as EYE SEE it

An optical industry blog sharing thoughts, tips, and tools from eye care influencers, As Eye See It offers an inside look into the past, present and future of what drives the industry.

Dr. Rashid

Flexing My Specialty During the Pandemic

By Nick Rashid, OD | June 30, 2020
My number one objective as a Doctor of Optometry is to make people feel comfortable going to the optometrist—you might say it’s my specialty. I knew from my first visit to get glasses in the fifth grade that I loved going to the optometrist, and my ...
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Telemedicine is Here to Stay

By Mary Anne C. Murphy, OD | June 24, 2020
Many eye care providers hadn’t considered telemedicine prior to the pandemic, believing they needed a hands-on exam to adequately treat patients. With COVID-19 reducing that type of care to only essential services, and with a patient population that ...
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Finding Creative Ways to Connect with Patients During Crisis

By Robert Melrose, OD | June 10, 2020
Many of us were anxiously awaiting the year 2020 to market the “Year of Vision” to our patients, but before we had a chance to breathe, COVID-19 came in and flipped the emphasis of 2020 to one of personal and professional survival. In my opinion, ...
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Telemedicine: Another Tool for Your Toolbox

By Amber Belaustegui, OD | June 03, 2020
To be honest, I was pretty skeptical about telemedicine pre-COVID-19. I could see handling some aspects of patient care remotely, but couldn’t envision treating patients without physically seeing them, putting dye in their eyes, and examining their ...
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Navigating the Financial Impacts of COVID-19

By Bryan Heitmeyer, OD | May 27, 2020
Like most of you, we’ve had to make dramatic changes to our practice in the face of this pandemic. In addition to the significant changes to patient care, we’ve had to reevaluate how we run the business and think critically about what we need to do in ...
Dr. Clarin

Showing Patients It’s Safe to Come Back

By Adam Clarin, OD | May 19, 2020
As restrictions on routine eye care lifted in my state, the question was no longer, “Can we reopen?”, but rather, “How do we reopen?” Like many of you, we were anxious to return to providing comprehensive care to our patients. But no matter where your ...
Dr. Rowan

A Roadmap to Reopening

By Daniel Rowan, OD | May 12, 2020
As restrictions on routine eye care lifted in Nevada, the idea of opening our six practices made us both excited and anxious. We were relieved and happy to see our patients again, but nervous about the safety of staff and patients in this new patient ...
Dr. Chinn

Staying Connected When It Matters Most

By Jennifer Chinn, OD | May 07, 2020
Like many of you these days, who have yet to reopen for routine care, I miss seeing patients and being able to help them. It’s tough when patients call or text me that their vision has changed a bit and they need an eye exam, and I have to turn them down. I’m so excited to get back to that ...
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A Vision of Hope for Optometry

By Michael Bacigalupi, OD, MS, FAAO | March 09, 2020
I joined an established private practice immediately after graduating from optometry school, and it just wasn’t for me. I was primarily doing refractive management for my patients, and I wanted to do more. I wanted to practice full-scope optometry, to truly help people and make a difference. I was able to find that fulfillment when I opened a practice in a rural community that really needed me, where I could make a significant impact on people’s lives. Today, as dean of a rural optometry school, I get to extend that opportunity to the next generation of optometrists.
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Cowboys & Cataracts

By Amber Belaustegui, OD | February 12, 2020
I never planned to own a practice—especially not in rural Nevada. With a background in ophthalmology ocular disease, I always pictured myself in an MD/OD setting. But those opportunities weren’t coming my way, and I got tired of waiting. I decided to ...
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Optometry Gives Me Life: A Campaign for Our Future

By Lewis Reich, OD, PhD | February 11, 2020
I didn’t always know that I wanted to become a Doctor of Optometry—just that I loved science, wanted to help people, and didn’t want to pursue traditional medicine. In college, I started researching careers that would marry my love of science with my ...
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OT to OD: My Journey from Hockey to Optometry

By Daniel Rowan, OD | January 15, 2020
Born and raised in Wayne Gretzky territory, aka Western Canada, it was no surprise that I played ice hockey as a youth. In fact, it’s what got me to the U.S., as I came here to play for Norwich University in Vermont on a hockey scholarship. After ...
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Lights, Camera, Action for Charity Care!

By Stephanie Kirschbaum, OD | December 12, 2019
VSP Eyes of Hope® recently asked me to consult on-set for a video about their mission to help increase access to eye care and eyewear for people in need. Because Doctors of Optometry are central to the delivery of care, I was there to help ensure the ...
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Connection: A Young OD's Perspective

By Ece Turhal, OD | December 04, 2019
Working at a private practice in high school, I loved the freedom the doctors had to spend time with their patients and form meaningful connections with them. Today, as a new OD, I seek out those connections to enhance my patients’ experience and to ...
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Seeing the Full Picture of Diabetes

By Jeffry Gerson, OD, FAAO | November 14, 2019
In the U.S., one in two adults has diabetes or prediabetes—and the numbers keep rising. As Doctors of Optometry (ODs), we can help slow the impact the disease can have on vision and overall health through early detection, intervention, and ...
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Dairy Queen to Dean: My Journey in Optometry

By Dean Jennifer Coyle, OD, MS, FAAO | November 05, 2019
When I was 15, my family lived in Alaska, where I got my first job at the local Dairy Queen. Soon after becoming employed, I went to the sole optometrist in town and told him I had been wearing glasses since fourth grade and wanted contacts. I told ...
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Meeting a Need in Private Practice

By Gwen Gnadt, OD, FAAO | November 04, 2019
Like many of you, I graduated from optometry school with a plethora of knowledge about vision care and eye health. I was ready to conquer the world, providing superior eye care one patient at a time. However, when I went into private practice ...
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Success Through Service

By Doug Major, OD | October 07, 2019
I started my practice in Los Osos, CA, which for a small town of 10,000 was a mecca for optometrists—there were nine of us in town when my practice opened. Finding success in a saturated environment was daunting, but we determined we could all be ...
Dr. Levin

A Father's Legacy

By Richard Levin, OD | September 05, 2019
I went into private practice optometry because of my father. Growing up, I would sit at the kitchen table for hours, listening to him talk about his patients—not just about how he treated their eyes, but how he impacted their lives, and ...
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Success: A New Graduate's Perspective

By Bianca Augustino, OD | July 10, 2019
If you had asked me during optometry school how I defined success, I would have answered, “It’s a practice with my name on the door.” Today, just one year post-graduation and three months after joining an established practice, I would answer that ...
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Defining Success

By Rosiland Hursh, OD | May 20, 2019
Reflecting back on my career, my favorite patient was a seven-year-old girl who came in right after I bought my practice. She sat in the chair asking question after question—about the phoropter, the optics, what it’s like being an optometrist, you ...
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Questions About Eyeconic Marketing?

By Mary Anne C. Murphy, OD | May 17, 2019
VSP Global’s recent announcement that it plans to open three brick-and-mortar Eyeconic® locations has sparked questions, and even some misinformation out in the marketplace, specifically around how Eyeconic is marketing to VSP members, our patients. ...
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Jumping into Private Practice as a Young OD

By Samantha Vavricek, OD | April 05, 2019
As a young OD, jumping into private practice right out of school was a daunting proposition. However, I knew early on that owning my own practice would give me the work-life balance I needed, as well as the flexibility to control my patients’ quality ...
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Meeting Patients Where They Want to Be Met

By William Lakin, OD | March 18, 2019
When I was in optometry school, the independent practice doctors I met seemed to enjoy their profession the most—it’s one of the many reasons I chose to go into independent practice myself, 38 years ago. While I’ve found this path rewarding on many ...
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The Chance to Be a Hero

By Ric Rios, OD | February 15, 2019
I knew when I was in eighth grade that I wanted to be an optometrist. I got glasses when I was six and contacts at 12, and because I spent so much time at the eye doctor, I decided right then that that’s what I wanted to be. I even wrote to optometry schools when I was 14. Fast‐forward a few years, and now I’m leading a booming practice with 25 employees and thousands of patients. Today, I couldn’t be more excited about private practice optometry—the freedom and opportunity it gives me to improve people’s lives and to be someone’s hero.
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Curbing Out of Network: Good for Members and VSP Network Doctors

By Ryan Wineinger, OD | January 29, 2019
I coach a Little League baseball team and am an avid baseball fan. In the game of baseball, most teams, at any age, invest time, effort, and money in developing their players. This is done so that the team can be successful and so the players will ...
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How Does Your Practice Differentiate?

By Cheryl Everitt, OD | January 16, 2019
I went into private practice 20 years ago because I wanted to be the master of my own destiny. I felt that I could make a greater impact on patients’ lives if I wasn’t being told how to practice, and, could instead do what I felt would provide the ...
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The Game is Changing—Lead the Change

By Heidi Pham-Murphy, OD | December 17, 2018
When I graduated from optometry school, I started practicing in a hospital setting but quickly moved over to private practice. I wanted the ability to make my own decisions, so I could take care of my patients more efficiently and effectively. To me, ...
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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.
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Identifying the Premier Program Advantage

By Jarrett Johnson, OD, MPH | October 16, 2018
As a private practice owner and doctor, providing high-quality eye care is a full-time job—there’s not much time left for building my practice or figuring out how to attract new patients. But as we all know, this is a critical piece of the equation if ...
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Better Together: The Importance of Organized Optometry

By Robert Chu, OD | July 05, 2018
The importance of organized optometry cannot ever be overstated. Without organizations like the American Optometric Association (AOA), our state associations, and local societies, the profession that we enjoy would not exist as we know it. ...
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Keep Up with Technology or Watch Your Practice Fall Behind

By Palmer Lee, OD | August 23, 2017
I recently was asked to participate in a focus group with VSP Global. We took a deeper dive into the smart eyewear space, and it led me to think about technology overall—why it’s important for doctors to know more about smart eyewear and how it might ...
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Solar Eclipse is an Opportunity, and Also a Responsibility

By Nichole R. Moos, OD | August 16, 2017
The Great American Eclipse is drawing a lot of attention, and as optometrists, this provides us and our practices with a great opportunity. And with that opportunity also comes a lot of responsibility. It's imperative that our patients understand the ...
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Dr. Marvin Poston: Remembering an Industry Pioneer

By Jarrett Johnson, OD, MPH | August 07, 2017
Something inspired us all to go into the field of optometry. For some, it was a mentor along the way. For others, it was an event or experience. Some of us had friends or family affected by conditions we could address as an optometrist, and that ...
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Restoring Vision Benefits for Those Who Need It

By Matthew Alpert, OD | July 10, 2017
Co-authored by Matthew Alpert, OD, and Sage Hider, OD, President of the California Optometric Association. Coverage for eyeglasses and low vision aids for adults was cut in California’s Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal, in 2009. The California ...
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A Working Mother’s Way of Just Clowning Around

By Mary Anne C. Murphy, OD | May 10, 2017
Mornings in the Murphy household are hectic to say the least. Making lunches, checking email, feeding the dogs, ensuring homework is complete, and the ever-impossible task of getting the kids to put their shoes on so we can be out the door on time. ...
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To MIPS or Not to MIPS, That is the Question

By Masoud Nafey, OD | May 03, 2017
Here we are! It's 2017, and our practices have a clean slate with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS finalized the MACRA rule in October 2016, and the rule initiated this year. The entire goal of MACRA is to move CMS’ payment model from a fee-for-service structure to a value-based model, where clinicians get paid based on the quality of care they provide their patients. Now, we have a clear-cut decision to make on whether we are going to participate in MIPS or not.
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You Don't Know What You Don't Know, Until the Trade Shows

By Mary Anne C. Murphy, OD | April 10, 2017
Ah, another trade show under the belt. This time it was one of my favorites. I'm returning from Vision Expo East and my long flight home allows me time for my tradition of rummaging through all the flyers, swag, and paraphernalia that I picked up at ...
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It’s Time to Participate in Myopia Control

By Gary Gerber, OD | March 09, 2017
The time is right for myopia control. Are you ready to make time to participate? As a practice management consultant, I often hear doctors say, “I want to grow my practice but I don’t have time.” My response is, “Oh, so what you’re really saying is ...
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The Student Perspective: Using the AAO Meeting to See the Future

By Margaret Niktuk | February 20, 2017
I received a good look into the future of healthcare and optometry—and my own career—at the 2016 American Academy of Optometry (AAO) annual meeting held in November in Anaheim, California. With more than 7,000 attendees, it was the largest AAO meeting in history, and an experience that will help shape my decisions going forward.
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A Shared Responsibility

By William To, OD | February 14, 2017
In our profession, we're provided many opportunities to help patients. But sometimes, it even happens on our days off, and in a completely unexpected way. I was able to experience such an event on January 27, and it was inspiring to see how health ...
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New Year, New Practice Opportunities

By Masoud Nafey, OD | January 30, 2017
A new year is a blank canvas, and the brush is in our hands. This year, I encourage everyone to do something different, both in our personal and professional lives. In my case, I wanted to share some resolutions I’m adopting for my practice—because if ...
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Giving Back is a Blessing for Our Profession

By Masoud Nafey, OD | December 30, 2016
‘Tis the season to be jolly—and give back. I’ve always loved this time of the year because everywhere I go, I’m reminded it is the season for giving. As an optometrist, any time of the year is a good time to be generous, but this time of the year ...
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It's a Wonderful Life: Celebrate it in Your Practice

By Mary Anne C. Murphy, OD | December 24, 2016
With only a few days left before the end of the year, the practice is buzzing with activity. While I never want to complain that we are busy with patients taking advantage of their benefits before the end of the calendar year, I have mixed feelings ...
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The Holidays Are a Good Time to Reflect

By Ryan Wineinger, OD | December 13, 2016
The holidays can be a great time for reflection. As another year ends, it’s the perfect opportunity to talk about what you’ve achieved before you focus on what you want to change next. During this time of year, my family goes around the table saying a ...

A Vision For Vision Care

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | November 30, 2016
Has this ever happened to you? A family that has been patients of mine for many years—mom, dad, and the three kids—recently came in for their annual eye examinations. We had a very pleasant conversation about a recent vacation, how the kids were ...
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Creating a Welcoming Culture in Your Optometric Practice

By Masoud Nafey, OD | October 31, 2016
Independent optometrists are often looking for a competitive edge to help drive patients to our front door. However, that is only part of the challenge we face in private practice. Once patients actually make it to the door, we have to find ways to ...
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Using Sports to Reach Your Patients

By Mary Anne C. Murphy, OD | October 24, 2016
Finally. The kids are back in school, phew! We made it through another summer with minimal bloodshed, despite the incessant adolescent fighting. This time of year is so peaceful to me—quiet house, crisp and cool fall weather, back-to-school rush at ...
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New Season, New Practice

By Ryan Wineinger, OD | October 10, 2016
As the leaves start to change color outside and fall emerges, it's a good idea to look inside your practice and see if there are any leaves that need to be turned. After the back-to-school rush, it's easy to settle into a routine and lose sight of the ...
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Picking Up the Pieces After Louisiana Floods

By Chris Wroten, OD | September 26, 2016
The Amite River, which is located several miles from our home and about a mile from our office in Denham Springs, crested 5 feet higher than ever recorded in history, creating unprecedented flooding of homes and businesses.
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Swinging for the Fences

By Keith Smithson, OD | August 29, 2016
I recently volunteered at a Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy event, supported by VSP Global. My most memorable patient was a fifth-grade girl who never had an eye exam. She was uncorrected at 20/200 in each eye. After the exam, I witnessed her seeing clearly for the first time. Her reaction? An ear-to-ear smile.
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Opto-Camp Gives Prospective Students a Taste of Optometry

By Joan Castaneda | August 08, 2016
I’m the first in my family to attend college, and I had a lot of questions about my undergraduate choices and decisions as well as what I might do as a career after graduating. The University of California, Berkeley, School of Optometry’s Opto-Camp ...
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Coming Up With Outside-the-Box Solutions

By Ryan Wineinger, OD | July 21, 2016
Ideas are everywhere. Think of all of the ideas that you've had in the last week, day, or even in last 30 seconds as you're reading this blog. Ideas are created or thought of because there’s a solution needed for an issue you're trying to resolve.  ...
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A Lifetime of Inspiration

By Stephanie Kirschbaum, OD | July 12, 2016
We experience uniquely great things about our profession: my favorite being the significant impact we have on a person's health, visual happiness, and ultimately, his/her quality of life. Day-to-day we experience the gratitude and appreciation of our ...
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SOLutioN: Learning From the Future of Private Practice

By Mary Anne C. Murphy, OD | July 06, 2016
We have moments in our careers that remind us what made us choose the profession of optometry. For some, it is the occasion that we provide children with their first pair of glasses and see that smile as they first notice the leaves on trees. For ...
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Make a Splash in Your Office This Summer

By Ryan Wineinger, OD | June 27, 2016
Summer: The season has a variety of meanings. To some it means splashing in the pool. For others it is baseball, summer camps, vacations, and family time. For optometrists it usually means extra patients. In our office, summer brings in an abundance ...
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The Power of Access and Vision

By Jonathan Bundy, OD | June 20, 2016
My senior year in high school, I realized that I needed glasses when I couldn’t see the writing on the chalkboard. One trip to the eye doctor, and I walked out feeling inspired and intrigued about how proper vision changes lives. After that ...
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Summertime, a Great Time to Reach Patients

By Mary Anne C. Murphy, OD | June 13, 2016
Ahhh … lazy summer months … I wait all year for this time of year. Vacation time, kids out of school – parents bringing children for appointments are less frenzied, less hurried to get out of the office and on to homework or a sporting event. We ...
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Risks or Opportunities – What Does Optometry Offer You?

By Ryan Wineinger, OD | May 31, 2016
An opportunity is defined as a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something. Everyone has opportunities in life to do something. For every practicing optometrist, we had an opportunity to get into this industry, and we took it!

A Career with No Boundaries

By Mary Anne C. Murphy, OD | May 23, 2016
I’ve known from a young age I wanted to be a health care provider. I come from a family of nurses and doctors, and taking care of people seemed the perfect occupation for me.
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Optometry Provides Ample Opportunity

By Stephanie Kirschbaum, OD | May 16, 2016
Optometry has been a magnificently rewarding professional opportunity, fulfilling my entire life of dreams and goals. These include caring for my patients and my staff; community involvement; flexibility for family time; ongoing education; and ...

Creating Patient Care Opportunities

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | May 02, 2016
My father always told me that to get an opportunity, I had to make one. I was a high school wrestler on a very good team. Every week we had challenge matches to determine who would get to wrestle in the next match. After a solid junior season, I ended ...
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The Blue Light Opportunity for Optometry

By Gary Morgan, OD | April 20, 2016
If you just came back from Vision Expo East, there’s a good chance you found yourself in a conversation or two about blue light. As eye care providers, we’re on the front line of this conversation, as we’re seeing blue light’s impact walk through our practice doors literally every day.
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Optometry, Technology and Patient Health

By Matthew Alpert, OD | April 11, 2016
As Chairman of Optometric Innovation for VSP Global, I feel we are in the midst of truly exciting times for our industry. A decade ago there wouldn’t have been a need for this kind of role. But over the past few years, having a dedicated focus on ...

New Technology and New Doctors

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | April 04, 2016
Do you ever feel like no matter how fast you move, technology is moving faster? I know I do. In fact, I sometimes feel like the rabbit in “Alice in Wonderland” ... "The hurrier I go, the behinder I get." Fortunately, there is hope.

Taking Care of Patients More Efficiently with Technology

By Mary Anne C. Murphy, OD | March 28, 2016
It's funny to me some days as I reflect about the first time my parents exposed me to technology. My dad had purchased a Commodore 64 back when it was state of the art. I remember sitting down to that computer and reading a magazine that taught me how to program in BASIC. Back then, periodicals gave you the most current information outside of television.
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Helping to Create a #MillionPossibilities

By Robert Meisel, OD, FAAO | March 25, 2016
I sold my practice in 2007 and I’ve been lucky enough to have the opportunity to be able to dedicate my time to volunteering. Monarch School was put on my radar through the San Diego County Optometric Society, where I serve on the board.

Being Professional Means Truly Caring

By Stephanie Kirschbaum, OD | March 21, 2016
Being part of the profession of private practice optometry has always been of ineffable importance to me. Throughout optometry school and my early work years, professional (adj. "highly competent") practice was equated with not only the highest standard of care and clinical acumen, but private practice.

An "Old Story" and a "New Look" at Technology and Innovation

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | March 07, 2016
Perhaps an "old story" from my practice can give us a "new look" at technology and innovation. Many years ago, I received a promotional pd gauge at an optometric CE meeting. It was nothing special – really – except that it had LED lights, which alternated between red and blue when taking a pd.

The Differing Opinions on Professional Optometry

By Ryan Wineinger, OD | February 26, 2016
In the industry of optometry, everyone has differing opinions on what professional optometry is. Some believe being a professional optometrist is only relegated to private practice, in which a doctor has controlling interest over their practice.

Recap of Jim McGrann’s Power Hour Radio Interview

By Patrick Ibarra | February 22, 2016
VSP Global President and CEO Jim McGrann appeared on Dr. Gary Gerber’s Power Hour radio show for the fourth time on Wednesday, Feb. 17 to answer questions posed by Dr. Gerber as well as multiple callers from across the country, covering a wide range of topics.

A Focus on Patient Access Positively Impacts All of Us

By Matthew Alpert, OD | February 17, 2016
As a third-generation optometrist and owner of two practices in California, I was pleased today when Covered California announced it selected VSP Vision Care to offer access to vision care coverage for adults, a decision that will help reduce the gap in access to eye care in my state.

Responsible Optometry

By Mary Anne C. Murphy, OD | February 08, 2016
"Professional" Optometry? It seems a silly oxymoron – unless one is to imply there is such thing as "Unprofessional" Optometry. I would prefer not to go there. However, the previous term seems to penetrate the industry trade news and I think it deserves to be expounded upon.

Professional Optometry

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | February 01, 2016
It's hard to believe, but I have had a part in professional optometry for 35 years. By all measures, it has been a great run. Just think about it. Our scope of practice has expanded from a largely refractive, diagnostic, and referral profession
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The Most Rewarding Job

By Daphne Engle | January 22, 2016
“And then Katrina came. Wiped out everything I had.”Mr. Minor was a small business owner and, like so many New Orleans residents, had to quickly evacuate in the face of Hurricane Katrina’s wrath 10 years ago, leaving his glasses behind.Dr. Jarrett ...

Dream Big

By Mary Anne C. Murphy, OD | January 14, 2016
Day in and day out we search for ways to make our lives more efficient. This may come as easily as using Amazon to order a birthday present for a party your child will attend this weekend or may take more effort, like installing a money-saving smart thermostat to control your home environment while you are away.

The Importance of Access

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | January 04, 2016
Access has been a hot topic in optometry throughout my professional career. Patients need access to doctors and doctors need access to provider panels so they can provide care for their patients.
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Appreciate Your Patients

By Ryan Wineinger, OD | December 21, 2015
In today’s world it’s becoming difficult to appreciate the things you have. It’s a concern amongst many people to worry, “What is coming next?” “What will I buy next?” “Where will I go next?” In optometry, that isn’t much different.
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The Season of Giving

By Stephanie Kirschbaum, OD | December 14, 2015
We get to a point in life when it's way more fun to give than receive. Volunteering for community groups and events is a premier way of giving. After all, ‘tis the season for giving and sharing.
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Reflecting on What's Truly Important

By Matthew Alpert, OD | December 07, 2015
I (far left), along with representatives from VSP, pose with Vula Mazibuko Primary School learners in Soweto, South Africa, who received no-cost eye exams and new Nike glasses.

Sharing From Our Abundance

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | December 01, 2015
The holiday season is my favorite time of the year. It's that special opportunity for us to count our many blessings, to give thanks for our families, for our homes, and for the many opportunities we enjoy.

eCommerce as an Extension of Your Practice

By Mary Anne C. Murphy, OD | November 23, 2015
Gen X, Gen Y, Millennials: Are you tired of all the stereotyping and artificial grouping? Do you understand these groups? Who came up with these groups and who defines them? Do you know where you fit in? Do you fit in anywhere?

Avoiding Disruption

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | November 16, 2015
If you have any question as to how fast the eye care industry is changing, just read the headlines. In just the past few weeks: CVS Pharmacy made the decision to add eye care to its healthcare offering, and has begun a five store pilot; Essilor ...

When it Comes to eCommerce, Patient and Provider Education is Key

By Stephanie Kirschbaum, OD | November 09, 2015
How many of you have had patients already with an idea about which online site they will be using to order contact lenses or glasses based on the recommendation of a friend or neighbor? And when asked why, simply said the idea of cheap is appealing to ...

Turning eCommerce Into an Advantage

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | November 01, 2015
Well, here I am, back at the old As Eye See It blog desk ... and the topic this month: eCommerce. We all equate eCommerce with online buying and selling, but it really is much more. It also includes business to business buying and selling, data ...

Sending Kids Back to School with a Smile

By Thuy-Lan Nguyen, OD | August 25, 2015
It’s that time of year when kids are heading back to school, and as most of us know, an estimated one in four is returning with a vision problem that could affect learning. To help address the need in my community, I recently volunteered on the VSP ...

The VSP Practice Report – A Key Tool in My Practice

By Thuy-Lan Nguyen, OD | August 02, 2015
The quarterly Practice Report is an extremely valuable tool that I use in my practice. I use it in three key ways: Analyze patient demographics to make informed purchasing decisions. Understand the number of and revenue generated from VSP claims. ...
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See What’s Possible

By Kate Renwick-Espinosa | June 09, 2015
 I want to start by sharing how honored I am to soon serve as President of VSP Vision Care, an organization I have worked for and loved for the past 23 years. A company whose mission to help people see has become so close to my heart that it has ...

Reflections

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | May 11, 2015
There is no doubt about it – change is constant! I am sure that you have seen the announcement that Rob Lynch will be retiring as CEO of VSP Global and will be succeeded by Jim McGrann, the current President of VSP Vision Care. This upcoming change ...

CareCredit: Growth, retention, and savings all in one new program

By Stuart Thomas, OD | April 08, 2015
VSP’s primary mission is to help people see and as VSP approaches its 60th anniversary; its growth now provides access to over 70,000,000 members (patients) to over 32,000 providers (doctors). As one of those providers, my primary mission is to make ...
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We See Progress and Possibility

By Matthew Alpert, OD | April 06, 2015
Matthew Alpert, OD, with school children from the Soweto communityPhumla, a 16-year-old student who aspires to be a doctor, struggled to learn and feared crossing the street due to vision issues. Keamogetswe, an 11-year-old who loves school, saw his ...
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New Opportunities for Free Continuing Education

By Jeffry Gerson, OD, FAAO | April 01, 2015
For the fifth year, VSP Vision Care is sponsoring Eye on Wellness continuing education (CE) seminars for optometrists with A. Paul Chous, MA, OD, FAAO, and I as keynote speakers. What's really exciting is that VSP has expanded the number of seminars to ...

VSP’s Not For Profit Organizational Structure

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | February 26, 2015
A question I often hear is, “I thought VSP lost their not-for-profit status?” In today’s installment, I will try to clear this question up and then talk about a new and emerging force in our industry, private equity and venture capital.Here is the VSP ...
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The Power of Counting Steps

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | February 13, 2015
There is an old adage: “If you want something to get better, you measure it.” I believe this is absolutely true. In fact, I suspect that incremental measurement may be the most important step toward improvement.I started wearing a pedometer and ...

Do We Still Need The Doctor?

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | January 23, 2015
Millennials—those born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s—represent a growing percentage of most of our patient bases. The Millennial Generation has ever increasing access to information via the internet and social media. They come to us with ...
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The 3 C’s for Attracting and Retaining Millennials

By Matthew Alpert, OD | January 02, 2015
 There’s a lot of industry talk lately about changes in how consumers view eye care. That’s not just due to technology. It’s also due to a new generation of consumers that already represents a third of the U.S. population—the millennials, who ...
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Don't Forget The Intangibles

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | December 26, 2014
I love the movie, The Internship—so funny! You know the story, two out of work salesmen get into a competitive internship at Google. Against all odds, they win the day and, finally, a job by demonstrating the importance of personal relationships in ...
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The Joy of Giving Back

By Stephanie Kirschbaum, OD | December 05, 2014
World Sight Day was a great opportunity for eye care professionals to come together to raise awareness about the importance of eye care and help those in need of eye care around the globe.I was one of more than 40 optometrists who volunteered with VSP ...

Providing Consumer-focused Eye Care Services

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | November 04, 2014
Our patients are consumers. They come with far more information and awareness of options in treatment and mode of practice. They demand multiple access channels and they demand choice that fits their individual lifestyle.The VSP Global mission is to ...

Celebrating World Sight Day As A Community

By Stephanie Kirschbaum, OD | October 03, 2014
As an optometrist, it’s alarming to hear that, even today, more than 600 million people globally don’t have access to the eye care or eyewear they need. Many are blind or vision impaired due to uncorrected refractive error that I know could be ...

What Patients Remember

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | September 19, 2014
A very nice 85-year-old patient recently came in for a medical follow-up visit. Despite a history that included both glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, she was not good about follow up…but, on this occasion she had returned right on schedule!So, I ...

Giving The Gift Of Sight

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | September 05, 2014
There are so many stories and so little time! This is certainly the case when trying to describe the importance of extending eye care services to those in need. Vision is so important and we can all be very proud of our charitable efforts in sharing ...
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Blue Light Discussions Improve Patient Care and Revenue

By Matthew Alpert, OD | August 01, 2014
Visit vspblog.com/blue-light-study/ for resources that you can share with your patients, including an engaging infographic.Isn’t it amazing how much the patient conversation has changed over the past 15 years? It used to be that I would ask a patient ...
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A $50 Billion Reason To Become A Glass Preferred Provider

By Matthew Alpert, OD | July 25, 2014
Earlier this year, I predicted that wearable devices like Google Glass will expand the relevance of optometry in our patients’ everyday lives. I’ve now been wearing Glass for a year, and it’s brought value to my practice in a number of ways. Wearing ...

Technology As A Tool To Help Your Practice Succeed

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | July 10, 2014
Ami C. Ranani, OD, of Somers Eye Center in New York, offers the following for optometrists who are interested in advancing the technology in their own practices.We’ve all heard these seven words: There is nothing constant except for change. Some of us ...

Premier Program

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | July 07, 2014
Okay, so here is your question for the day: What do your airline, your coffee company, and your local hardware store all have in common?The answer is that they all offer loyalty programs. They learned a long time ago that if they could deepen the ...
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Free Continuing Education with VSP Eye on Wellness

By Jeffry Gerson, OD, FAAO | June 06, 2014
In last week’s post, my colleague Daniel Mannen, OD, FAAO, wrote about delivering excellence in patient care—the kind of care patients want. One of the ways we can deliver top-quality patient care is to invest our time in continuing education.I’d like ...

What Patients Want

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | May 30, 2014
For the record, I really don’t like hot dogs. They are not very healthy, they are pretty messy, and I often end up with mustard on my shirt. However, my opinion of hot dogs changes completely when I go to a baseball game. I love ball park franks. So, ...

Have You Ever Had One of Those Days?

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | April 25, 2014
Have you ever had one of those days?Running late, splashed coffee on my new shirt…oh well, off to work.Started a little late, but the first exam was going great until the slit lamp bulb burned out. I found a new one, wrong size. Thank goodness, I ...

3 Tips for Using Your VSP Practice Report

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | April 07, 2014
Well, it’s that time of year again. Spring has sprung! Here in Oregon, that means rain—but just think of all the green that follows. My feet are a little muddy, but summer is straight ahead. There is no question about it, time for optimism!What about ...

We See Brings Access to Eye Health in Soweto

By Matthew Alpert, OD | April 02, 2014
In 2012, I was part of a team that traveled to Soweto, South Africa—hometown of Nelson Mandela—to provide free eye exams and eyewear to nearly 200 staff members and students from a local school at the Nike Football Training Centre.Just 230 ...

Eye Exams: A Powerful Tool for Overall Health

By Stephanie Kirschbaum, OD | March 07, 2014
Have you heard this recently? “I haven’t come in for an eye exam because I don’t need new glasses.”As eye doctors, we know that annual eye exams are as important for overall health as they are for vision correction. Now, a new study* is making it ...
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5 Reasons To Be A Glass Preferred Provider

By Matthew Alpert, OD | February 05, 2014
By now, you've probably seen the news: Google has announced that Glass prescription frames are available. Glass Explorers can now purchase Glass with frames from Google and have them fitted with prescription lenses.VSP Vision Care is working closely ...

Lessons Learned by a Former Little League Baseball Player

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | January 03, 2014
Of all my childhood experiences, Little League Baseball provided some of my most memorable life lessons. It was there where I learned what it took to really get better. I was so fortunate because my dad was always there to hit a few more ground balls ...

Making the Case for Adult Vision Care in the Insurance Exchanges

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | December 06, 2013
There is no doubt about it: Patients place a high value on their vision care programs. Cost savings, performance enhancement, and early disease detection have made vision care a very desirable benefit, even when participation is at the patients’ ...

No Job Is Too Big

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | November 22, 2013
I had the distinct privilege of growing up in a family where we were taught that no job was beneath us and where we were all expected to pitch in. Each of us had a role but we were also expected to be observant…and helpful.Sounds like a good formula ...

Reinforce and Reward If You Expect Change

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | November 15, 2013
My dog, Maggie, has to be the greatest dog in the world. She is a beautiful four-year-old silver and gray wire-haired dachshund who has never met a stranger.Now, don't get me wrong, other dogs may know more tricks, but Maggie knows what is most ...

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 ...

World Sight Day

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | September 24, 2013
There is no doubt about it, vision is one of our most treasured gifts. It is an awesome privilege to be able to help safeguard the vision of our patients. And even beyond, it is truly rewarding to extend much needed care to the underserved in our ...

Misconceptions on Light

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | September 20, 2013
Following is a guest post by Gary L. Morgan, OD, who emphasizes medical eye care in his practice, Eye Tech Eye Associates. Dr. Morgan is also an early adopter of new technology, and he's published and lectured on the clinical advantages of ...

Encouraging Healthy Technology Habits for Our Children

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | August 30, 2013
Perhaps you have experienced this in your practice:Mary arrives for her eye exam with her one-year-old son Sam in tow.Sam utters a blood curdling scream just as we are getting started.Mary bolts out of the exam chair and offers Sam her iPhone.Sam ...

Practice Technology

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | August 02, 2013
No doubt about it, technology has really changed how we communicate. Look at this progression: speaking, shouting, two cans and a string, pony express, snail mail, telegraph, landline telephones, cellular telephones, e-mail, text messaging, and now ...

Making the Case for Comprehensive Eye Examination Over Screening

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | July 26, 2013
With the reality of healthcare reform squarely before us, the efficacy of many traditional healthcare practices is being challenged. One such consideration is to question whether or not screening adults without symptoms for glaucoma in a primary care ...

Improve Your Capture Rate with the 2013 VSP Practice Report

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | July 12, 2013
As a kid, I was always amazed at how many fish my father would catch compared to me. I assumed that he was just luckier…until one day he shared an important secret. He explained that I had to actually visualize the fish selecting my bait among all the ...

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 ...

Eyeconic: An Important Tool to Address Online Shopping

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | June 04, 2013
Have you ever heard this conversation in your dispensary?Optical staff: Let’s pick 3–5 of your favorite styles and then go through your best lens options.Patient: No, that’s OK. I’m going to shop around—I think all I need is a copy of my prescription ...

The Tag Line

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | May 24, 2013
Take a look at the following tag lines: Inspiration for the senses Thrive Imagination takes flight WowI’ll bet you can’t guess the industries that are being promoted. In order: Visitors bureau HMO Museum Car dealerWhat do you think these various ...

Are Your Key Messages Echoing Throughout Your Practice?

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | May 10, 2013
I am sure you are familiar with the exercise where you tell a story to the first person, who tells it to a second, and a third, and so on. By the time it gets back to the originator, it is almost always a far different story. This very phenomenon can ...

VSP Annual Practice Report

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | April 26, 2013
The two most commonly referred to statistics in optometric practice are: number of patients and net receipts. While these two statistics do provide some useful information, it would be much better to find the reasons behind the numbers.

Enthusiasm In Practice

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | April 19, 2013
There is no doubt about it—we optometrists have the best job in the world. We help our patients see better, and in the process, improve their quality of life. Pretty cool! Can you think of a better reason to go to work?

Warby's SoHo Store

April 16, 2013
It’s official! Warby Parker opened a flagship store in NYC’s trendy SoHo neighborhood. Not just online anymore, where will the young company go next?

Technology Plus The Doctor

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | April 05, 2013
Wow, have things ever changed. Just look at how far we have come: mechanical to automated, Polaroid to digital, and paper to electronic. Clearly, data collection and reporting have changed forever. In fact, every aspect of patient care is being ...

Going offline

By Tara Wertz | March 25, 2013
More online retailers go offline, leveraging their websites and enhancing consumer experience.

Unity Lens Portfolio

By Tara Wertz | March 25, 2013
VSP expands its UNITY lens portfolio with the PLxpression progressive lenses with Cascade Technology.

Optimism: The Result of a Great Game Plan

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | March 22, 2013
The story is timeless. It's David v. Goliath. It's Hickory v. South Bend Central. It's the underdog prevailing over the favorite.How in the world do these upsets happen?Why are some folks intimidated, while others achieve legendary success?

Bakersfield Town-Hall Meeting

By Tara Wertz | March 12, 2013
Hear what doctors had to say about changes in the optical industry during a recent town-hall meeting. View the recorded meeting today.

VSP Steps Up To Help After Superstorm Sandy

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | March 02, 2013
VSP Vision Care is a private, not-for-profit, community-based company whose mission is to help eye doctors in their quest to help people see. That commitment is in full view every day, and certainly, in times of crisis as VSP reached out to people in ...

VSP Pilots New Program

By Tara Wertz | February 28, 2013
VSP pilots program to offer customizable coverage to individuals and families in four states.

Warby Parker Annex

By Tara Wertz | February 28, 2013
Online optical retailer Warby Parker is taking their products to consumers rather than waiting for consumers to find them online.

Coastal Q1 Revenue Increase

By Tara Wertz | February 20, 2013
Yet another record setting quarter for online retail giant Coastal.com—95% increase in its U.S. revenue for the 2013 first quarter.

3D Glasses

By Tara Wertz | February 20, 2013
3D try-on glasses now available online for iPad users, designed by online eyewear retailer Ditto.

VSP Leadership Re-emphasizes Intent for Eyeconic

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | January 29, 2013
The following post is an open letter from Stuart Thomas, OD, Chairman of the VSP Global Board of Directors, and Rob Lynch, President and CEO of VSP Global. We appreciate the blog posted January 28 by the AOA entitled Critics say VSP's online dispensary ...

Warby Parker and Moscot

By Tara Wertz | January 25, 2013
Small eyewear companies see big success. What makes Warby Parker and Moscot formidable competitors?

The Game Plan

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | January 25, 2013
Hasn’t this football season been great?! We just made it through the bowl season and we are on our way to Super Bowl XLVII. Each game has a favorite, but as we all know, lots of upsets! What makes the difference?

The Analogy of the Frog

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | December 28, 2012
We all know the story. If you put a frog in hot water, he will immediately jump out…to safety. However, if you put a frog in cool water and slowly increase the temperature, he will not recognize the danger…and will stay in the water to his demise.What ...

PCP Communication—Message Received?

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | December 14, 2012
Don’t you just hate it when you deliver a “clear message” only to have the receiver miss the most important point? I am reminded of an episode where my father and I misunderstood my pick-up location after a day of deer hunting.“I’ll meet you at the ...
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Paying Tribute to an Optometric Visionary

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | November 20, 2012
Once upon a time, a group of optometrists in the San Francisco Bay Area had a dream—to offer high-quality, cost-effective eye care as a prepaid benefit. Prior to this historic beginning, optometry was not part of third-party healthcare. The group ...

AOA Needs A Fact Check On California Exchange Board Decision

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | November 12, 2012
On October 30, the California Health Benefit Exchange Board voted to include stand-alone vision plans in their soon-to-open state insurance exchange. This important decision, endorsed by the California Optometric Association (COA)

VSP Offers Help to Sandy Victims

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | November 06, 2012
One of the most important human emotions is hope. When disasters like Sandy strike, it is important that we all come together for hope to be restored. People need hope, and it takes purposeful action to make a difference.

They Said What on “60 Minutes”?

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | October 12, 2012
The investigative television show “60 Minutes” recently aired a segment entitled, “Sticker Shock: Why are glasses so expensive?” CNBC then followed with “Glasses giant crushing the competition.”

Rob's FOX interview

By Annie Parker | October 05, 2012
Rob Lynch appears on FOX to discuss VSP's exclusion from the CA health exchange.

Using the VSP Practice Report to Increase Your Capture Rate

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | October 05, 2012
I love college football, and I love my Oregon State Beavers. Everything just seems better when I see happy faces on the “Orange People” after a big win. Of course, one of the keys to winning is being able to recruit talented players. Everybody wants ...

Coastal Contacts - Q3 results

By Annie Parker | September 21, 2012
Coastal Contacts announces record-setting 3rd quarter. Reports revenues of $50M, 250K glasses sold worldwide, and increased sales of glasses in the U.S. by 77%.

Helping Patients Connect Eye Exams to Health

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | September 21, 2012
I was just looking out my kitchen window: a giant fir tree, a busy squirrel, a thirsty hummingbird, and all the beautiful colors of an autumn in Oregon. The gift of sight, it should never be taken for granted.Bausch + Lomb just published its Barometer ...

Open Enrollment: Making A Beautiful Connection

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | September 14, 2012
I was thumbing through a magazine when I came upon an advertisement to visit Hawaii. A beautiful beach, a gorgeous sunset, and the promise of culture, tradition, and tropical breezes—talk about a value proposition. I could almost feel the sand beneath ...

Jobson and FittingBox

By Annie Parker | September 07, 2012
Jobson and FittingBox to introduce virtual try-on, which will allow users to view their image on-screen, in real time, at any angle.

A Vote to Limit Health Choices

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | September 05, 2012
Why did organized medicine lobby hard to keep stand-alone plans out in California? It's all about control of your access.

Donuts and the VSP Affiliate Program

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | August 17, 2012
If I told you that I could sign a contract that would deliver 9 out of every 10 customers to your donut shop, I am sure you would be thrilled. If I announced that winning the contract hinged on allowing customers to have a choice of where they ...

Birthdays

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | August 10, 2012
Well, it is that time of year again—time for my birthday. Have you noticed that we always wonder where has the time has gone? Surely, the world has changed and a lot has gone on—after all, an entire year has gone by—and yet, I didn’t notice.

Won't Be Denied

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | July 31, 2012
I am blessed to live on the banks of the Columbia River in Oregon, which sports one of the great spring Chinook salmon runs. For fishermen around here, fishing is a near religious experience, but it is the fish who are the real heroes.

Expand Your Dispensary with eStores

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | July 19, 2012
Well, we have officially set a record in our office. We ordered 18 frames for a single patient before she selected one. Unfortunately, we did it the old fashioned way: ordered them, paid for postage to get them in, and had to deal with frame returns and delays.

Connecting with Mr. Jones

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | July 12, 2012
It was raining like crazy—end of June—must be Oregon, the place where summer doesn’t start until after the fourth of July. Well, at least everything is green! And then, I noticed it…muddy footprints all over my dispensary carpet.

Embracing Technology

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | July 05, 2012
I have had the pleasure of riding in a lot of taxi cabs in my frequent travels. It seems that everyone is embracing technology…even the taxis. Check out this partial list: GPS, surveillance cameras, digital taxi meters, credit card machines, iPod docking, cell phone charging, and, my favorite, the electronic coffee cup heater.

Even better news

By as EYE SEE it Writers | June 27, 2012
Clients are encouraged to include vision care as a benefit for their employees.

Brand Conscious Consumers

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | June 22, 2012
I remember several years ago, I wanted to get my son a new baseball cap. I knew the size, I knew the color, I knew the team…I did not think about the brand. As you might guess, my son was “brand conscious.” So, after a cap exchange we found the perfect one. …well, almost…I took the label off; kids like the labels on. Whoops. So noted!

Lost Comments

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | June 08, 2012
The hosting company used for my blog experienced an equipment failure last weekend. While we were able to restore most content, some data—including a few comments from readers—couldn't be recovered.

Clearing the Mist Surrounding Healthcare Reform

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | June 01, 2012
Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”Dr. Seuss Recently, an Open Forum was held with representatives from both the AOA and VSP discussing stand-alone vision plan direct participation in the newly forming state insurance exchanges.

UNITY Optics

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | May 18, 2012
I grew up in rural eastern Oregon and spent a lot of time fishing in cold, wet weather. To protect from the elements, our pre-outdoor ritual was to spray water repllenet on our clothes to help keep the wet out. Time consuming, a little sticky, and not completely satisfactory—but it did help.

2011 VSP Practice Report

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | May 11, 2012
I had the opportunity to play on my college golf team. One day my golf coach asked me how I was doing with my midrange putting. He said that if I didn’t know, I should gather some data. To my surprise, after charting a few rounds, I found that my weakest putting distance was midrange.

Affiliate Provider Program Update

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | May 04, 2012
An excellent strategic move in baseball is to allow a run to score in exchange for an out when your team is well ahead. After all, the ultimate goal is to win the game. This is a very apt description of the successful results to date for the VSP affiliate provider program.

Why We’ve Invited the AOA to a Healthcare Reform Forum

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | May 02, 2012
We all remember the famous words sung by Sister Sledge: “We are Family.” There is no question about it; the optometric profession has always had a real sense of family. Remarkably, we actually like each other. However, that does not mean that we always agree.

Expanding My Dispensary Online

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | April 27, 2012
Today’s post is guest-authored by Robert L. Bass, OD, FAAO, who practices in Manassas, Virginia. Dr. Bass is Vice- President of the Board of Trustees of the Virginia Optometric Association, a fellow of the Virginia Academy of Optometry, and served 10 years on the VSP Board of Directors. He is also a Melvin Jones Fellow in the Manassas Host Lions Club.

The Marketplace

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | April 20, 2012
High competition, low margins, regulatory burden, unstable politics, strong outside forces, worst business model ever…what industry am I talking about? The answer is independent pharmacy as described in a blog by The Redheaded Pharmacist that appeared in Pharmacy Times, December 2011.

The Need for Vigilance

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | April 05, 2012
Autorefractors are an important element in optometric practice. The primary function is to provide objective data that can be used in concert with other findings to help determine a refractive prescription.

Optometry and Coffee

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | March 23, 2012
What in the world has happened to a cup of coffee? It is no longer just coffee; it is a “venti three-shot, soy, one-pump vanilla latte with light whip and no foam!” And what is up with blue jeans? Now, they are “distressed, stonewashed, multi-color, relaxed fit and meant to be worn just south of the hambone.” Yikes!!

Be Careful What You Wish For

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | March 16, 2012
An article appeared in CNNMoney.com on January 5, 2012, which was titled “Doctors going broke.” The article discussed a growing problem wherein independent medical practices are facing “serious financial issues.” Reasons listed were: shrinking insurance reimbursements, changing regulations, and rising business costs, combined with reductions in both Medicare and health plan reimbursements.

2012 House of Delegates: Common Sense Prevails

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | February 17, 2012
by Matthew Alpert, ODI just returned from the California Optometric Association's (COA) House of Delegates. There were a number of issues to weigh in on, but fever pitch was reached when the issue of stand-alone vision plans was raised. A resolution for the COA to support stand-alone vision plans in the California state exchange achieved an overwhelming victory.

Family Memories

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | January 27, 2012
An odd thing has happened over my nearly 30 years of practice…my patients are getting older (and so am I). It has been a remarkable transformation. In many ways, I think it is quite similar to what we experience as our own families get older.

Best Story Contest Winner: Stephen Cohen, OD

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | January 20, 2012
In November, I invited fellow optometrists to share their stories. Thank you to everyone who submitted a story. I enjoyed reading them all, but following is my favorite story from those submitted. It was shared by Dr. Stephen Cohen.

VSP Eye on Diabetes

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | December 15, 2011
Diabetes affects nearly 26 million people in the United States. Of this group, it is estimated that fully one third of diabetics are undiagnosed. Throw in an additional 79 million in the prediabetes risk category and you get a good idea about the breadth of this disease.

VSP Benefit Fairs Promoting Optometry

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | December 01, 2011
There I was, at the VSP® Vision Care booth—smack dab between the nutrition table and the chronic back pain table—as employees of Columbia Sportswear filed by at their annual benefits fair.

New Contact Lens Benefit a Win for Patients and Doctors

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | November 11, 2011
You know, I still remember the day I finally convinced my parents that I needed contact lenses. I was a high school baseball player and was certain that the only obstacle between me and the major leagues was my glasses. Well, I love my contact lenses, even to this day. Unfortunately, I never learned to hit the curve ball.

Doctor-patient Relationships

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | November 04, 2011
One of the real blessings of private practice is having the opportunity to develop a long-term relationship with our patients. Our patients become our friends and almost seem like family. We know what they like and don’t like. We know their jobs, their hobbies, and their interests.

Eyeconic

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | October 21, 2011
In my travels around the U.S. talking with doctors, I have heard lots of buzz around the emergence of online optical.

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.

IBM to EyeMed

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | October 07, 2011
When you go fishing, the number of fish in the pond is very important in predicting your chance of catching one. Adding fish to the pond increases your chances; removing fish from the pond decreases your chances.

Progress

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | September 19, 2011
Progress, to me, means real improvement. Activity, however, does not necessarily result in progress at all. Remember Hans and Franz…members of the foreign legion. One day, their commandant announced that he had “good news.”

Cisco and BP: Meeting Clients Needs...Keeping Our Focus

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | September 12, 2011
 In evaluating the worth of a product, whose opinion is more important, the manufacturer or the purchaser? The answer, of course, is the purchaser. And, in choosing among sources for a product, how do you decide who to buy from?

The Making of an Optometrist

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | August 25, 2011
You know everyone has a unique story of how they ended up as a private-practice optometrist. After starting this blog, I realized that you might be wondering about my story. After reading below, you will find that I am just one of many using real-life experiences to help me connect with patients and run my business.

Optometry: Back to the Future

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | August 19, 2011
Think about it. We are now living smack dab in the middle of what used to be the future. When I graduated in 1980, who could have envisioned that optometry would elevate and become the fantastic patient care profession which we know today?

COA and VSP Work Together to Preserve Independence

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | August 05, 2011
I am proud to be an independent, private-practice doctor of optometry. My independence has allowed me the freedom to have a patient-first focus. Personal responsibility and integrity govern my practice without the undue influence of profit-centric pressure from above.

Eyeconic: Our Connection to the Online Shopper

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | July 29, 2011
Ok, I am officially a Baby Boomer—a fifty-something shopper. I look in the phone book, wonder which store might have my desired product, and hunt store to store until I find what I am after. My daughter, however, is a generation ‘Y’ shopper.

VSP: A Successful Affiliate Strategy

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | July 20, 2011
In any competition, if the game changes, the strategy must also change for continued success. Such is the case with VSP® Vision Care in the managed vision care market. The needs and requirements of the client have changed. To remain competitive, VSP must also change to be able to meet clients’ needs.

God Bless Private Practice

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | July 08, 2011
Every day we go to work trying to do the very best job for our patients. And yet, the impressions that patients sometimes get never cease to amaze me. My favorite, of course, is for one of my patients to tell me that they like me a lot better than ...

Observations from the Town-Hall Meetings

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | June 30, 2011
Hi again. Needless to say, change is upon us. Whether it be my hairline, the economy, or my distance off the tee, all are being tested. Change is also upon us in our optometric practices with a down economy, stronger competition, and increasing purchasing online, to name a few.

Reasons to Review Your Practice Report

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | June 30, 2011
Hi there, yes, it’s me again. Do you know the number one statistic which doctors keep track of in their practices? Yes, it is the number of patients, i.e., how full is my appointment book? How many patients this month, compared with how many patients last month?

The Importance of Eye Health Management

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | June 23, 2011
Hi there, it’s me again. It is hard to believe, but I am officially able to reflect on a 30-year career in optometry. We all recognize the tremendous increase in scope of practice and optometry’s emergence as an integral part of the healthcare team.

Our Marketplace is Changing

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO | June 10, 2011
This is my very first blog. It is great to reach out to other private practitioners and engage you all in a dialogue regarding VSP and our profession. VSP has one and only one mission: to deliver patients to member doctor practices.
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