Open Enrollment

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO October 14, 2011

I have been getting questions from doctors about what VSP® Vision Care is doing to win contracts since I blogged about the loss of the IBM contract. It just so happens that I have been putting this blog together to give you a glimpse of the efforts being made by VSP to connect patients with doctors, so, it is timely that I share this with you now...

It is hard enough to sell something once, let alone sell something a second time. Let me give you an example. Johnny wants an ice cream cone. Johnny is convinced that it will really be good. He is sold. Johnny then asks his mom if he can get the ice cream cone—and a second battle ensues. The ice cream is still really good but the “sale” now has to be made on a second level. Johnny must promote the benefits of the ice cream relative to the cost and convince his mother to actually purchase. This is exactly the challenge VSP faces where first the client and then the member must be sold.

When VSP is successful in selling a vision plan to a client, the first level of the sale is complete. However, nearly half of all contracts involve voluntary participation, which means the employee must choose a vision plan, at their expense. They must recognize the benefits of a vision program, must understand the value of optometric care, and must choose VSP with its panel of private-practice doctors. It takes a well-executed plan to sell at this second level.

So just how does VSP promote its panel of providers and its programs to potential members? In 2011, VSP has participated in over 12,000 benefit fairs. At each and every opportunity, representatives emphasize the importance of eyecare and herald private-practice optometry as the best mode of practice. Excellence in patient care, valuable products and services, eye health management, continuity of care, and cost savings combined with the industry’s finest claims administration are all emphasized. Many techniques are used to grab the member’s attention.  I just love those little chocolates with the nuts inside that are often found in the VSP booth.

Now, let’s add in the VSP 2011 Fall Consumer Enrollment Campaign, which is targeting 15.8 million consumers with the option to enroll in VSP coverage through 10,500 clients. Over 330 million impressions are anticipated through digital advertising efforts alone…all with the expressed goal of connecting patients with private-practice doctors. An incredible effort is being put forth to encourage participation and to facilitate the best possible patient care which is found in private practice. Go to for a glimpse of the program.

As I see it, we are very fortunate to have such an effective organization helping encourage members (patients) to choose VSP and then to be connected to our private-practice doctor network for excellence in eyecare.

I've included a few links below where you can go and take a look at some of the enrollment messages being presented on our behalf. You will see that private-practice optometry is highlighted in every message.

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