Regular Eye Exams Can Help Save Sight of Diabetics
November is "Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month"
One in four Americans age 65 or older has diabetes, putting them at increased risk for vision loss and blindness. Fortunately, diabetes-related vision loss is largely preventable with regular care. Yet studies have found a majority of Medicare beneficiaries with diabetes do not get the necessary eye exams despite the fact that the exams could be covered under their existing insurance.
The California Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons (CAEPS) and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) are recognizing November as Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month and reminding older Americans with diabetes that they should obtain these critical eye exams each year.
These eye exams allow early detection, monitoring and, if needed, treatment of diabetic eye disease. This can prevent unnecessary vision loss, enabling people with diabetes to continue to live full and productive lives. Such exams also allow checking for conditions such as glaucoma and cataracts, for which people with diabetes are at an increased risk.
For those with Medicare, the program covers 80 percent of the cost of eye exams for people with diabetes and the remaining 20 percent is typically paid for by the patient. If this cost is a concern, EyeCare America may be able to help. This is a public service program of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. It can help older Americans get a comprehensive eye exam and up to one year of care at no out-of-pocket cost. Learn more or see if you or your loved one qualifies at www.eyecareamerica.org.
NURSE PRACTITIONER AND OPTOMETRIC SURGERY SCOPE BILLS STALL IN ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE
the strong advocacy efforts of CAEPS, the California Medical Association,
the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and other specialty societies
including the California Academy of Family Physicians, bills that would have given California Nurse
Practitioners and Optometrists sweeping new privileges failed to advance from
the Assembly Business and Professions Committee at its final meeting for the
year on July 14th. The bills are therefore no longer eligible for
consideration in 2015, but can be heard again next year.
above listed groups opposed the bills based on patient safety concerns.
SB 323 (Hernandez) would have allowed Nurse Practitioners the ability to practice without physician supervision in some settings and to perform procedures "recognized by the nursing profession as appropriate," without any specific training requirements.
SB 622 (Hernandez), would have allowed pathways to optometric surgery, with unacceptable amounts of training:
for your efforts to help us protect patient safety.