Community Health Centers are perfectly positioned to meet the comprehensive eye care needs of patients while also reducing costs and preventing greater morbidity and inequity. According to the Health Resources and Service Administration, over 29 million people visited community health centers in 2019, of which 2.78% received eye care services.
In addition, primary care settings offer a front-line opportunity for providers to conduct screenings, ask questions, and integrate vision and eye health into a patient’s overall care management plan. Oftentimes, primary care providers can do little more than refer patients to an eye care specialist. There is, however, an opportunity with respect to eye disease prevention, notably with the advent of important technological advances that can transmit key eye health data from primary care centers. Additionally, primary care, which often includes initial screenings to detect eye diseases, is often the entry point for patients into the broader health care system and thus a natural setting for early detection and interventional care in its role as the patient-centered medical home.
- Integrating Eye Care Services into Primary Care – Center for Vision and Population Health
- Building Public Health Capacity to Enhance Vision and Eye Health: A Toolkit for Public Health Agencies and Their Partners — Centers for Disease Control and Prevention