Blue Bell-based Medical Optometry America unveils expansion plans – Philadelphia Business Journal – The Business Journals

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A Blue Bell-based company focused on developing a national optometric brand is getting ready to open its second practice location — and first in the Philadelphia region.
Medical Optometry America’s new office on West Chester Pike in Newtown Square is scheduled to open early next month. It will join the company’s first site, which opened in York County a little more than a year ago.
Future expansion plans call for a third practice site in Virginia that will open sometime in May and a fourth site that is expected to open later this year in a still to be determined suburban Philadelphia location.
Ken Krieg, the company’s CEO, said Medical Optometry America’s business model calls for delivering high-level, non-surgical, medical eye care and equipping practice sites with advanced diagnostic and therapeutic technology.
“We have a number of criteria we look at,” Krieg said, when asked how the company decides where to establish a practice. “We look at the availability of referral sites. We get a lot of referrals from urgent care centers. They don’t mess with the eye. We also look at population density and the age of that population. And we have to find a suitable space. If I could open a site in the middle of a 55-and-older community, I would.”
Krieg launched Medical Optometry America — which is using the brand name MOA — in 2018 after learning about the optometry field with a previous company that marketed nutraceuticals to doctors including eye specialists.
“For the past 15 years I was CEO of Physician Recommended Nutraceuticals, which we sold to [private equity firm Roundtable Healthcare Partners] about six months ago,” he said. “We worked with thousands of optometrists. … I had a ringside seat for learning about the profession.”
What Krieg learned was optometrists traditionally generate a significant portion of their revenue from examining patients and supplying them with prescription eyeglasses or contacts when needed. That portion of their business, he said, is being disrupted by online eyeglasses retailers like Warby Parker.
At the same time, Krieg said, aging baby boomers have ophthalmology offices overwhelmed by patients requiring cataract surgery. He said nearly 5 million cataract surgeries are expected to be performed in the United States this year.
“So what happens to people seeking nonsurgical eye care for conditions like glaucoma, macular degeneration, dry eye and diabetic retinopathy?” Krieg asked. “Optometrists are trained to deal with those conditions. That’s our sweet spot. We are creating a brand that is predictable and dependable when it comes to dealing with these kind of eye care needs.”
Medical Optometry America partners with optometrists to create, market and support practice sites.
The company, which has 20 employees and expects to be at 30 by year’s end, has raised more than $5 million since its inception, with investors in Acumen Health Holdings provided the founding capital. Its investors also include more than 50 optometrists and ophthalmologists.
Dr. Christopher J. Kuc will serve as medical director for the company’s Newtown Square location.
Kuc said he learned about Medical Optometry America from Dr. Leslie O’Dell, a former classmate of his at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (now Salus University). O’Dell is the medical director for the company’s first practice site in Shrewsbury, York County.
Helping patients with chronic eye conditions, Kuc said, is something he enjoys and by joining Medical Optometry America he is getting access to the latest diagnostic equipment and technology.
“To me, it’s a home run,” he said.
Kuc, who grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs, is president of the Chester-Delaware Optometric Society and serves on the Pennsylvania Optometric Association Board of Trustees. He supports Medical Optometry America’s goal of educating people about the importance of regular eye care — much in the same way people will go to their primary care doctor for an annual physical or their dentists for periodic teeth cleaning.
“Because most eye conditions and diseases develop without any noticeable symptoms until damage has already occurred, it’s important to have an annual medical eye exam to catch issues early on,” Kuc said. “Even if you have perfect vision, eye problems could still be developing.”
Beyond eye health, other potentially serious health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, certain cancers and even many neurological conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, can often be detected through a comprehensive eye exam.
“We are intent on sparking a culture change and inspiring patients to be more proactive about their eye health,” said Dr. Jim Thimons, Medical Optometry America’s Chief Medical Officer.
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