Doctor Alliance Groups PERC and IVA Form Strategic Partnership to Serve More Practices

By


LOS ANGELES—The Professional Eyecare Resource Co-Operative (PERC) and Infinity Vision Alliance (IVA), two California-based eye doctor alliance groups with members across the U.S., have formed a strategic alliance in order to create two distinct products for the independent optometric market based on practice volume. The agreement took effect on Jan. 1 with the new organization providing services for more than 950 existing members.

According to David Golden, OD, PERC co-founder, “Now PERC members will have even more options to access resources and programs while maintaining our free membership approach. By working together, both organizations contribute their strengths to provide additional services more efficiently, while maintaining a common mission of growing sustainable, independent eyecare professionals that are prepared to compete in our changing market. This includes a strong business strategy, better connectivity and better cost of goods."

Having distinct products based on practice size allows each group to focus on the specific needs of different practices while creating additional products to help improve services and attract new membership, Golden said. The strategic alliance combines the buying strengths of both organizations with PERC’s administrative infrastructure and relationship with the doctor group’s EyeHome Network, and IVA’s practice management education network, Golden pointed out. The two groups “will run side by side,” Golden told VMail, and be served by benefitting from a wider range of resources.

PERC is geared toward optometric practices that generate at least $1 million in annual revenue. These larger practices benefit from the discounts, business strategy and education tailored specifically to their size. IVA will continue its focus on smaller optometric practice organizations while expanding its services and offerings to its existing members. IVA members will directly benefit from the PERC administrative infrastructure, supply-chain frame distribution and the association with PERC’s EyeHome Network for patient recruiting.

Professional education offerings like webinars, roundtable discussions and practice management lectures are being adapted from current IVA curriculum to fit the PERC and IVA communities. By combining strengths and membership, both alliances become larger networks making regional contracting easier and more attractive to payers, the companies said. “We are excited to have found a partner that shares our vision, values and strategy for how doctor alliance groups will evolve to meet the needs of our members in these unknown times,” said Richard Frieder, OD, IVA co-founder.

Under the agreement, PERC will maintain their free membership model, while IVA will continue to have a minimal fee. PERC co-founders Golden and Howard Stein, OD will join IVA co-founders Frieder and Aaron Sako, OD on the Infinity Vision Alliance board.

PERC, Golden said, ended 2013 with 753 members, who operate in 39 states in the U .S., up from 430 members at the end of the prior year. IVA has approximately 210 members in 14 states now, up from a total of about 100 members in the prior year.