Shaping the Future Together: SHiFT18 and Beyond

By Mary Anne C. Murphy, OD October 26, 2018

This past week, I spent a few days at SHiFT18, the annual VSP Global Premier Program meeting, connecting with colleagues from across the country. Having a few minutes now to reflect on the meeting, I’m inspired by the opportunities ahead for private practice optometry. I heard first-hand from many in our profession about how private practice is stronger than ever and how we’re poised to meet the growing eye care needs of our population in the years to come.

At the same time, while our future is bright, there’s no shortage of change to go around in our industry. At SHiFT, we talked about four key factors that have the potential to significantly impact our profession: shifting consumer expectations, competitive pressures, technological disruptions, and the influence of the benefits manager.

From new data that suggests 1 in 5 Americans are not getting their eyecare and eyewear needs met, to the benefits manager who is demanding lower costs and more retail options in vision plan networks, SHiFT presenters were clear that our industry is navigating unprecedented change.

However, speaker after speaker also spoke of seizing the unprecedented opportunity available for private practices today by embracing the changing needs of patients, by being open to new technologies that create unique product or service opportunities, and by carefully selecting those with whom we partner.

From my perspective, VSP is a superior partner. Unlike others in the industry who must focus on shareholder returns, VSP is a doctor-governed company founded by doctors of optometry and formed as a not-for-profit to create access to eyecare for as many people as possible.

As a VSP Global Board member and owner of a private practice, I want doctors to know that VSP is focused on the long-term success of optometry and always considers the doctor stakeholder in business decisions. As one example of that, we announced that VSP delivered $9.2 billion in revenue and 32 million patients to Premier Program locations over the last five years!

As we wrapped the event, I had several key takeaways:

  • The future is bright. Independents are growing, patients prefer the eye care we deliver, and we’re poised to meet their needs moving forward.
  • Premier is the core of the VSP network. They are investing heavily in the program in the coming year to make it even more effective in creating opportunities for independent practices.
  • As we deal with market forces like consumer expectations, competitive pressures, emerging technology, and more, VSP will lean toward the doctor whenever possible. VSP’s success is the doctor’s success.
  • The organization is launching a new initiative designed to create “optometric opportunities” that serve doctors throughout their professional journey, whether they’re just starting their careers or retiring—and every point in between.

In closing, attendees left inspired, motivated and refreshed. Our profession is strong and I, for one, am looking forward to joining my colleagues in seizing opportunities, embracing change and celebrating continued success. The future is, indeed, bright.

Leave a comment

Prev Post Next Post

Recent Posts




E-mail me