UnitedHealthcare Study: Comprehensive Eye Exams Can Help Identify Some Chronic Conditions, May Lead to Improved Health and Reduced Costs

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  • Conditions included diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, multiple sclerosis, and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
  • Employers adopting integrated eye health and medical benefits, along with health and wellness programs, may improve employee health and reduce medical costs


MINNETONKA, Minn. (Feb. 20, 2014) — 

Comprehensive eye exams can help identify some chronic conditions, helping with early diagnosis so people can obtain appropriate treatment sooner and take steps to better manage their disease, according to a new study by UnitedHealthcare.

"Impact of Eye Exams in Identifying Chronic Conditions" demonstrates how eye care professionals can play a key role in identifying people with various diseases and then working with primary care physicians to deliver holistic, patient-centered care.

The study is based on an extensive analysis of claims data for UnitedHealthcare plan participants with both medical and vision benefits. It concluded that eye care professionals identified nearly 6 percent of the chronic conditions diagnosed among the study population. For certain diseases, including multiple sclerosis and diabetes, eye care professionals identified 15 percent of study participants diagnosed with those chronic conditions. Other common conditions identified by eye care professionals were high cholesterol and hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease and Graves disease.

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