TREATING DRY EYE
According to the National Eye Institute, nearly five million Americans age 50 years and older are estimated to have dry eye. Diagnosing and managing dry eye disease has become an increasingly important aspect of primary eyecare. In fact, an overwhelming amount of ODs surveyed in this month’s poll said they saw the incidence of the condition increase by 86% in their practices. Nearly half (43%) of respondents are considering adding an in-office treatment modality, such as LipiFlow, ThermoFlow or BlephEx in 2017. But there are obstacles in providing such care. As you may suspect, insurance coverage is a challenge, but it’s not the only one.
Challenges of Treating Dry Eye
“Patient’s misconception of the cause. They think “˜Not enough water’ when we know it is evaporation and inflammation.”
“Patient’s out-of-pocket costs from medication.”
“The lack of curative technology or treatment. Otherwise, we manage the problem constantly. Patients do not accept the need for them to actively manage the problem and are looking for a magic pill to make it go away immediately and never come back.
“Sorting out the correct diagnosis””and insurance covering the expense.”
“Time and compliance. The examination and explanations take a great deal of time, and patients have a difficult time using the various treatments regularly.”
“The chronic nature of the disease and the fact that we can many times reduce patient symptoms, but the signs of dry eye are still observed.”
“Patients believing it is a big enough problem to address.”
“Lack of pharmaceutical support.”
“Insurance rules that require attempt and documented failure with OTC medications before any other treatments will be considered for coverage.”
“Insurance doesn’t cover the medications the patient needs, and the patients can’t afford the high cost, so we end up using generic drops that do not work and have worse side effects.”
“Compliance to treatment and late diagnosis causing significant meibomian gland atrophy. All eyecare providers should strive for early diagnosis of meibomian gland dysfunction.”