Coronavirus BRIEFING

VSP Global Delays Formulary Changes Until 2021

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RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif.—In response to the continuing extraordinary impacts of COVID-19, VSP Global announced it will delay its ophthalmic formulary changes originally set to start Sept. 1 of this year until Jan. 1, 2021 and is launching a new grant program to help offset expenses network practices are dealing with as a result of the pandemic. A VSP spokesperson confirmed to VMAIL that on June 1, the company had communicated to VSP network doctors that its formulary, administered by Plexus, would be updated to include preferred and non-preferred categories for anti-reflective (AR) coating, progressive, and digital single vision (includes anti-fatigue) lens products. 

With that update, doctor service fees will be unaffected for preferred brands and will be reduced by approximately 50 percent for non-preferred brands. Those changes are now delayed until Jan 1, 2021, with VSP reiterating, "The changes are necessary to control costs, continue to align our supply chain with industry standards, and ensure VSP Vision Care offerings remain of high value for clients, increasing our ability to win and retain contracts, grow and retain membership, and drive patients to your practice."

“While the formulary changes remain vital to securing doctors’ access to patients, we recognize the extended disruption and uncertainty practices across the nation continue to face,” said Michelle Skinner, VSP Global chief network officer. “Because of this, we’re going to take a pause and delay our formulary changes to give practices more time to prepare. Also, we’re going to accelerate additional support for doctors at this critical time.”

VSP’s new grant program will provide financial support to help offset the many expenses and accommodations that doctors and their staff incurred to reopen and operate in accordance with federal, state, and local guidelines and safety requirements to provide patient care. Eligible Premier Program practices can receive up to $10,000 in cash payments, and all other eligible network doctors can receive up to $5,000 in cash payments. These payments will be made as grants and will not require repayment. Further details on this program will be announced soon, the company said.

“In talking with doctors, we’ve heard countless stories of those who have gone above and beyond to meet the needs of their patients, while at the same time doing whatever it takes to keep their practices running and serving their communities,” Skinner said. “As we weather this storm together, we want to thank doctors for their passion and dedication, while we at VSP continue to focus on ensuring their access to patients.”

VSP network doctors can access the latest news, information, and resources available from VSP Global at: vspproviderhub.com/covid-19.