June 2022
Volume 63, Issue 7
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2022
CARES Act Aid to Ophthalmologists and Optometrists During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Stephanie Choi
    NYU Langone Health, New York, New York, United States
  • Amy Du
    NYU Langone Health, New York, New York, United States
  • Sachi A Patil
    NYU Langone Health, New York, New York, United States
  • Daniel Vail
    New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai, New York, New York, United States
  • Arjun Watane
    Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, United States
  • Jay Wang
    Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, United States
  • Ravi Parikh
    NYU Langone Health, New York, New York, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Stephanie Choi None; Amy Du None; Sachi Patil None; Daniel Vail None; Arjun Watane None; Jay Wang None; Ravi Parikh None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2022, Vol.63, 3369 – A0156. doi:
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      Stephanie Choi, Amy Du, Sachi A Patil, Daniel Vail, Arjun Watane, Jay Wang, Ravi Parikh; CARES Act Aid to Ophthalmologists and Optometrists During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2022;63(7):3369 – A0156.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Purpose : Congress passed the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Provider Relief Fund to help healthcare providers recoup lost revenue during the pandemic. We aimed to determine how much of this federal aid was provided to ophthalmology and optometry practices, and whether the amount of aid received varied based on practice size.

Methods : We used the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Physician Compare National Database to identify medical practices that provide eye care. We used practice names to link this database to the Health and Human Services (HHS) Provider Relief Fund (PRF) database to determine how much aid each practice received through the CARES Act.

Results : We identified 2,625 optometry or ophthalmology practices that received funding through the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund that were not hospital-owned or affiliated with multi-specialty practices. Large practices with more than 10 clinicians accounted for only 268 of the 2,625 practices in our sample, but received nearly half of all funding ($182 million). Per-practitioner funding varied based on practice size (p=0.047), but differences in per-practitioner funds were not significant after adjusting for practice specialty (ophthalmology, optometry, or both).
We also found that retina specific practices tended to receive more than their counterparts.

Conclusions : This study demonstrates a relatively uniform distribution of per capita funds when adjusted for ophthalmologists, optometrists, and mixed-practices regardless of practice size. This policy demonstrates how federal aid is distributed to independent ophthalmology practices, and
that smaller practices which are at higher risk may need larger per capita payments to remain viable during times of economic stress.

This abstract was presented at the 2022 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Denver, CO, May 1-4, 2022, and virtually.

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