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Dilated eye exams preferred for those over 65

[caption id="attachment_3784" align="alignright" width="300"] Dr. Paul Krawitz performing a dilated retinal examination[/caption] A recent study suggests that it would be more cost effective for new Medicare enrollees to receive dilated eye exams in place of visual acuity screenings. Currently, when people are enrolled in the Medicare program, they receive a visual acuity screening along with other preventive healthcare checks. The study involved 50,000 simulated patients with demographic characteristics matched to people 65 years of age. Diabetics were excluded because visual acuity screenings had already been determined to be cost effective and patients with diagnosed eye disease were also left out. Researchers found that when compared to a no-screening policy, dilated eye evaluations increased quality-adjusted life years by 0.0008 and increased costs by $94. The quality-adjusted life years for those who had visual acuity screenings increased in less than 95 percent of the simulations and the total costs were increased by $32 per person.*

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