EyeCare Partners Adds CEI Vision Partners Ophthalmology Group in a ‘Transformative’ Deal That Furthers Their Clinically Integrated Vision Care Approach

EyeCare Partners Adds CEI Vision Partners Ophthalmology Group in a ‘Transformative’ Deal That Furthers Their Clinically Integrated Vision Care Approach

October 28, 2021

ST. LOUIS—Moving to enhance its integrated model of vision care, EyeCare Partners (ECP), the leading clinically integrated network of ophthalmology and optometry providers, has entered into an agreement to acquire CEI Vision Partners (CVP), a premier network of ophthalmology practices and 55 eyecare locations in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic, according to an announcement.

ECP chief executive officer David Clark said in an interview that the transaction fits with ECP’s long-term vision to focus on “patient outcomes, patient experience and efficiency … [both in] a business component and a clinical component.”

Clark said the two groups believe their coming together represents “a big opportunity around the efficiency of care and the efficiency on the business side.”  “We're really excited about that and joining with an organization like CVP just takes us that much further along the path toward doing this.”
 
Combined, the two organizations comprise a national medical group of nearly 1,000 doctors who will serve more than 3 million patients annually, the announcement noted.

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The partnership is expected to formally close in mid-November, and Clark said that some details around the post-transaction structure of the new organization are still being worked out.

Clark also noted that he expects ECP will complete and close additional deals in eyecare through the end of this year.

CVP is a management services organization formed in 2018 through a partnership with Cincinnati Eye Institute and Revelstoke Capital Partners.

It currently operates partner practices in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Virginia, with a network of more than 150 providers across all major subspecialties in ophthalmology and optometry working across 47 clinical centers and eight ambulatory surgical centers.

In terms of staffing, Clark noted that CVP has a number of optometrists who work as part of their ophthalmology clinical teams, “which we think is the right model for the future. That's up to each practice to decide, but it certainly seems to be something that makes sense,”.

EyeCare Partners, which ranked No. 7 on this year’s VM Top 50 Optical Retailers report, is a portfolio company of Partners Group, a global private markets firm with offices in Switzerland and Denver, among other locations.

One of the key factors that led to the transaction, Clark said, is that both groups are working “to achieve the same thing” in terms of a patient care model and the executives agree that they will “be a lot better together than we are apart … so let's get together and build something even greater.”
 
The combination of the two eyecare groups will create a combined entity of more than 280 ophthalmologists and over 700 optometrists supported by almost 5,000 clinical staff and 1,200 support services team members across 18 states.
“We are excited to have the doctors and team members of CVP join forces with the ECP family to deliver our mission to enhance vision, advance eyecare and improve lives,” Clark said in the official announcement.

“Our partnership with CVP will be transformative in the industry, creating a premier network of top doctors who can deliver the best patient outcomes, provide optimal patient experiences and achieve the highest efficiencies in the delivery of care. We truly will be better together.”
 
Added Clyde Bell, chief executive of CVP, “CVP has grown substantially over the last three years by partnering with leading ophthalmology practices in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic region, and we are excited to take this growth to the next level in partnership with EyeCare Partners.

As soon as we initiated the conversation with ECP, it was apparent that together, our organizations’ strengths and mission-driven cultures will expand on our ability to provide the highest level of vision care for our patients and better opportunities for our doctors and team members.”
 
ECP emphasizes the importance of doctor leadership, through medical executive boards, in partnership with a diverse group of business leaders with broad health care experience, all working closely together to achieve the best results, the announcement noted.

ECP supports its practices by leveraging practice management expertise with the resources and knowledge inherent in its national medical group, while providing efficient and effective business functions in support of the growing demand for eyecare, allowing doctors to focus on what they do best—deliver personalized patient care.
 
“The benefits this partnership with CVP will bring to ECP’s patients, doctors and team members is compelling,” said Antonio Capone Jr., MD, of Associated Retinal Consultants and chairman of ECP’s Ophthalmology Medical Executive Board.

“Medicine is changing. There are a number of inefficiencies in health care, which ECP will help to address for our patients, and clinical teams where we provide care today and into the future.
 
"The leadership of EyeCare Partners has an eye toward that future and is shaping our organization to achieve these results, supporting delivery of the highest quality care throughout the full continuum of eyecare for our patients.”

“CVP is excited to partner with ECP” added Daniel Miller, MD, PhD, CVP’s chief medical officer. “They share our vision for recruiting leading practices and the highest quality eyecare providers. This partnership will accelerate our mutual goal of creating the leading integrated eyecare company in the U.S.”

Clark noted that he believes health care today is inefficient in terms of how it operates and in terms of the patient experience, including handoffs between primary care providers and specialty providers.

“If you have something other than your annual physical, your experience is usually not a great experience,” he said. “There's a lot of coordination that falls on the shoulders of patients. …

And so we really feel like focusing on the continuum of care is something that's very important in terms of addressing those areas.”