Sending Kids Back to School with a Smile

Tuesday, 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 Mobile Eyes clinic at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Broward County to provide no-cost eye care and eyewear to a group of children who wouldn’t have the ability to attain it otherwise.

It was a great set up where I could focus on providing the eye care and VSP provided everything else – including prescription eyewear to the kids who required it. Each time I volunteer, it serves as a great reminder of a key role we play in a person’s life by increasing their ability to see and engage with the world around them.

One of the most memorable moments was a family that brought in their son, eight years old and daughter, age seven in for exams. The daughter reminded me much of myself at her age—we even looked quite similar. She was highly nearsighted with 20/400 vision uncorrected and had lost her glasses several months ago, whereas her brother had never worn glasses. Both were able to leave that day seeing better with their new glasses and their parents relieved that they are better equipped for their school year.

Volunteering on the mobile clinics provides for a well-rounded experience for the kids to be introduced to optometry – including being able to watch the lenses being cut and their glasses put together! Involving them in the process made it much more personal for them versus just another doctor’s appointment.

For this event specifically, we helped 30 children, some with high prescriptions that had never worn glasses before or had broken theirs and couldn’t afford to replace them. Many of the kids thought they were seeing fine prior to their exam, but actually needed glasses for reading and focusing on distance learning at school.

I am a huge proponent of my peers giving back to his or her community – and I know a lot who do.  Who doesn’t love the opportunity to trade the day-to-day hectic schedule for smiling faces, hugs, and high fives from patients? Check out the VSP Mobile Eyes program to learn how you can leverage their no-cost outreach programs to support your community.

The VSP Practice Report – A Key Tool in My Practice

Monday, August 3, 2015

The quarterly Practice Report is an extremely valuable tool that I use in my practice. I use it in three key ways:

  1. Analyze patient demographics to make informed purchasing decisions.
  2. Understand the number of and revenue generated from VSP claims.
  3. Identify revenue growth and improvement opportunities—the Practice Report shows exactly how much more revenue I can make with small changes.

Understanding patient demographics is critical for marketing and purchasing in our office. Using the Practice Report, I segment our patients by age bracket. For practices that see a high percentage of patients 45 and over, marketing can be geared towards newer progressive designs and the importance of annual ocular health examinations to detect diseases such as cataract and glaucoma. But for me, the 18-35 year old group is growing quickly, so I do more social media marketing to Millennials about digital eye strain and blue light technology.

Knowing the breakdown of male vs. female ratio also helps when educating my staff about new member benefits and purchasing frame styles for optical inventory. My patients really love the additional frame allowance they receive for Marchon and Altair frames—so along with promoting the value of the Extra $20 and Extra $40 programs to VSP members, and knowing which brands appeal to each demographic, my practice needs to be stocked and to respond to this demand. (In case you missed it, as of August 1, most VSP members will receive an extra $40 to spend on bebe, Calvin Klein, Flexon and Nike brand frames on top of their standard allowance.)

I’ve found that it is beneficial to go over the Practice Report quarterly with opticians and other critical employees. First, they become aware that the doctor is tracking things such as capture rate, average sale amount and products used. Second, they see how much revenue is lost by not recommending certain products. Finally, we discuss where we have room to improve and grow. No matter how well we are doing, there is always room to do even better. The report data allows us to set ambitious yet realistic goals. I also enjoy rewarding the staff for meeting our goals and they have something to look forward to every three months instead of just once a year.

I encourage you to review out your personalized Practice Report today—get the details about your activity with VSP and take advantage of the VSP Value Program opportunities you find. It’s a no brainer for me! For a practice where every penny counts, earning an additional $27 per progressive sale and $17 per single vision sale is huge. Patients get more value, so they are more likely to refer their friends and family to me. The practice makes more money from these programs, but the referrals truly help the practice to grow. It’s a win, win, win situation.

What do your patient demographics tell you? What small changes can your practice make to earn more revenue?

See What’s Possible

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


Photo Of Kate Renwick-Espinosa

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 become part of my own DNA. And a company who has reminded me day after day for the past two decades, that people are at the center of who we are and what we do.

As VSP celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, we stand at a critical juncture in our journey together with you. With new market influences abound – from millennials and mobile to big data and Internet of Things, just to name a few – it is more vital than ever to come together and reimagine how we deliver eye care to continue to make a positive impact in the lives of people around the world.

I’ve reviewed the results of our most recent Annual Provider Survey and want to continue to listen and learn about what you’re experiencing on the front lines.  Putting the consumer in the center of our collaboration will be paramount in furthering our mission to help people see.

By working together, we can co-create new systems that leverage technology and data to deliver superior personalized care to meet the demands of tomorrow’s consumer. Together we can discover new pathways to bring vision to those who may be disenfranchised by income, distance or disaster.  And together we can invent our own future.