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8 More Texas Eyecare Locations Acquired

The deal follows the acquisition of 11 offices in late July.

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DALLAS, TX – Acuity Eyecare Group, an owner and operator of North American eyecare groups and optometry practices, announced that it has acquired eight practices in Houston, TX, and the surrounding areas.

They are:

  • Memorial Eye Center: A three location optical group, Memorial Eye Center has served the West Houston community for more than 28 years, becoming one of Houston’s largest independent optometric practices.
  • Additional Locations: Acuity Eyecare Group has acquired an additional five Houston-area practices in the communities of Cinco Ranch, Rayford, Rice Village, Riley Fuzzel and Sugar Land. The independently-owned locations offer a range of treatment including the co-management of LASIK laser surgery, pediatric vision care, cataract and glaucoma management as well as ortho-keratology and specialty contact lenses. Each location will transition to the Memorial Eye Center brand.

These eight practices join AEG’s growing network of Texas eye care groups, including EyeTx and Hill Country Vision Center, which were announced at the end of July.

“We are very excited to have partnered with Acuity Eyecare Group. My colleagues and I have been very impressed with the professionalism of their entire team, their efficient approach to timely reviewing and closing this transaction, and their overall transparent approach and how they communicate,” said Thomas Arnold, OD, who has owned a Sugar Land, TX practice for more than 27 years. “Most importantly, we share the same view of the profession, how best to support doctors, and how best to enhance the performance at a practice level.”

Eric Anderson, CEO of Acuity Eyecare Group, said, “We are very honored that Dr. Tom Arnold, Memorial Eye Center, and several other prominent practices led by talented doctors would choose to partner with Acuity. We are excited to have them join the growing AEG family. And we are very enthusiastic about our progress in building significant presence in Texas.”

Joe Terzo, chief development officer, said, “AEG’s philosophy is to maintain the DNA and culture of each practice we acquire while we enable them to leverage our resources to elevate their practice. We’re committed to giving each of these practices the resources they need to further expand and grow.”

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Optical Retailer to Open 35 Locations in 2020

Monarch acquired Shopko Optical in May 2019.

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GREEN BAY, WI – Shopko Optical announced the opening of 80 freestanding optical centers in 180 days and said it plans to open an additional 35 optical centers in 2020.

Russ Steinhorst, Shopko Optical CEO, said, “I’m incredibly proud of our team, their focus on opening our new centers and their efficiency in making it a reality, especially the commitment and tireless efforts of our store development, operations, and IT teams.

“This was a very smooth transition as we were able to retain our loyal patients, optometrists and optical staff through the process.”

He said the company’s partnership with Monarch Alternative Capital has been crucial to its achievements.

“Without the guidance and support of Monarch and the Shopko Optical board, in particular Arthur Rubinfeld of Airvision and Jim Eisen, these openings would not have been a reality,” Steinhorst said.

Monarch acquired Shopko Optical in May 2019.

Ian Glastein, Monarch principal and chairman of the Shopko Optical board, said, “When we partnered with Shopko Optical in May, we knew this endeavor was an important part of the growth strategy. To see our vision play out in these 80 center openings is an incredible accomplishment for Shopko Optical.”

Shopko Optical centers have been opened in Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.

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Here’s Where Optometrists Earn the Most … And Here’s Where They Earn the Least

Forbes analyzed U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

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Forbes has released an analysis of how much optometrists earn, on average, in each state.

Nationally, the average OD salary is $119,980 per year, according to the report, which is based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s well above the average of $51,960 a year for all occupations.

Forbes found that the highest-paid optometrists are in North Dakota, where the average pay is $175,090 per year.

The publication noted that a low supply of ODs likely factors into North Dakota’s high pay. There are only 160 optometrists in the state.

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The lowest-paying state for optometrists is Utah, where the average OD makes $74,490. That’s a significant drop from 2013, when the average Utah optometrist made $118,050.

For more information on how eyecare pros live and work, check out INVISION’s 2019 Big Survey.

See the full list at Forbes

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Eye Health Firm Raises $25M, Plans to Expand Sales Team

It’s expanding its ForeseeHome AMD Monitoring Program.

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MaNASSAS, VA — Notal Vision Inc., a privately held ophthalmic diagnostic services company, announced that Ganot Capital is extending the recent funding round to $25 million.

The continued investment will enable Notal Vision to support the commercial growth of the company’s current service, ForeseeHome AMD Monitoring Program, as well as further research and development efforts for pipeline technologies. The company is focused on “advancing eyecare with precision medicine by extending disease management from the clinic to the home,” according to a press release.

“Pursuing additional funding has allowed us to expand our ForeseeHome field-based sales team,” said CEO Kester Nahen. “We have a proven model that includes low-cost medical devices, an effective artificial intelligence (AI)-driven decision support solution, and a dependable clinical patient engagement platform. With the additional investment, we believe we will be able to prove that partnering with accounts as an extension of their practice will drive deeper adoption of our home diagnostic services.”

The company is also funded to continue development of the Home OCT platform, according to the release. The company noted that the platform received FDA Breakthrough Device status at the end of 2018 and that efforts to establish reimbursement are under way.

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The home-based OCT “will help address the high unmet monitoring need for physicians and their patients alongside anti-VEGF therapy,” according to the release.

“Notal Vision is uniquely positioned to continue to lead the ophthalmic home diagnostic services market,” said Guy Kastav, chairman of the board of Notal Vision. “Ganot Capital is an investment company dedicated to improving quality of life for senior citizens. Ganot Capital believes it’s important to help Notal Vision succeed in their mission to help prevent blindness through age-related retinal diseases.”

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