Kelly McCrann
ST. LOUIS—EyeCare Partners LLC, a growing network of full scope medical optometry and ophthalmology practices, reports that the group, backed by private equity firm FFL Partners, has been continuing on its acquisition path and projects it will reach 275 locations by the end of 2018. EyeCare Partners (ECP) has successfully acquired and integrated more than 240 optometry and ophthalmology practices over the past three years, the company pointed out, throughout the Midwest, Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. Vision Monday reported on the company’s formation and previous acquisitions in May 2017.

Despite quadrupling in size during this period, EyeCare Partners says it is currently in active discussions with more than 50 practices, and it expects to close 10 optometry and ophthalmology transactions in Q2 2018. To date, the company operates 17 MD locations and 223 OD locations. Out of a total of 321 vision care doctors, 301 are optometrists, 20 are ophthalmologists, the company told VMAIL.

Kelly McCrann, EyeCare Partners’ president and CEO, stated, “We’re continuing to experience exceptionally strong interest from leading, medically-focused practices due to our collaborative approach working with doctors to expand their patient base through exceptional patient care and world-class business support. In addition, our acquisition model offers independent practitioners excellent liquidity as well as the ability to focus their attention on providing exceptional clinical care, while we provide world-class business support and scale advantages.”

ECP’s chief professional officer, James Wachter, OD, added, “We continue to focus on full scope medical model practices that can take advantage of our software and platform of support services. We take the burdens and administrative challenges away from the doctors, which allows them to do what they do best: take care of patients.” Noted Joe Gira, MD, ECP’s chief of ophthalmology, “Partnering with leading ophthalmology practices across the country allows us to provide a vertically integrated model for our doctors and patients.”

One example of a recent initiative to support its network members includes a proactive outreach program contacting 90,000 patients a week to ensure they are staying up-to-date with their eyecare, generating more than 7,000 appointments each month. Another is ECP’s newly-launched Lifestyle program that uses advanced technology and demographic data to connect patients with new products that match their interests and activities, the company said. Efforts like these have led to exceptional patient satisfaction ratings, consistently generating high Net Promoter Scores of 90+ that put ECP on par with leading consumer brands, an announcement said.

“Our practice was thrilled to join EyeCare Partners, and they have made an immense difference,” said Dr. Joe Ellis, Partner of EyeCare Associates of Kentucky, who joined ECP in September 2015. “The support from EyeCare Partners through their software platform, purchasing power, frames and merchandising expertise, operating metrics, marketing excellence and many other services has expanded and improved our practice. EyeCare Partners has more than delivered on their promise.”

Based in St. Louis, EyeCare Partners currently offers services locations throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio and North Carolina. The company’s proprietary Eyecare360 software was specifically designed for the optical industry.

The company noted that McCrann is one of the featured speakers at a special session at Vision Expo East on Saturday March 17 , where he will discuss the company’s growth strategy in “Private Equity Takes Root – What Does It Mean for Optometry,” presented by Vision Monday, Review of Optometric Business and Vision Expo East. Details of that program, which is free and open to Expo registered attendees, are posted here.