Article

LEADING OFF

TIPS, TRENDS & NEWS YOU CAN USE

LEADING OFF

TIPS, TRENDS & NEWS YOU CAN USE

O.D.S PROVIDE TIPS FOR PATIENT CONTACT LENS COMPLIANCE

Given that a significant portion of patients wear contact lenses and that the outcome of patient non-compliance can lead to contact lens dropout, minimizing this should be a priority.

Here, two O.D.s, whose practices are made up of more than 50% of contact lens wearers, provide tips for achieving this:

• Explain that contact lenses are a medical device. “I educate new and established contact lens patients that a contact lens, while thought of as a convenient and easy-to-use product, is first and foremost a medical device that, if used incorrectly, can cause serious ocular complications, including vision loss,” explains Gina Wesley, O.D., of Medina, Minn. “This sends the message that following my wear and care directions — including the specific solution I prescribe — minimizes their risk of complications.”

• Show slides of current patients. “I show non-compliance-caused eye infection slides of my own contact lens patients to new and established wearers, so they understand that these complications can hit close to home,” explains Kelly Kerksick, O.D., of Columbia, Ill. “I say, ‘Here are some of the things that can happen, and these are current patients of mine who gave me permission to show these slides, so others wouldn’t have to go through what they did.”

• Return to a discussion on daily disposable lenses. When patients who wear monthly lenses present with infiltrates and such, both doctors say they discuss with them daily disposable contact lenses, highlighting the easy compliance and health benefits.

“At this point, they [patients] say, ‘Ok. Let’s do that,’ and they remain in lens wear,” explains Dr. Wesley.

Dr. Kerksick says she gives a pamphlet about overwear costs. ■

VISION EXPO GROWS EYE CARE BUSINESS

Vision Expo (VE) attendees’ support of the 460 exhibitors results in consumer education and aids in the growth of practices.

Specifically, VE proceeds provide more than 1.7, 9.3 and 2.3 billion consumer impressions for ophthalmic lens topics, eyewear fashion and UV-protection, respectively. Also, VE supports Think About Your Eyes, which has created an additional 1.1 million projected eye exams.

With more than 12,000 visitors from 98 countries at this year’s event, additional consumer education campaigns are likely being discussed ■

Courtesy: TD Bank Survey of Medical Professionals.

COMMITTEE PROPOSES RECOMMENDATIONS TO DECREASE U.S. VISION IMPAIRMENT

Citing that between 8.2 million and 15.9 million people in the United States have uncorrected or undiagnosed refractive errors, The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine convened a group of 15 eye care experts, including three O.D.s, last month to come up with recommendations for reducing vision impairment by 2030. The “Making Eye Health a Population Health Imperative: Vision for Tomorrow” report, which is comprised of nine recommendations for health care stakeholders, resulted from the meeting.

One of the recommendations is to have the CDC create a coordinated eye and vision health surveillance system, something optometrist Sandy Block, a committee member and medical director/professor at the Illinois College of Optometry, feels is needed to “really be able to demonstrate what the true prevalence of vision problems is and which populations are not being served appropriately or which ones have a higher need for better access to eye care services,” she says. (For the full list of recommendations, visit tinyurl.com/NASEMrec.)

What is the true prevalence of strabismus in the United States? One of the recommendations is geared toward finding out this and the prevalence of other eye conditions.

Jeff Todd, vice president and chief operating officer of Prevent Blindness, a report sponsor, says optometrists can play a role in pushing the recommendations along by sending an email to their member of Congress with a link to the report, emphasizing that this is an important issue their American representatives should pay attention to.

“Additionally, they [O.D.s] should consider reaching out locally to their State Departments of Public Health, encouraging them to get vision on the radar,” he says ■

THIRD PARTIES HELP MANAGE PRIOR AUTHORIZATIONS

Prior authorization requests by insurance companies can become a clog in the workflow of your office — and an inconvenience for your patients. Many practices have addressed the issue with the help of third party systems.

Charles Gold, O.D., of Washington Heights, N.Y., says the prior authorization process begins with the O.D. creating an accurate medical record to justify what he is prescribing, if necessary. From there, a member of his staff, usually the optician or receptionist, uses PARx Solutions, a free web-based portal with a standard prior authorization form that communicates with insurance companies, to input the necessary information to process the request with the insurance company. Due to cross-training, any member of the staff is able to process the request.

Representatives from drug manufacturers can be of great help, Dr. Gold adds. He says he encourages any doctor putting a prior authorization process in place to ask his or her drug reps to train staff members on prior authorization processes specific to the rep’s product — for example, how one insurance company may differ from another in terms of what is required for prior authorization to be met. The rep can go back and check with staff members, and offer any necessary troubleshooting measures, Dr. Gold says.

Kate Patterson, ancillary tech at Tidewater Eye Center, processes prior authorizations for the three-location, nine-doctor M.D./O.D. practice in Virginia. She estimates it takes about a week to process a prior authorization request. Further, she says that in a given week, the practice has about 20 to 45 open prior authorization requests. She says Tidewater uses covermymeds, which is free, to electronically communicate among the pharmacy, the practice and the insurance provider to process the request.

Ms. Patterson’s specific part in the process is to communicate with the patients throughout. She says she appreciates the convenience of a portal and having all communication in one place ■

VOLUNTARY RECALL OF PEROXICLEAR SOLUTION IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA

Bausch + Lomb is conducting a voluntary recall, proposed Class II, of PeroxiClear 3% Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaning & Disinfecting Solution. The recall affects the United States and Canada.

According to a company press release, the recall “represents a low risk to the consumer and is unlikely to cause serious health consequences.” The company chose to initiate the action “out of an abundance of caution.”

The recall was initiated based on internal testing, which showed occasional occurrences where the residual peroxide remaining in the lens case after neutralization was out of product specification. If the residual hydrogen peroxide is above product specification, the user could experience temporary symptoms of burning/stinging, irritation, red eye and in rare circumstances, other more serious health consequences, stated the release.

Correction: In the “Suss Out the Silent Thief” article in September (p.87), the PERG electrodes are not placed on the scalp, but rather either close to the lower lid margin centered under the pupil or on the cornea. OM apologizes for this oversight.

SOCIAL MEDIA COMPANY INTRODUCES EYEWEAR

Snapchat, a social media channel that enables the self-deleting sharing of photos, videos, etc., has created Spectacles, sunglasses that contain a wireless video camera that captures a 115° field of view and connects directly to the Snapchat app, via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

“I could see my own memory, through my own eyes — it was unbelievable,” explained Snapchat’s CEO Evan Spiegel to The Wall Street Journal about his experience with a prototype he tried out on a recent vacation. “It’s one thing to see images of an experience you had, but it’s another thing to have an experience of the experience. . .”

Spectacles will be available fall in teal, coral or black, in one size and will cost $129.99 with limited distribution, according to The Wall Street Journal

Snapchat’s Spectacles contain a video camera.