Diabetic Retinopathy: Don’t Look Away

Posted by Cynthia Lank on Apr 17, 2019 10:16:20 AM

There are many ways to look at the impact of any disease, such as the patient experience, the public health impact, and the related healthcare costs, to name a few. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the some of the statistics related to diabetic retinopathy (DR) – numbers that challenge physicians, the healthcare system as a whole, and patients to consider how to prevent, detect, and treat this eye disease that can blind.

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Topics: Best Practice

The Three H’s: Delaying Onset and Preventing Diabetic Retinopathy

Posted by Cynthia Lank on Mar 4, 2019 2:53:56 PM

In our February 1, 2019 blog post, we talked about the American Diabetes Association’s 2019 guidelines as they relate to screening (and specifically  teleretinal screening) for diabetic retinopathy (DR). In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the ADA’s recommendations for preventing the onset and slowing the progression of DR, and some expert opinion on educating patients about how to best protect their vision.

Risk factors for DR are sometimes referred to as the 3 H’s: hyperglycemia, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia. Accordingly, the ADA guidelines recommend that glycemic, blood pressure, and serum lipid control should all be optimized to reduce the risk or slow the progression of DR. The importance of this systemic control of diabetes was highlighted in a discussion on Medscape Ophthalmology between two ophthalmologists at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai in New York City: Dr. John Aljian (an anterior segment surgeon and Clinical Associate Professor of Ophthalmology) and Dr. Ron Gentile (Director of the Ocular Trauma Service and Surgeon Director). They stressed the need to “get to patients before they have diabetic retinopathy. If a patient comes in to the office with no diabetic retinopathy, we don't want to forget to mention the importance of the 3 H's.” Because DR can take years to develop, each clinical encounter is an opportunity to stress to the patient the importance of striving to meet his or her individual treatment targets. In fact, as summed up by Dr. Aljian  “there is nothing more powerful—no medication, injectable, laser, whatever—to prevent a vision loss from diabetic retinopathy than control of the blood sugar, the blood pressure, and the lipid profile.”

You can watch Dr. Aljian’s interview of Dr. Gentile here:

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Topics: Best Practice

American Diabetes Association Recommends Telemedicine for Retinal Screening

Posted by Cynthia Lank on Feb 1, 2019 2:54:01 PM

For the past 25 years, the American Diabetes Association has developed evidence-based guidelines and standards of medical care that are a valuable source of information for the many different healthcare professionals who care for people with diabetes.

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Topics: Best Practice

Demystifying Reimbursement for Diabetic Retinopathy Exams for Primary Care Physicians

Posted by Richard Pridham on Jan 7, 2019 9:00:00 AM

On November 1, 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) issued final rules for updating the 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule to implement recent telehealth-related legislative reforms. Together, these rules represent a substantial expansion of Medicare reimbursement for services provided via telehealth. However, for ocular telehealth, particularly as it applies to Diabetic Retinopathy Exams (DRE), the situation remains somewhat misunderstood.

One of the frequent questions we get asked pertains to reimbursement for telemedicine-based Diabetic Retinopathy Exams (DRE). This involve a scenario where a patient receives a retinal exam in their primary care physician’s office with fundus images being interpreted by a qualified eye care professional (e.g. ophthalmologist or optometrist) at a remote site using a store and forward method. What are the CPT codes for this procedure and how much they pay?

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Topics: Best Practice

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