The Critical Role of the Primary Care Provider

Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness among working-age adults in the United States. Providers are the key to fighting diabetic retinopathy at the primary care level and an essential element of the EyePACS telemedicine program. In most clinics, diabetes patients are referred for retinal screenings by the doctors who see them in the course of their regular diabetes management program.

Clinics have demonstrated they are able to successfully integrate retinopathy screening into their primary care workflow and have demonstrated patient, provider, and specialist acceptance with high levels of satisfaction. Participating clinics have seen considerable improvements in diabetic retinopathy screening rates and more timely referrals to specialists for treatment. In addition, clinics have found the retinal images are powerful tools to engage patients with diabetes in making behavior changes to improve the management of their diabetes.

In order to ensure that clinic providers are making these referrals for patients who need them, doctors need to know that a clinic is committed to the program, understand how the program works, and be aware of its benefits for patients.

Your diabetic patients: look them in the eyes. Which ones will lose their sight?

Although diabetic retinopathy is well documented as the leading cause of blindness in working-age adult Americans, 90% of those cases are avoidable. Still, half of diabetic patients fail to have their recommended retinal exams.

Screening for diabetic retinopathy in the primary care setting is the most accurate and cost-effective solution. You can increase patient compliance and enhance communication and patient education. You’ll identify potential retinopathy cases earlier if you screen regularly, and your referrals to eye care specialists will be more appropriate and efficient. You can end the vicious cycle of failure to comply followed by loss of vision and loss of faith in the healthcare system. 

  • Free your ophthalmologists to focus on the 15% of diabetic patients who really need them.

  • You can bring retinal screening into your primary care clinic with a dedicated space as small as 5’x4’, two electrical outlets and broadband Internet.

  • In two years you can triple patient compliance while you cut your retinal screening costs by 75%.

What about reimbursement for services?

EyePACS clients have found five common CPT codes reliable for billing:

  • CPT 92250 – global fee for retinal photography with interpretation
  • CPT 92250.TC – technical component
  • CPT 99250.26 – professional component
  • CPT 99243TM – confirmatory consultation for billing a telemedicine consult
  • CPT 92227 – remote imaging for detection of retinal disease
  • CPT 92228 – remote imaging for monitoring and management of active retinal disease
Lyn Berry MD, Director of Primary Care  Alameda County Medical Center "...We have actually been able to prevent advanced eye disease blindness..."

Lyn Berry MD, Director of Primary Care 
Alameda County Medical Center

"...We have actually been able to prevent advanced eye disease blindness..."

 
Christine Noguera, Deputy CEO Golden Health Medical Center “...If we can avoid one patient from losing their sight by doing these exams on site, the program is a total success…”

Christine Noguera, Deputy CEO
Golden Health Medical Center

“...If we can avoid one patient from losing their sight by doing these exams on site, the program is a total success…”