health and ancillary benefit organizations to deliver eye care to their members. A few of these organizations have chosen to market these benefits under their own brand name.

By using their own brand name, these health and benefit organizations seek to leverage strong consumer marketing programs to increase client sales. Because vision benefits are often sold with other benefits—like medical, dental, or life insurance—using their own name ensures members simply have to remember one carrier name for all their benefits.

So, what does all of this mean for you and me in our practices? When potential patients visit our practices, they may have an ID card with another insurer's name or state that they found us through another insurer's website.

As I See It, each potential patient represents an opportunity in our practices. VSP will continue to use innovative strategies and alliances to direct patients to independent practices. Rest assured, VSP is working hard on our behalf to maximize patient opportunities even when a health care partner chooses to market a VSP-administered plan under their own name.

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