The American Optician

Winter 2017

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2 0 • Brand security • Guaranteed sell-through • Sold only through independent ECPs • One rep for all brands • Lifetime warranties 800.621.4108 e y e w e a r Brooks' position about ODs meeting eye health demands has been dubbed by the profession as full-scope optometry, medical optometry or primary care optometry, the definition of which include, … the components of visual care, ocular health, and care associated with related systemic disorders. This means having ODs perform assessments and provide health services traditionally done by ophthalmologists and even primary care physicians. Why is medical optometry so important to optometry's future? Barry Baressi, OD, Chief Medical Infomatics Officer for OcuHub, proposes that optometry's financial success in the future will be based on understanding and managing the 3rd party paying system. Those that play that game the best will be the most successful. Baressi contends that, "… the predictor of where the healthcare system will go is the payment system. In the eyecare space, the predominant economic mover has been vision plans. The changes in Medicare, Medicaid and commercial insurance companies will predict what will happen in medical eyecare in the years ahead. The future payment system will reward those doctors that band together and provide effective and cost-efficient care for patients. This kind of payment system favors optometry and it will encourage growth in the medical eyecare role and scope of practice of optometrists. I believe you'll see greater medical eyecare consolidations and improved efficiencies also, all driven by the payment system." THE FATE OF OPTICIANRY How will optometry's move into medical optometry affect opticianry? Optometry's future practice model will affect, and likely shape to some degree, our own future. For one reason, optometrists are currently generalists, so they perform nearly all the functions of a comprehensive eye examination. This means they have direct patient contact for 20 to 40 minutes per patient. To maximize their time in the future, they'll need to delegate a good portion of what they do now to techs. Opticians could perform those functions, including refraction … if they're willing to learn new skills and take on new challenges and opportunities. Technology will play a big part in what opticianry

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