Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Eye Exams Get Patients to Seek Treatment for Chronic Problems

After comprehensive eye exams, patients seek follow-up treatment for certain chronic conditions from the primary care physicians and specialists, based on the advice of an eye care professionals. That's the finding of Eye Exam Impacts on Re-engagement for Chronic Conditions, a new study by UnitedHealthcare.

It  demonstrates how eye care professionals can play a key role in helping re-engage patients with chronic conditions into care. This may help enable cost savings and prevention of disease progression and complications. Study results showed that 33 percent of previously unengaged patients, defined as lacking medical care for any chronic conditions over the previous 18 months, were re-engaged into care with a primary care physician or specialist within 60 days following an eye exam. Another 24 percent of patients were re-engaged after 60 days following an eye exam.

The study followed more than 2,300 UnitedHealthcare plan participants enrolled in employer-sponsored health plans to determine whether patients lacking care for chronic conditions followed up for treatment with a primary care physician or specialist after an eye exam. The study examined re-engagement rates for people with seven chronic conditions: Crohn’s disease, diabetes, Graves’ disease, high cholesterol, hypertension, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. The results are important considering many people visit their eye care doctor more frequently than their primary care provider. Read more.

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