According to a recent study, a shocking number of people with diabetes never undergo an eye exam by an optometrist or ophthalmologist. However, most visit their primary care physician multiple times during the year proving an excellent opportunity for PCPs to screen for diabetic eye disease.
90% of diabetes-related blindness is preventable. The onset and progression of DR can be prevented or slowed with optimal management of blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol.
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.
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.
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 at a remote site using a store and forward method.