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L.G. Reznick, L. Cassidy, R.J. Noecker, M.B. Gorin; Frequency of Diagnostic Procedures Amongst Patients Diagnosed as Ocular Hypertension, Primary Open Angle Glaucoma, and Glaucoma Suspects in Western Pennsylvania . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):4415.
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To investigate the utilization patterns of diagnostic procedures amongst ophthalmologists and optometrists in Western Pennsylvania for patients coded with ocular hypertension, glaucoma suspect, and primary open angle glaucoma.
We collected insurance claims data form a regional health care insurance company over a four year period. The patients coded as glaucoma suspect, ocular hypertension, primary open angle glaucoma were identified. We calculated the frequency of fundus photos, visual fields, and computer diagnostic imaging.
Over the study period, there was a total of 337 patients diagnosed with ocular hypertension. Of those patients, the coding indicated that 25% had visual fields and less than 1% underwent fundus photos and computer diagnostic imaging. We identified a total of 559 glaucoma suspects of which less than 1% had fundus photos, 29% had visual fields, and 2% had computer diagnostic imaging. 970 patients were coded with primary open angle glaucoma. Of these patients, no patients had fundus photos, 18.5% had visual fields, and 1.5% had computer imaging over the study period block.
Comparing the number of diagnostic procedures found in this review to the guidelines published by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, eye care providers in this region may not be performing diagnostic procedures as frequently as suggested by the Academy. The disparity could be a result of ophthalmologists and optometerists not billing for the procedures or not performing them. Additional research needs to be performed to determine the reasons behind the infrequent diagnostic monitoring of potential and current glaucoma patients in this region and nationally.
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