Dear Dr. Jankowski,
As the Chairman , VSP Global Board of Directors (“VSP”), I thank you for your outreach to the optometric community who make up panel doctors from around the country. You have been tireless in this regard. With the upcoming Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate formula discussions, optometry’s strategy of growth through greater medical eye care may for once and for all be stymied.
But I am curious. As the chief optometric spokesperson for VSP, it appears that VSP was waiting for a favorable judicial or legislative action that would blunt the ACA. That appears to be a purely defensive strategy much like a football team that has the lead and holding onto the ball as long as it can and risking no pass plays. Sooner or later, the next time you look up, you are behind by two touchdowns with only five minutes remaining.
If a political solution is what VSP that is seeking, the I would have thought that VSP would pursue a political strategy of a candidate in a very tough campaign and needs to reach outside their traditional base, like independent voters, to garner additional support. In this regard, VSP has addressed mainly the panel doctors. Assuredly, the addition of independent doctors to campaign for the standalone vision plan participation in exchanges and for vision benefits within the ACA would certainly help.
I believe that the secret sauce that has fueled your growth has been its image as a friend of optometry. I believe that VSP has lost this advantage and has overlooked its pillar of support, the rank and file optometrist. Today’s world, however, has seen the pace of policy and politics quickly overtake traditional business strategy. Like the sports fan that needs wooing back, VSP looks like that it is on the right track with Rob Lynch appearing in the latest Town Hall Meeting. It has been a long time coming but I finally feel that I and my rank and file colleagues have your ear.
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