SAN DIEGO, Aug. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- While the Obama administration announced in late July that it would delay the deadline until 2015 for corporations to adopt the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – which mandates that large corporations provide health insurance for their employees – the new eye health provisions are scheduled to stay on track and take effect Jan. 1, 2014. Among other provisions, the new health care laws require that a yearly comprehensive eye exam be covered for individuals age 19 and under. "Optometrists and ophthalmologists should be prepared to employ the new laws and ensure that they are included in the various health care plans that will become available under the health insurance exchanges, even though the timetable for the implementation may have changed," said Dr. Sandy T. Feldman, a nationally-recognized ophthalmologist and corneal expert at Clearview Eye & Laser Center in San Diego.
According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), a leading network of armed forces, state, and student optometric associations, a few of the top changes for vision care providers as a result of the ACA include:
- The development of a health insurance exchange that will create thousands of newly insured individuals and patients.
- A pediatric vision care essential health benefit, which stipulates that all patients under age 19 are entitled to a yearly eye exam. This could mean potentially millions of new patients who previously did not have coverage.
- The expansion of the Medicaid program to individuals who are 133 percent below the poverty line could mean a potential significant increase in Medicaid patients.
- The formation of Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) and Patient Centered Medical Homes (PCMH) as cost-containment measures could mean potential savings for providers as a result of improved management of a patient's care.
"With all of the upcoming changes, clearly vision care providers must prepare themselves to treat patients in accordance with the new health care laws, regardless of when the changes go into full effect," said Dr. Feldman.
About Dr. Sandy T. Feldman
As a leader in the field of ophthalmology, Dr. Sandy T. Feldman has participated in FDA clinical studies of custom LASIK. Currently, she is involved in studies of a new treatment to halt the progression of keratoconus, a disease in which the fitting of contact lenses can become challenging. In 2009, she was one of ten laser eye care providers in the U.S. to receive the Goldline Award as seen in Forbes Magazine. In 2010, she was awarded the Silver Elite RealSelf award, and in 2011, she was awarded Top Doc San Diego, inducted into the prestigious American College of Ophthalmic Surgeons and was one of nation's 15 leading laser eye surgeons as seen in Newsweek magazine. Dr. Feldman is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.
Media Contact: Diana Soltesz
SOURCE Clearview Eye & Laser Medical Center