Eye exams can help re-engage people with chronic conditions

A US healthcare specialist finds that an eye examination could help re-engage patients with particular chronic conditions

22 May 2015 by Emily McCormick

A comprehensive eye examination could help patients with particular chronic conditions re-engage with primary care and specialists, with practitioners able to encourage them to seek follow-up care, a new report from a US healthcare specialist claims. 

The eye exam impacts on re-engagement for chronic conditions report, produced by UnitedHealthcare, states that this re-engagement could help prevent the progression of disease and lead to cost savings. 

The company monitored over 2,300 people on an employer-sponsored plan to determine whether patients lacking care for chronic conditions followed-up for treatment with a primary care physician or specialist after an eye examination.

It examined seven chronic conditions, including Crohn’s disease, Graves’ disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. 

The study found that 33% of patients who had been previously ‘unengaged,’ re-engaged with primary care or a specialist within 60 days of having an eye examination. A further 24% re-engaged after 60 days of an eye examination. 

Chief eye care officer for UnitedHealthcare Vision, Linda Chous, said: “This study demonstrates the important role comprehensive eye exams play in re-engaging patients into care, especially for chronic conditions.

“When patients are reconnected into care, the prevention of disease progression and complications can be realised, which may contribute to improved patient health and reduced costs."


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