8-20-13 4:00 AM EDT | Email Article

WellPoint (NYSE: WLP) announced today the formation of the new WellPoint Vision Advisory Board (Advisory Board). The Advisory Board will help facilitate a dialogue on how WellPoint can work with its network of providers in a mutually beneficial manner. The board is composed of leaders and experts in the fields of vision and eye care who will help strengthen the company’s relationship with the provider community and further enhance patient care.

“WellPoint is committed to meeting the needs of both our providers and patients,” said Jeff Spahr, WellPoint’s president of Vision Services. “The Advisory Board will provide us with a forum to exchange ideas with providers and explore new ways to meet the needs of patients.”

The members of the Advisory Board are:

  • Harry Boparai, OD - medical director at New York Vision Group, chief of eye care at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center and Buena Vida Continuing Care and Rehabilitation Center
  • Heath Gilbert, OD – past president of the Ohio Optometric Association and private practice at Dayton Optometric Center
  • Douglas Kiefer, OD – LensCrafters in Colorado
  • Karin E. Meng, MS, OD – chair, Healthcare Delivery Systems Committee for the California Optometric Association and private practice
  • Steven Richlin, OD – optometry clinic chief, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, and private practice
  • Robert E. Smith, OD – staff optometrist, Eye Associates and private practice

“With all of the changes affecting health care and the vision care industry now and in the future, we believe the Advisory Board will give providers a voice on important decisions WellPoint is making that impact the industry,” said Dr. Richard Hom, OD MPA FAAO, WellPoint’s national optometric director and chair of the Advisory Board. “The Board will act as an early warning system for issues that might affect providers and the managed vision care industry, and it can serve as a resource and 'focus group' for developing and implementing new programs, products and services to providers and our members,” he added.

The Advisory Board will be tasked with finding new ways to help address patients’ vision wellness needs, drive more patients to providers, improve provider growth and profitability, and help develop an eye wellness educational campaign. The Advisory Board will be constituted for three years with each member serving a one-year term.

About WellPoint, Inc.

At WellPoint, we believe there is an important connection between our members’ health and well-being—and the value we bring our customers and shareholders. So each day we work to improve the health of our members and their communities. And, we can make a real difference since we have nearly 36 million people in our affiliated health plans, and nearly 68 million people served through our subsidiaries. As an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, WellPoint serves members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; and as the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as the Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as the Blue Cross or Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), and Wisconsin. In a majority of these service areas, WellPoint’s plans do business as Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, or Empire Blue Cross (in the New York service areas). We also serve customers in several additional states through our Amerigroup subsidiary and in certain markets through our CareMore subsidiary. Our 1-800 CONTACTS, Inc. subsidiary offers customers online sales of contact lenses, eyeglasses and other ocular products. Additional information about WellPoint is available at www.wellpoint.com.

WellPoint, Inc.
Media Contact:
Donna Page, 404-842-8105

Copyright Business Wire 2013
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