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Thread: Venture Capitalists Taking Over

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    Venture Capitalists Taking Over

    Has anyone on the board had an experience with a company called Refocus or Onsight?

    Our doctor is considering selling the practice to them and I don't think he vetted them thoroughly enough.

    Thanks in advance!
    "I'd rather not achieve immortality through my work, I'd rather achieve it by not dying" - Woody Allen

    "From the sharks in the penthouse to the rats in the basement, it's not that far" -Kirsty McColl, "Walking Down Madison"

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    OptiBoard Professional IIxIPariahIxII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogo99 View Post
    Has anyone on the board had an experience with a company called Refocus or Onsight?

    Our doctor is considering selling the practice to them and I don't think he vetted them thoroughly enough.

    Thanks in advance!
    ReFocus is very new, they're only three years old. Haven't heard or seen super great things about them. Time will tell. I would say no to ReFocus. I see some of their offices are Walmart locations. OnSight seems to have a bit better track record, but my biggest question would be why he was thinking of selling in the first place?

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    OptiBoard Professional KrystleClear's Avatar
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    Sounds like MyEyeDr has some competition then. That's their modus operandi.
    Krystle

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    OptiBoard Professional IIxIPariahIxII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KrystleClear View Post
    Sounds like MyEyeDr has some competition then. That's their modus operandi.
    They're hurting now as their seasoned staff are leaving due to the culture change and shift in focus on numbers vs patients. With the Goldman Sachs buy in they're pretty much an acquisition company

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    He kind of ran the practice into the ground, and now just wants to wash his hands of the financial part.
    "I'd rather not achieve immortality through my work, I'd rather achieve it by not dying" - Woody Allen

    "From the sharks in the penthouse to the rats in the basement, it's not that far" -Kirsty McColl, "Walking Down Madison"

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    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    This is a big trend. I hear about it an awful lot.

    It seems they pay big bucks to the owner, retain the staff and doctor (for as long as they can take it/contractually obligated) and try to make bank on...get this...selling lots of glasses!

    Now, I ask you: other than some bulk buying and lab arrangement, just how much more freaking money do they think they can squeeze out of the optical? 10%? 20%? With all the options there are, out there now, for inexpensive glasses?

    To me, if a practice is profitable and succesful enough to be an acquisition target, it's already doing something very right. To come in and try to squeeze out more optical sales is a fool's errand.

    But if I were retiring, and I could get a great sale price...

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    OptiBoard Professional KrystleClear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IIxIPariahIxII View Post
    They're hurting now as their seasoned staff are leaving due to the culture change and shift in focus on numbers vs patients. With the Goldman Sachs buy in they're pretty much an acquisition company
    When they bought out my old employer, I thought back then that the culture change was terrible. Went from greedy to even greedier. Can't imagine how much worse it could get now. From like 2016 - 2019 MyEyeDr bought up the majority of our local optometry offices/optical and it's very oversaturated now. People basically have Walmart Vision Center, MyEyeDr, and then the various ophthalmologists in the area, such as the one I work for.. We have had a big influx of patients who don't really need to see an ophthalmologist scheduling appointments with us and perhaps that's why. There were some great doctors that worked for the practices that got bought up and most of them decided to just retire once they were contractually able to, per whatever they had to agree to with MyEyeDr to remain employed during the takeovers.
    Krystle

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    We have a local OD office that was just bought out by My Eye Dr. Before, they used to do quality work. If someone had a problem with a pair of glasses from there, I doubted it was the quality of the eyewear and there was something else going on. However recently I had a patient who had always gone to that practice come in with problems. Problems I was happy to solve. 1 pair of glasses had a frame that was a metal non-ophthalmic quality frame that they had forced a 1.67 progressive -7.00 ish Rx into . The lens was halfway popped out temporally and on the wrong base curve. She also had a SV computer pair that she was having problems with and the lenses on those were on the wrong BC. The patient went back and they told her that if she went to a smaller frame she could have the lenses on a different BC. Made no sense. That office used to be a competitor of ours that I respected. Now that they do crap work, I get more business.

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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter Barry Santini's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post
    This is a big trend. I hear about it an awful lot.

    It seems they pay big bucks to the owner, retain the staff and doctor (for as long as they can take it/contractually obligated) and try to make bank on...get this...selling lots of glasses!

    Now, I ask you: other than some bulk buying and lab arrangement, just how much more freaking money do they think they can squeeze out of the optical? 10%? 20%? With all the options there are, out there now, for inexpensive glasses?

    To me, if a practice is profitable and succesful enough to be an acquisition target, it's already doing something very right. To come in and try to squeeze out more optical sales is a fool's errand.

    But if I were retiring, and I could get a great sale price...
    In every case I have seen, staff immediately becomes an expense rather than an asset.

    B

  10. #10
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    The ugly side of it is that a lot of ODs are getting some really high-ball dollars to sell to them (and phase out), vs. the "equity" that would come from a debt-laden/don't-want-a-profession-but-only-a-job newer grads. It's kind of a "buyer supply" issue that opens these doors.

    I just don't think it's sustainable. It seems that every "big optical" gets hot for a decade or two and then goes to crap.

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    OptiBoard Professional IIxIPariahIxII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KrystleClear View Post
    When they bought out my old employer, I thought back then that the culture change was terrible. Went from greedy to even greedier. Can't imagine how much worse it could get now. From like 2016 - 2019 MyEyeDr bought up the majority of our local optometry offices/optical and it's very oversaturated now. People basically have Walmart Vision Center, MyEyeDr, and then the various ophthalmologists in the area, such as the one I work for.. We have had a big influx of patients who don't really need to see an ophthalmologist scheduling appointments with us and perhaps that's why. There were some great doctors that worked for the practices that got bought up and most of them decided to just retire once they were contractually able to, per whatever they had to agree to with MyEyeDr to remain employed during the takeovers.
    Soooooo I used to work for MyEyeDr., in the Triangle area here in NC. I jumped on just after they acquired a large independent practice with offices all over the Triangle. Raleigh became a second headquarters and a lot of the independent staff came over and brought the culture with them. It was great in the area for a few years but had a steady decline as the focus shifted more towards quantity vs quality. They still have some good people there, but most have left. Here, staff and doctors are fairly well taken care of. But a lot of people are leaving for better patient care. Since 2018 the culture has been meh with the Goldman Sachs buy in. But their overexpansions 2-3 years ago has them hurting for good people now with that. It is what it is, their focus on KPIs is slowly killing their patient relations.

  12. #12
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    I'm not trying to be sappy or idealistic, but I just don't see how good health care can be provided in a retail model.

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    OptiBoard Professional IIxIPariahIxII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post
    I'm not trying to be sappy or idealistic, but I just don't see how good health care can be provided in a retail model.
    Certainly not with the current status quo

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    I'm not sure what's going on but all of a sudden a lot of my local practices are getting bought out. It's crazy! We have 2 optometry practices that were purchased by myeyedr. 1 is an OD who wanted to retire and no one wanted to purchase his practice. The other one is a younger owner. Not sure what the situation was there. Then we have 2 larger ophthalmology practices get bought by companies I never heard of. Of course "nothing is going to change and staff and doctors will remain the same." I assume that is for a short period of time and the OMDs will leave or retire. (Although only 1 OMD is of retirement age) I think no one wants the responsibility of ownership due to staffing, insurance issues and covid. These are crazy times!

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    Nah, this organization seems much worse.
    "I'd rather not achieve immortality through my work, I'd rather achieve it by not dying" - Woody Allen

    "From the sharks in the penthouse to the rats in the basement, it's not that far" -Kirsty McColl, "Walking Down Madison"

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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter Barry Santini's Avatar
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    Monied interests inherently lack the passion of the original founder/owners.
    Slowly, only the money and bottom line will count.
    And a rationale to justify the changes will smack of the same you see from EL and others.

    They’re smaller.
    But they’re no better.

    It’s all about financial and market control.


    B

  17. #17
    OptiBoard Professional KrystleClear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mervinek View Post
    I'm not sure what's going on but all of a sudden a lot of my local practices are getting bought out. It's crazy! We have 2 optometry practices that were purchased by myeyedr. 1 is an OD who wanted to retire and no one wanted to purchase his practice. The other one is a younger owner. Not sure what the situation was there. Then we have 2 larger ophthalmology practices get bought by companies I never heard of. Of course "nothing is going to change and staff and doctors will remain the same." I assume that is for a short period of time and the OMDs will leave or retire. (Although only 1 OMD is of retirement age) I think no one wants the responsibility of ownership due to staffing, insurance issues and covid. These are crazy times!
    Allegedly, for legal reasons... MyEyeDr told us nothing would change when they bought the regional chain I worked for. They assured us that the patients and employees would be treated just as well as before. It was like night and day. They stripped us of our vacation time and other benefits in favor of the MyEyeDr package. The commission structure was so poor in comparison to what we were used to that people could no longer keep up with their bills and expenses. If you didn't keep up with their sales expectations on a certain day, there was a threat of being sent home early for the day, without pay or your hours for the rest of the week could be cut. This was difficult considering we had a lot of patients on medicaid insurance, so squeezing second pairs from them with all the bells and whistles was near impossible. They also wanted us to upsell out of pocket testing to the patients during the pre-exam, something our patients were completely not used to, as we previously included tonometry, fields, and photos within a set exam fee. We got a lot of kickback from the patients. On day one, the big wig assigned to oversee the transition took our stash of frame parts and supplies for repairs and dumped them in the trash. They told us no more repairs. Patients should be buying new frames, not patching up old ones. That was fun (not) explaining to patients. So employee morale plummeted. Most people quit. The doctors who chose to say were locked into a 3 year contract and many of them grew pretty unhappy with things. This was back in 2016/2017 ish and a lot of them have since retired or left. It seems to be 2 out 3 people that come in for interviews at my current office are either coming from MyEyeDr or have worked there in the past, as they have absolutely oversaturated our area with stores. It seems so short sighted to me, pun intended. They thought they could buy practices and just buy patients right along with them but if the environment is toxic, patients will leave. Allegedly, for legal reasons. I'm sure it isn't like that everywhere, but it's sad to see so many communities lose independent ODs and opticals where they trusted the employees and would leave knowing they were well taken care of.
    Krystle

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    OptiBoard Professional IIxIPariahIxII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KrystleClear View Post
    Allegedly, for legal reasons... MyEyeDr told us nothing would change when they bought the regional chain I worked for. They assured us that the patients and employees would be treated just as well as before. It was like night and day. They stripped us of our vacation time and other benefits in favor of the MyEyeDr package. The commission structure was so poor in comparison to what we were used to that people could no longer keep up with their bills and expenses. If you didn't keep up with their sales expectations on a certain day, there was a threat of being sent home early for the day, without pay or your hours for the rest of the week could be cut. This was difficult considering we had a lot of patients on medicaid insurance, so squeezing second pairs from them with all the bells and whistles was near impossible. They also wanted us to upsell out of pocket testing to the patients during the pre-exam, something our patients were completely not used to, as we previously included tonometry, fields, and photos within a set exam fee. We got a lot of kickback from the patients. On day one, the big wig assigned to oversee the transition took our stash of frame parts and supplies for repairs and dumped them in the trash. They told us no more repairs. Patients should be buying new frames, not patching up old ones. That was fun (not) explaining to patients. So employee morale plummeted. Most people quit. The doctors who chose to say were locked into a 3 year contract and many of them grew pretty unhappy with things. This was back in 2016/2017 ish and a lot of them have since retired or left. It seems to be 2 out 3 people that come in for interviews at my current office are either coming from MyEyeDr or have worked there in the past, as they have absolutely oversaturated our area with stores. It seems so short sighted to me, pun intended. They thought they could buy practices and just buy patients right along with them but if the environment is toxic, patients will leave. Allegedly, for legal reasons. I'm sure it isn't like that everywhere, but it's sad to see so many communities lose independent ODs and opticals where they trusted the employees and would leave knowing they were well taken care of.

    Sadly, you don't get the same consistency across the board for their acquisitions anymore. And since Goldman Sachs went in on them, they trimmed up a lot of the bonuses. Down here there's still a bit of the old guard in their offices and management. Everywhere else, probably not. And some of the best people have moved on even down here. At this point, if you see them coming, have exit strategy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KrystleClear View Post
    Allegedly, for legal reasons... MyEyeDr told us nothing would change when they bought the regional chain I worked for. They assured us that the patients and employees would be treated just as well as before. It was like night and day. They stripped us of our vacation time and other benefits in favor of the MyEyeDr package. The commission structure was so poor in comparison to what we were used to that people could no longer keep up with their bills and expenses. If you didn't keep up with their sales expectations on a certain day, there was a threat of being sent home early for the day, without pay or your hours for the rest of the week could be cut. This was difficult considering we had a lot of patients on medicaid insurance, so squeezing second pairs from them with all the bells and whistles was near impossible. They also wanted us to upsell out of pocket testing to the patients during the pre-exam, something our patients were completely not used to, as we previously included tonometry, fields, and photos within a set exam fee. We got a lot of kickback from the patients. On day one, the big wig assigned to oversee the transition took our stash of frame parts and supplies for repairs and dumped them in the trash. They told us no more repairs. Patients should be buying new frames, not patching up old ones. That was fun (not) explaining to patients. So employee morale plummeted. Most people quit. The doctors who chose to say were locked into a 3 year contract and many of them grew pretty unhappy with things. This was back in 2016/2017 ish and a lot of them have since retired or left. It seems to be 2 out 3 people that come in for interviews at my current office are either coming from MyEyeDr or have worked there in the past, as they have absolutely oversaturated our area with stores. It seems so short sighted to me, pun intended. They thought they could buy practices and just buy patients right along with them but if the environment is toxic, patients will leave. Allegedly, for legal reasons. I'm sure it isn't like that everywhere, but it's sad to see so many communities lose independent ODs and opticals where they trusted the employees and would leave knowing they were well taken care of.
    I feel like we worked at the same office! Worse and more expensive benefits, lower pay, and then they used the pandemic to clean house of all the old staff they had that were outside of their new pay bands, while not backfilling the open roles to save on payroll. They shuttered our call center, insurance department, and our lab, shifting ever more work on the staff, and providing us a worse product to sell at higher prices. The only employees left at that practice before the acquisition are the ODs under contract. I used to love poking fun at EssLux, but after hearing Sue Downes this, Sue Downes that, and dealing with to toxic sales over everything else culture, MyEyeDr is a company I would never work for again. They will squeeze every penny they can out of small practices they buyout.

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    OptiBoard Professional KrystleClear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Birch View Post
    I feel like we worked at the same office! Worse and more expensive benefits, lower pay, and then they used the pandemic to clean house of all the old staff they had that were outside of their new pay bands, while not backfilling the open roles to save on payroll. They shuttered our call center, insurance department, and our lab, shifting ever more work on the staff, and providing us a worse product to sell at higher prices. The only employees left at that practice before the acquisition are the ODs under contract. I used to love poking fun at EssLux, but after hearing Sue Downes this, Sue Downes that, and dealing with to toxic sales over everything else culture, MyEyeDr is a company I would never work for again. They will squeeze every penny they can out of small practices they buyout.
    Yes! The first major red flag for us was when they said everyone would still have a job but then they fired our entire lab staff with two days notice. Technically they offered them jobs, but they were unrealistic, like offering them a position as a receptionist at an office in a different state, where they would have to relocate - jobs they knew they wouldn't or couldn't accept. Two days notice that you're losing your job - where many had worked for decades.
    Krystle

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    If all these people are quitting or getting fired, why is it still hard to find staffing?

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    OptiBoard Professional KrystleClear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Davis View Post
    If all these people are quitting or getting fired, why is it still hard to find staffing?
    They call this "The Great Resignation." More people are quitting their jobs than ever before. But how are they living? I do know quite a few people who have decided to stay home and just rely on their partner's income. I do not know how they can afford to do so... And people all seem to be rushing to buy houses, too, despite how insane housing prices have gotten. We have been trying to hire for several positions - office manager, surgical scheduler, and two front desk positions with no luck. People either do not show up for their interviews, or they accept the position only to quit a few weeks or months in. Our biller who is unlucky enough to be salaried unfortunately is doing like 4 jobs because she can't collect overtime.
    Krystle

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    Compulsive Truthteller OptiBoard Gold Supporter Uncle Fester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KrystleClear View Post
    They call this "The Great Resignation." More people are quitting their jobs than ever before. But how are they living? I do know quite a few people who have decided to stay home and just rely on their partner's income. I do not know how they can afford to do so... And people all seem to be rushing to buy houses, too, despite how insane housing prices have gotten. We have been trying to hire for several positions - office manager, surgical scheduler, and two front desk positions with no luck. People either do not show up for their interviews, or they accept the position only to quit a few weeks or months in. Our biller who is unlucky enough to be salaried unfortunately is doing like 4 jobs because she can't collect overtime.
    It seems to be 2 out 3 people that come in for interviews at my current office are either coming from MyEyeDr or have worked there in the past, as they have absolutely oversaturated our area with stores. It seems so short sighted to me, pun intended. They thought they could buy practices and just buy patients right along with them but if the environment is toxic, patients will leave. Allegedly, for legal reasons. I'm sure it isn't like that everywhere, but it's sad to see so many communities lose independent ODs and opticals where they trusted the employees and would leave knowing they were well taken care of.
    The ability to recruit and retain employees is directly proportional to the work load, schedule, environment and compensation.

    I'd still favor a movement towards unionizing- with all its flaws.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IIxIPariahIxII View Post
    They're hurting now as their seasoned staff are leaving due to the culture change and shift in focus on numbers vs patients. With the Goldman Sachs buy in they're pretty much an acquisition company
    can confirm. I managed an office for them and the company is a mess at every level. I’m constantly hearing stories about staff leaving.

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    Unionize MYEYEDR! Btw, did anybody hear about the lawsuit against them? https://news.bloomberglaw.com/class-...store-managers

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