NEW YORK—Many leading retail execs, eyecare professionals, key opinion leaders and suppliers tuned in yesterday afternoon to the first virtual session of this year's VM Leadership Summit. Yesterday's session, titled VirtualEYZE!, examined the opportunities for telehealth to expand eyecare's boundaries and featured updates sharing the ophthalmic perspective from an ocular telehealth expert at the American Telemedicine Association, two experienced reimbursement executives and a first-of-its-kind discussion with a mix of eyecare practitioners and execs sharing their own experience with remote, comprehensive eye exams before, during and in the current stage of the pandemic.

Attendees heard Christopher Brady, MD, immediate past chair of the American Telemedicine Association Ocular Telemedicine Special Interest Group, provide perspective on the rise of ocular telemedicine and how it is changing the way many eyecare professionals works with patients.

An interview with Wally Lovejoy, an independent health care consultant, specializing in eyecare and optical retailing, Julian Roberts, executive director of the National Association of Vision Care Plans (NAVCP) was conducted by Marge Axelrad, SVP and Vision Monday editorial director. Lovejoy and Roberts explained how payors are reimbursing for remote, comprehensive eye exams conducted by an OD and what optometrists need to keep in mind as they get involved with remote exams.

The June 23 VirtualEYZE! session featured a first-of-its-kind panel discussion moderated by Mike Rothschild, OD, an optometric practice consultant and authority on the delivery of eyecare through all forms of telemedicine. Joining him were four ODs who are currently performing remote, comprehensive eye exams and will discuss what’s working, and why. Jacqueline Evans, OD, an independent practitioner based in Denver, Colo.; Deanna Ippolito, OD, an independent practitioner based in New Jersey; Harvey Moscot, OD, CEO of Moscot, a 106-year-old eyewear company based in New York City, and Sukumar Pandit, OD, a private practitioner and business owner and nursing home eyecare provider. Rounding out the panel was Kirk Lauterback, chief operating office of Shopko Optical, who oversees the company’s retail optical centers and merchandising as well as its manufacturing facility in De Pere, Wis.

All registered attendees can rewatch all or or parts of the VirtualEYEZ! session on demand until Dec. 31, 2021.

The second VM Summit virtual session, “ALL-CONSUMING: A Deep Dive into the New Consumer Mindset,” is set for Wednesday, August 11, from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET.
Registration is still open to the Aug. 11 program which includes on-demand access to the June 23 VirtualEYES! event as well. Registration includes both virtual broadcasts, full access to the VM Summit virtual platform, networking, on-demand viewing, door prizes, and exclusive access to attendees-only content after the event. Optometrists, opticians, ophthalmologists and students can register for no charge. All other industry registration is $99. Details and registration information is posted here.
The multi-part Summit program, "CREATIVE DISRUPTION, THE NEW NOW: How to Survive It. Why You Need It." culminates in an in-person live + virtual event on Wednesday, Sept 22 in Las Vegas, called "Retail & Healthcare: UPENDED! Ripping Up The Rulebook." Registration and info about that event will be posted soon.
The Platinum Sponsors of the 2021 VM Leadership Summit are EssilorLuxottica and VSP Global Premier Program. The Gold Sponsor is The Vision Council's Vision Health Alliance and the Silver Sponsors are Alcon and Ocuco.