LINTHICUM, Md.—In what its management leadership describes as “the turning point” for vision care “to reach far beyond what’s been offered before,” Versant Health has debuted this month as the brand of the new company combining Superior Vision and Davis Vision. The two managed vision care companies came together through a deal announced in August, 2017 and closed in December, 2017, as VMAIL reported. The deal involved HVHC Inc. division of Highmark Inc. selling its Davis Vision business to the private equity firm Centerbridge Partners which noted it intended to combine Davis with its portfolio company Superior Vision. Highmark acquired a minority interest in the combined Davis-Superior managed vision care company, according to the companies’ announcement.

The new combined managed vision care business covers approximately 33 million lives and rank as the new No. 3 player in this segment of the managed care market.

Stated Kirk Rothrock, CEO of Versant Health, “This is a very exciting time for Versant Health and by extension Superior Vision and Davis Vision. We have the opportunity to build a company that is in a position to create even more value for our members, clients, brokers, providers, and for the industry as a whole. Your eyes are a reflection of overall health, consequently routine exams can be as important as routine physicals. Versant Health is going beyond the notion that vision health is about routine eye exams and hardware. We are intimately aware of the relationship between eye health and overall health and we are developing a depth of knowledge that is unmatched in this industry.”

The company is investing millions of dollars in technologies, training and service. Rothrock told VMAIL, “The foundation of the significant investments we’re making is to support our customers and stakeholders. Our vision is to be the most trusted managed eye health and vision plan for members, clients, brokers, and providers in the industry. To that end, we’re investing significant dollars in the systems that support our business—billing, claims and the customer experience.”

He added, “Because of our history and experience with managing vision-specific medical and surgical procedures, we have developed unique insight into the connection between eye health and overall health. We believe eye health and wellness are an important component of overall health, and believe that by including the word health in our name, we reinforce that belief.“

Providers, brokers, covered members and other stakeholders of both networks were informed of the name change in the last week. Julie Kaplan, vice president, marketing, for Versant Health, said that while Superior Vision and Davis Vision are going to be coming together under the new moniker, both companies will continue to serve their respective members and clients. The day-to-day policies and programs and contact for each company will not change at this time. Different elements of the marketing transition will take place over the next six months and are expected to be complete by December 2018.

The new Versant Health website offers information and updates for members, brokers, providers, clients and health plans as well as information about the senior leadership team. The Superior and Davis Vision sites also remain active.

Versant Health and its businesses have offices in Linthicum, Md. (Baltimore), Rancho Cordova, Calif. (Sacramento), San Antonio, Texas, and Latham, N.Y. (Albany).