WHO WE ARE
“We created IECP to serve the needs of ODs, because we believe that they know better than any vision plan, lab or other entity what is best for their patients.”Dr. Don Railsback, CEO
HOW IT STARTED
Vision Care Direct, a vision plan founded to connect patients directly with doctors, was conceived as an alternative to the large vision plan discount groups that were already reaching deep into the pockets of optometrists around the world.
In order to ensure that IECP remains dedicated to serving the needs of independent optometrists, the bylaws of the company state that IECP must remain in control of state IPA’s that formed it, which are managed by independent, practicing optometrists. There remain twenty-three shareholder IPA’s that exist to ensure that IECP remains dedicated to it’s stakeholders, independent practice optometrists.
Originally operating in just Kansas, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah, VCD has now expanded to include five thousand doctors in thirty seven states, and continues to grow rapidly.Why are we growing in a market that is already oversaturated with vision plans and labs? One reason – we don’t take any more than we need to operate. We have stakeholders – the doctors on our panels and the groups who use VCD – but no stockholders, and operate with a small staff.
We run a stable and profitable business without moving beyond the threshold of sustainability, because we have a long term vision of success that is dependent upon the success of the doctors we support. When our doctors thrive, we thrive – and that’s why we won’t ever give up.
Vision Care Direct is a fundamental element of the roots of IECP, but throughout its long evolution from a network of state IPA’s working together to built networks for paneling, it has continued to actively seek out new and innovative ways to support independent practice optometrists no matter their market or methods.
As of 2017, IECP has a robust vendor program and is putting money back into promoting independent optometry by funding state IPA operations, a vision plan that is actively restructuring the market and forcing national plans to compete, and offers practice support to ensure that you are successful and thriving because when you win, we win.
The core mission of IECP dba Vision Care Direct and our subsidiary VCD Labs is to provide the support structures ODs need to keep optometry independent. We were created by doctors who watched the optometric industry shift over the last forty years from a truly independent practice to one controlled by a small number of mega-corporations that own multiple vision plans, multiple major retails outlets, and multiple labs. These few companies are changing the market place and effectively changing ODs from private practice family doctors who care for their patient’s long term health into employees that have to churn prescriptions out in order to satisfy their employers. We exist as an alternative to companies who employ such practices, because it’s simply not the right way to treat patients.
THE IPA MODEL
In 1986 Independent Physician Association called Vision Care Plus was created in Kansas by 350 doctors working together to win medical contracts and generate business. That IPA, now the longest running in the state (and one of the longest running in the country) was the seed that grew into IECP through a consistent focus on serving the needs of independent optometry.
We believe that doctors know what is best for their patient, and in much the same way, that local doctors know what’s best for their business. That why we use the IPA (Independent Physicians Association) model. IECP is comprised of a series of state organizations that recruit doctors, sell vision plans, and promote VCD Labs to their local regions.
Keeping things local is what we’re all about. We have structured our organization as such that decision making has to happen at a local level, so that there is no way we can ever morph into the next greedy vision plan that takes money out of doctor’s pockets to line our own.
FIND YOUR STATE IPA