Primary EyeCare Network (PEN)
Primary Eyecare Network (PEN), a division of ABB Optical Group, was founded in 1984 by a group of private optometrists. The group focuses on enhancing the independent professional optometrist’s ability to compete in a rapidly changing marketplace, and this effort got a boost in mid-2017 when ABB rolled up two other business units under the PEN umbrella.
At that time in June 2017, ABB merged its Diversified Buying Group and the ECP Network, both of which were added in the acquisition of Diversified Ophthalmics eight months earlier, with PEN as a means of boosting scale and services for independent ODs. “Combining these three powerhouses into one organization gives ABB the scale and capabilities to help independent optometrists compete more effectively and profitably in today’s rapidly changing eyecare marketplace,” ABB Optical Group vice president of eyewear Nan Meehan said at the time of the announcement. Meehan oversees Primary Eyecare Network.
“As a trusted business partner to eyecare professionals, we continue to deliver the best services and programs to help them better serve their patients. We look forward to this merger leading to even greater success for our customers,” she added.
Following the combination of the business units, there are about 2,400 practices combined under the Alameda, Calif.-based PEN alliance. Services PEN offers to independent ODs include purchasing arrangements, business management and marketing support, educational programs for practitioners and staff, medical billing services and other support services.
At press time, PEN was set to host its second annual solutions summit for members April 14 to 15 at the Marriott Union Square in San Francisco. The summit’s agenda focuses on analyzing the business side of eyecare practices, and more specifically how to increase choice and drive success. Scheduled speakers are Jay Binkowitz, executive vice president of business strategy and field operations for Total Eye Care Partners, and Mark Wright, OD, a fellow of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (FCOVD)
PEN looks forward to building upon its continued core value of education for its membership across the U.S. as well as providing the many vendor benefits that will provide continued success, Meehan told VM.