Article Date: 8/1/2007

Practice pulse TIPS, TRENDS & NEWS YOU CAN USE

Practice pulse TIPS, TRENDS & NEWS YOU CAN USE

AOA Develops Healthcare Commission

PUTTING OPTOMETRISTS IN A LEADERSHIP ROLE

■ The American Optometric Association (AOA) announced it will fund a National Commission on Vision and Health, which would seek to place optometry in a leadership role in the continuing dialog over national healthcare.

Newly elected AOA President Kevin L. Alexander, O.D., Ph.D of Sylvania, Ohio, said the commission will be comprised "mainly of non-O.D.s." and include policy experts who will advise the AOA on issues that address eye care and general health and wellness. Barry Barresi, O.D., Ph.D., president of New England Eye Institute, as well as V.P. Clinical Services and professor of Health Policy at the New England College of Optometry, will head the commission.

In related news, the AOA House of Delegates announced its 2007 to 2008 officers. Aside from Dr. Alexander, they are Peter H. Kehoe, O.D., of Galesburg, Ill., president-elect; Randolph E. Brooks, O.D., of Ledgewood, N.J., vice president; Joe E. Ellis, O.D., of Benton, Ky., secretary-treasurer; and immediate past-president, C. Thomas Crooks, III, O.D., of Birmingham, Ala.


MARKETING WELLNESS
Campaign Promotes the New VSP
■ Health and individual choice are the messages promoted through a new brand and marketing campaign recently launched by Vision Service Plan (VSP).
"The program repositions our message to consumers about individual choice and preferences," says VSP president and CEO Rob Lynch. "We also wanted to promote the benefits of evidence-based eye care and its broader implications for overall good health."
The marketing program connects wellness with private-practice optometry, says Kate Renwick-Espinosa, VSP's vice president of Marketing.
"… This has to do with that longer-term relationship between patients and private-practice doctors and the support that VSP provides for that relationship."
For more information, including a consumer-targeted video, visit www.vsp.com.

POOR EYESIGHT BILKS BUSINESSES

Vision Problems Cost $8 Billion

■ Vision disorders cost businesses an estimated $8 million a year, according to the Vision Council of America's "Vision in Business Report."

Economic analysis

VCA used U.S. Census Bureau data to calculate the proportion of the age 45 and older population who live in each state and multiplied this number by the annual financial burden of major adult eye disorders, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and refractive error. This financial information was gleaned from the Prevent Blindness America Report "The Economic Impact of Vision Problems: The Toll of Major Adult Eye Disorders, Visual Impairment and Blindness on the U.S. Economy," which provides cost data on vision loss and disease.

Report highlights

The highlights of the "Vision in Business Report:"

• The annual financial albatross of major adult vision disorders exceeds $1 billion in 17 states, and that burden exceeds $500 million in an additional 15 states.

• The top three states with the largest cost hardship are California ($5.5 billion), Florida ($3.9 billion) and New York ($3.6 billion). The top three lowest-cost hardship states are Wyoming ($86 million), Vermont ($119 million) and South Dakota ($162 million).

So, what can you do to alleviate this problem?

"I think eyecare practitioners can help by taking the time to talk with patients and local business owners about how to prevent job-related eye injuries and how poor vision and visual problems can affect one's work and work experiences," says Ed Greene, CEO of VCA. "This is a great spring board to talking about the benefits of protective eye wear, such as computer-vision lenses, for instance."

EMPHASIZING PROPER HYGIENE

AMO Returns to Solutions

■ On the heels of its voluntary recall of Complete MoisturePlus solution in late May, Advanced Medical Optics (AMO) announced it will begin to ship a new contact lens (CL) multipurpose solution during the first half of August.

The company expects the solution, marketed under the Complete name, to be "widely available" to consumers in the United States by early September. AMO will ship to other global regions throughout the fall.

The new product will emphasize proper CL handling and care, promoting guidelines set forth by professional associations, including the American Optometric Association (AOA) and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), according to AMO.

NEW LENSES AND PARAMETERS

CooperVision Introduces New Contact Lenses

■ CooperVision recently introduced Proclear Multifocal XR contact lenses (omafilcon A), a monthly lens that offers extended sphere and ADD powers.

The company's balanced progressive technology design combines spheric and aspheric optics and unique zone sizes to produce two distinct lenses — a "D" lens for the dominant eye and an "N" lens for the non-dominant eye — that work together to provide distance, intermediate and near vision.

The technology maximizes binocular visual acuity at all distances and allows for strong depth perception and stereopsis, according to CooperVision.

CooperVision also announced extended parameters for the Proclear Multifocal Toric (see page 62). Additionally, it introduced its Biofinity silicone-hydrogel contact lens (comfilcon A) for daily wear in the United States. CooperVision expects Biofinity to receive Food & Drug Administration (FDA) clearance as an extended-wear lens in late 2008. For more details, visit www.coopervision.com/us/patient_clenses.asp.

Clarification: The May issue (page 15) of OM listed Ken Maller, O.D., as a Global Orthokeratology Symposium (GOS) speaker. Dr. Maller was in attendance, though he didn't speak formally at GOS.


Optometric Management, Issue: August 2007