RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. And SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.—At the fifth annual SHIFT19 meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz., VSP Global introduced several major enhancements to the initiative in 2020, designed to support private practice doctors of optometry. VMAIL was onsite at the meeting, which had nearly 800 attendees, the largest ever for the Premier SHIFT meeting, VSP executives announced what was described as a "doubling down" on its investments in the Premier program for private practice. These include Premier Pathways, which will provide provides career and business solutions to doctors through two offerings—practice expansion support and recruitment matching services. A new education program, Premier Academy360 was also unveiled, along with additional supplier partnerships. Participation among VSP's network of providers now numbers 7,500 Premier locations, accommodating some 26 million patient visits with nearly 10 million of VSP's nearly 90 million members visiting Premier locations annually, executives said.

“Premier Program private practices are the core of our network,” said Michael Guyette, president and CEO of VSP Global. “Premier Pathways is the latest example of our commitment to the profession, and our goal of delivering more opportunities for private practice to differentiate, compete, and grow, as well as offering more value to VSP members.”

Michael Guyette, president and CEO of VSP Global, shares the VSP Global business strategy and focus with attendees.

Key benefits of Premier Pathways include Practice expansion support including ways of leveraging upfront funding to expand doctors' current practice or for the purchase of a new location as well as in-office consulting available to support doctors with enhanced data and analytics, and advanced training to increase patient growth, improve business processes and more.

Premier Pathways also includes new recruitment matching services. These will be dedicated recruiting experts who will support doctors looking to hire associate doctors and those looking for a position. Recruitment services include the posting of open optometry positions with extended reach to over 300 job sites and assistance throughout the recruitment journey to successfully match candidates and Premier Program locations.

“Doctors have told us they want a strategic partner with the right set of resources and tools to grow their practice and see more patients,” added Michelle Skinner, VSP Global’s chief provider relations officer. “Premier Pathways was developed in response to that need and we’re excited to offer these new choices that support the career goals of private practice doctors.”

Guyette reviewed overall vision market trends and healthcare developments from VSP's perspective and emphasized VSP Global's investments in Premier. He reiterated VSP Global's top-line mission to help people see and on stage he spoke of the group's three strategic "pillars" as insurance, network and supply chain. As he discussed the trends towards consolidation and continued private equity (PE) investment in the category, he also told the audience, "Effective January 1st of 2020, we're taking PE-backed groups off of Premier. They will still be on our VSP provider network but not on our Premier program.


Michelle Skinner, chief provider relations officer of VSP Global, shares details on Premier Pathways, which offers practice expansion support and recruitment matching services.

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The SHIFT19 meeting launched Premier Academy360, a comprehensive training and education service for VSP network doctors and staff. Through Premier Academy360, practices have access to doctor-guided, practice-centered business education through live workshops, webinars, and videos. On-demand eLearning courses are also now available exclusively for Premier Program practices on a variety of topics, including optical fundamentals for staff, practice management, marketing, human resources and leadership, and more. Premier Academy360 was developed in response to doctor feedback, executives said.

In 2020, there will be three tiers of Premier participation that VSP providers can choose from: At the Silver level, practices can leverage a My Marketing Team to increase patient engagement and have full access to the Premier Academy360. At the Gold level, in addition those practices will receive the Premier Program banner, enhancing their listing on VSP.com to increase patient traffic, complete with online appointment scheduling and more. They will also be able to take part in special offers and discounts with Premier Program partners. Platinum participants will receive the prior level benefits and also unlock additional payments and rewards, the company announced, with access to job posting and recruitment services and other enhanced marketing services including complimentary social media management.

Practices interested in learning more about Premier Pathways and Premier Academy360, and to see the enhanced list of supplier partners taking part in VSP Premier partnerships, they can visit: EnhancedPremier.com