Vision Health

The Eye Body Connection

Cornerstone leverages vision exams to reduce Medicaid spending statewide.

Mounting evidence proves that the eyes are windows to the rest of the body, and the health care cost implications are tantalizing.

The health benefits to the individual notwithstanding, the savings to the health care system justify promotion of annual eye exams for all recipients of medical coverage, with a 700% return on investment in vision, or a gain of $7 for every $1 invested in vision coverage.

Corrective Vision in the United States

More Americans than ever require vision care, with 75% of adults in the U.S. using some form of vision correction. Looking ahead, nearly 70% of Millennials already report symptoms of digital eye strain and roughly 25% of U.S. children use some form of vision correction. Combine these statistics with the fact that the average person is 4 times more likely to receive an annual vision exam than a physical exam, and the value of an ordinary eye exam exponentially grows.

An eye exam may be the only time a medical coverage recipient sees any type of health care provider for a prolonged period, so it behooves all parties to make the most of the opportunity and collect as much information as possible from that exam.

Cornerstone Vision Health
Cornerstone Vision Health

Eye Exam vs.

Eye Screening

An eye exam is not an eye screening. An eye screening is similar to what the DMV does for a license renewal. It does not look at the eye, but rather looks at the ability of the eye to see. Screenings may also be provided by school nurses, pediatricians or even general physicians.

Conversely, an eye exam is performed by a vision professional, usually an optometrist or ophthalmologist, and includes careful testing of all aspects of vision of an individual.

It includes looking at all aspects of the physical eye, including the interior, sides and posterior, places where many medical conditions can be found but would be missed in a vision screening.

Did You Know?

Make no mistake, comprehensive eye exams are important for the sake of the eyes, considering that vision disorders are the 2nd most prevalent health condition in the United States. The vision conditions found through an eye exam include refractive errors (nearsightedness/farsightedness), amblyopia, strabismus, eye team, focus problems, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, cataracts and more.

Vision disorders aside, eye professionals may also find evidence of expensive chronic conditions including:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Stroke
  • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • High cholesterol
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Grave’s Disease
  • Lupus
  • HIV
  • Sjogren’s Syndrome
  • Brain Tumors

Demand for Vision Care

With a 700% return on investment in vision coverage and people 4 times more likely to get a vision exam than a physical, the question turns to how to get Medicaid recipients to go to the eye provider for an eye exam.

Luckily, people already want vision coverage. In fact, 85% of adults want vision coverage, which is more than the number of people who actually need it. Further, 91% of consumers view vision coverage as important, or very important.

In fact, in employed settings, when offered vision, 8 in 10 employees elect vision coverage, including cases where they must pay for a portion or all of that coverage.

Cornerstone Vision Health

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