How innovation translates to success

What Your Choice of Vision Provider Says About Your Company’s Culture

Companies have multiple options when choosing a vision health plan, and a range of criteria to consider, from price to provider network. But along with such practical considerations, the choice of plan can also embody a company's ideals. Innovation drives success. Choosing a plan grounded in innovation is one more way to signal to employees that they're part of an innovative culture themselves.  

Vision Service Plan, better known as VSP®, was founded in 1955 by a group of optometrists who had a vision to provide access to affordable, high-quality eye care to the world. That idealistic vision was itself groundbreaking, and it has inspired VSP's efforts ever since. From that first small network, VSP has evolved to serve 89 million members, an achievement that could only have been made possible by a consistent drive to innovate at scale.

The idea that vision care insurance could be affordable and accessible without sacrificing quality was the then-radical idea that launched VSP (first known as California Vision Services) and that remains the guiding vision today.

Innovation Equals Service

Over its first decade, the relatively small organization cemented its commitment to a service-oriented, not-for-profit model that in its very structure was designed to put members' health first. In 1965, the Western Conference of Teamsters signed on as a client, and VSP's journey to providing quality eye care at scale was under way. 

In the early 1970s, VSP expanded its ability to offer the best in care by opening its first optical lab. Now more than just a network of doctors, VSP began developing specialized products and services those doctors knew would serve members' needs best. By the 1980s, VSP was ready to go national, expanding to all 50 states and showcasing its ability to reach millions of members without sacrificing its service-first approach. 

Today, VSP stands at the forefront of vision health innovation. Its technology, from blue light filtration to ultra-fast transition lenses, meets the evolving needs of today's knowledge workers. Offerings such as VSP’s Diabetic Eyecare Program, which provides specialized eye care services for members with Type 1 diabetes, make the vital connection between eye care and healthcare. The Eyeconic online store meets members' expectation of being able to shop anywhere. And plans such as VSP® EasyOptions, which allows employees and their dependents to tailor their vision plans to their individual needs, lead the industry in flexibility.

Doctors founded VSP, and doctors still guide the organization today. That structure has always enabled VSP to put care before profit, a commitment enshrined in VSP's very charter as a not-for-profit. Innovation at VSP is grounded not in what will generate the best margins but what will improve the health and quality of life of its members. It’s an approach that has helped VSP consistently lead the industry in member satisfaction.

More Than the Bottom Line

This member-first orientation is especially important to keep in mind at a time when the market for vision care services has become muddled with big promises and flashy pitches. In a way, that's understandable: About three-quarters of adults in the US wear glasses or contacts at least some of the time. That's a potential market of hundreds of millions. The opportunity to make money off eye care is massive.

But that opportunity also creates incentives that aren't aligned with what serves eye health best. Markups on "designer" frames. An avalanche of ads. Junk emails. Excessive markups. These headaches are what happens when the bottom line comes first. While VSP markets to members, the primary goal is to help them understand how important good eye care is to their overall health and wellbeing. VSP puts members’ needs first, which is why VSP is the clear choice for serving members best.

As a not-for-profit, VSP can afford to put members first, and putting members first means making innovation a priority. For decades, VSP's culture of innovation—a culture embedded in its founding DNA—has consistently led the way in better care and products that translate into better eye health. VSP has always defined the best in eye care, and it's poised to create eye care's best future.

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