He alleges 'anticompetitive practices.'

An optometrist in Pennsylvania has filed a lawsuit against Davis Vision Inc., HVHC Inc. and Highmark Health alleging that the companies engaged in anticompetitive practices.

Dr. Alan Frank is seeking class-action status for the lawsuit. The proposed class would consist of independent ophthalmologists, optometrists and opticians and their practices in Pennsylvania.

The suit claims that Davis, a provider of vision insurance benefits, has "abused its market dominance by subjecting Independent Pennsylvania Eyecare Providers to anticompetitive and other unlawful practices." 

The suit alleges that under Davis' "mandatory laboratory policy," independent providers "must direct all Davis Vision-insured patients’ eyeglass frame and lens orders to a laboratory owned by Davis Vision for fabrication, which results in needless cost and delay" for patients and ECPs. The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Frank claims that Davis "instituted these anticompetitive practices to unfairly steer patients away from Independent Pennsylvania Eyecare Providers, and instead towards Davis Vision’s corporate affiliate, Visionworks."

Visionworks is owned by HVHC. Both Davis and HVHC are subsidiaries of Highmark Health.

INVISION has reached out to Highmark for comment.

The suit seeks a judgment for damages along with attorney fees, court costs and interest. No amount is specified.

It also seeks "declaratory and injunctive relief requiring Davis Vision to reform or rescind the mandatory laboratory policy and other exclusionary terms, as well as other appropriate declaratory and injunctive relief."