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.


Monday, 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 has led me to a time of reflection as I look back at the very successful past ten years and look forward to an exciting future.

To say the eye care industry has changed in the last ten years would be an understatement.  Clearly, much has happened since President Bush began his second term and since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.  Independent optometry was faced with many challenges, each with the potential to be disruptive.  The optical marketplace saw unprecedented consolidation.  A fundamental change occurred from employer funded benefits to voluntary participation.  The internet has enabled unparalleled access to information, fueling a marked increase in consumerism among our patients.  And let’s not forget Health Care Reform and its potential to direct patients to certain providers.  To our credit, our profession has met every challenge and continued to move forward.

So what is ahead of us in the next ten years?   Well, nothing is harder to predict than the future, but let me list a few of the trends.   Online shopping will continue to increase as Millennials emerge in the market place.  Social media has changed the way information is exchanged and requires that we have a strategy going forward.  Potentially disruptive technologies like telemedicine will need to be monitored and evaluated.  Private equity will continue to pump money into our industry and attempt to change the competitive landscape.  In a nutshell, it will be critical that we stay on our toes if we are to stay ahead of the changes.

So, what is a doctor to do?    First of all, we need to carefully evaluate our marketplace.  We need to continuously reinvent our strategies and let the obsolete ones go.  We must be much more selective in choosing our industry partners and modify the way we view vendor relationships.  We must make opportunities in independent practice for the next generation of doctors because it is they who will carry the baton going forward.  So, let’s keep our boxing gloves laced up and make good strategic decisions so that we can be agents of change in our industry.  Our enemy is complacency, let’s not go there.  As Yogi Berra put it, “the other teams could make trouble for us if we don’t win.”

VSP Global has added over 30 million covered lives to the patient pool for the independent doctor over the past ten years.   Access means opportunity.  Jim McGrann comes to the helm with a technology background and is well equipped to continue to lead in the quest to add to our patient base while providing competitive supply chain solutions.  I see great things ahead for independent optometry.

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

Thursday, April 9, 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 sure my patients have healthy eyes and that they have access to the eyewear that they need to maximize their lifestyle. That may include indoor glasses, outdoor glasses and/or hobby or recreational glasses and/or contact lenses. VSP provides our members with an excellent plan to cover their eye exam and materials, but sometimes our patients may have additional wants or needs.

The good news is that VSP has developed an exciting new agreement with CareCredit, the nation’s largest healthcare credit card, to help practices better satisfy those lifestyle needs, leading to greater patient growth and retention, along with substantial savings on processing rates.  Effective April 1st, Premier Program practices receive a 40% savings on processing rates for promotional financing offers, while all other VSP network providers get a 25% savings. (more…)