EyeMed Updates Business Model, Expands Lab Network Pilot With Essilor Labs of America

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MASON, Ohio— EyeMed Vision Care is announcing today the implementation of an updated business model. The model, tested with and based on the feedback of more than 2,000 providers in more than 150 independent provider locations over the past two years, is designed, the company said, "to support provider practice growth, simplify administration and deliver a wide choice of products and labs."

The model features an expansion of a pilot with Essilor Laboratories of America, which was announced last December, as reported by VMail. This month, that lab pilot will be expanded in a program to 60 ELOA labs and then, in October 2013, specific Essilor Partner Labs and the Walman Optical Company family of businesses will be added as the program gradually expands to other provider locations, the company said.

In addition, a single-vision in-office finishing program for participating providers will go into effect.

Executives at EyeMed said the new model "will keep it simple for eyecare professionals to do business with the company and improve exam reimbursements and profit opportunities for most network providers."

“Our updated business model is the latest in a series of changes we have made to better prepare for the future,” said Liz DiGiandomenico, EyeMed president. “With a new brand that better reflects our commitment to innovation, new products such as EyePrefer, which empowers employees to make smarter decisions about their vision care, and now an updated business model, designed with input from independent providers, we are investing to deliver an improved experience to clients, members and providers.”

VMail recently reported on the rebranding and the new three-tier EyePrefer products. Overall, EyeMed said its new business model's key features include:

  • A national lab network featuring Essilor Laboratories of America, offering broad choice and a reputation for market access, quality and service.
  • Luxottica Lab Services (based in Dallas) will be introduced as a network lab choice.
  • Broad product choice from a range of top manufacturers including Essilor, Transitions, ZEISS, Shamir, Hoya, Signet Armorlite, including extensive progressive lens options.
  • Increased eye exam reimbursements for most independent network providers.
  • Consolidation of hundreds of client-specific fee schedules to about 15, which will result in paying more dollars annually in increased participating provider reimbursements.
  • Combining our claims and order functions making it easy to serve EyeMed members, with a time-saving reconciliation feature for lab orders that are changed after the initial submission.
  • Member benefits remain the same and providers continue to supply the frame of their choice.
“We are pleased with the results of the pilot program, including the 97 percent lab satisfaction rating we received from providers, and we’re excited to expand our participating lab network nationwide, as part of the national rollout of the program. We are looking forward to continuing to provide exceptional service and quality products to EyeMed's provider network,” said Réal Goulet, president-Essilor Lab Group, Essilor Laboratories of America.

Participating providers will register for labs from among the 60 offered in EyeMed’s new national network. By the end of 2013, the lab network is expected to grow to more than 100 through the inclusion of specific Essilor Partner labs and the Walman Optical Company family of businesses including Walman, Soderberg, Harbor, Toledo and Rite-Style.

Network providers can register for as many labs within the EyeMed network as desired and can change labs within the network at any time. In addition to claims, lab registration and lab/lens orders will be submitted using EyeMed's expanded online claims system. It will now accommodate the ordering, tracking and reconciliation of order changes in addition to claims entry.

The updated model and new provider contract will be introduced to network providers beginning this month. EyeMed will contact providers by mail and email throughout the rest of the year, and into early 2014, to ensure a smooth transition. EyeMed is helping providers through the change with a number of resources including informational webcasts, a dedicated contracting hotline and a variety of training tools.

EyeMed network providers can join a July 1 evening webcast about the updated model. They can go to EyeMed’s Provider Focus to learn how to participate and to get additional information about the model.

EyeMed Vision Care's client base is nearly 10,000 and its provider network of 26,000 independent and retail locations cover more than 35 million Americans in funded vision plans. EyeMed is a division of Luxottica Group (NYSE: LUX).