VSP Global’s President and CEO Michael Guyette breaks down the importance of having accessible preventive care like optometry.
1. First things first: Why should health access be considered a business issue? How has the pandemic impacted how we view access to health care?
Guyette: The pandemic has underscored the need to focus on employees’ overall health and wellbeing so they can contribute meaningful solutions that support their businesses.
At VSP Global, we’ve used this time to reinforce our purpose of empowering human potential through sight and our responsibility to make care available to everyone regardless of identity, age, income or location.
2. Why it’s important: Why is it essential that organizations like VSP help solve today’s health access challenges?
Guyette: Improving access to care — especially preventive care — helps lower health care costs and improves overall health outcomes.
Preventive care like an annual vision care exam can support early detection of more than 270 serious health conditions, including diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease.
3. The solution: What are some of the macro trends impacting access to quality health care?
Guyette: Consolidation and telehealth expansion are some of the key drivers impacting access today.
In my three decades working in health care, I’ve seen private equity’s evolution in other segments like primary care, dentistry and orthopedics.
The pandemic has also led to wider adoption of telehealth.
4. The idea: What does putting patients at the center of health care mean for you? How is VSP applying this framework?
Guyette: The consumerization of health care is about understanding where, when and how patients want to access care and offering solutions that meet those needs.
Beyond consumers, we also know today’s young optometrists crave more flexibility in their practices and are more open to leveraging telehealth.
5. Next steps: What steps should the U.S. take to address health inequities? How can preventive care help?
Guyette: Government-sponsored coverage is only going to grow — especially as more Baby Boomers age into eligibility and live longer.
What is most important to focus on is providing value-based care, and we must all be open to letting new approaches, business models and consumer preferences guide us to a better, healthier future.