I haven’t visited an optometrist for over five years. After all, my vision is ok. Therefore, I did not feel a need to make an appointment. However, my view on this matter has changed since reading the below study from UnitedHealthcare. Today’s helpful tips are sponsored by UnitedHealthcare, all opinions are my own.
Recently, UnitedHealthcare did a study that showed 57 percent of patients were identified with chronics conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and rheumatoid arthritis. However, after receiving the exam, they begin seeing their primary care physician or specialist again.
5 Benefits of a Comprehensive Eye Exam
1 A Comprehensive Eye Exam can help manage preexisting conditions for certain chronic conditions, and possibly improve your health and reduce medical cost.
2) Employers that provide medical plans that include both eye care, medical and health and wellness programs, can improve employee well-being and reduce medical bills.
3) Receiving a Comprehensive eye exam allows optometrist to be involved in the overall health of patients with certain chronic conditions by encouraging them to seek follow-up treatments with their primary care physicians and specialists
4) People who receive follow-up care for a chronic conditions; after visiting an eye care professional may help prevent progression of disease and complications.
5) Comprehensive eye exams can assist in the early detection and diagnosis of chronic conditions – such as high cholesterol, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and Graves’ disease – helping with early diagnosis so people can obtain appropriate treatment sooner and take steps to better manage their illness.
More than 117 million people nationwide, or nearly one of every two adults, suffer from at least one chronic condition, while one quarter of adults have two or more conditions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More than 29 million people have diabetes; 73.5 million have high LDL cholesterol; and 70 million have hypertension, according to the CDC.
Employers are increasingly recognizing the role eye health plays in overall health, adopting integrated vision and medical benefits programs such as UnitedHealthcare’s Bridge2Health®, which supports patients and health care professionals with information, decisions, and outcomes. Bridge2Health does the following: • integrates medical and vision data to close gaps in care and identify opportunities for interventions, including monitoring of 23 chronic conditions;
- Combines medical and vision data to close gaps in care and identify opportunities for interventions, including the supervision of 23 chronic conditions;
- Identifies people with chronic diseases for eye care providers, and helps ensure that patients’ eyes be dilated during the exam to provide a better view of eye health and overall health;
- Contacts plan participants by phone with eye exam reminders for people with chronic conditions who have not had an exam; and
- Refers people with diabetes to disease management programs that may save more than $1,800 per patient per year, according to the 2014 UnitedHealthcare study.
More than 170 companies representing 5.3 million plan participants have already selected Bridge2Health’s integrated approach for vision benefits to help create healthier employees, lower health care costs and increase productivity. With wellness as a core value for many companies, programs such as UnitedHealthcare’s Bridge2Health provide employees with the most advanced programs and resources that encourage a healthier workforce.
The new report builds on the findings of a previous UnitedHealthcare study, “Impact of Eye Exams in Identifying Chronic Conditions,” published in 2014. That study demonstrated how comprehensive eye exams can help eye-care doctors identify some chronic conditions.