The Potential Role of Ophthalmology as an Entry Point to the Healthcare System

Published In: Ophthalmology, v. 101, no. 2, Feb. 1994, p. 397-400

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 1993

by Paul Lee, Paul S. Fellenbaum, K. G Albrecht, Kathryn L P Linton

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Presents the results of a survey given to 214 patients at a tertiary eye care institute about their non-ophthalmologist physicians [60]. At their initial visit, 28 percent of patients did not have a physician health care provider other than their ophthalmologist. Even among those patients who were 40 years of age and older, 31 percent had an ophthalmologist as their sole physician provider. These results suggest that a significant number of patients seeking eye care from an ophthalmologist have no other physician and that eye care may serve as their entry point into the health care system. This study raises the issue of the role of the ophthalmologist in providing primary care or an appropriate referral for a patient.

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