The authors examine the use of eye care services among the 1991 Medicare population based on claims from a representative 5% sample of Medicare beneficiaries. They found that about 1/2 of the Medicare beneficiaries used one or more eye services in 1991. Ophthalmologists provided services to 71% of this eye care population and optometrists 22%. Cataract was the most common condition, accounting for 41% of visits to ophthalmologists and 1.2 million cases of surgery. Glaucoma accounted for 19% of visits and retinal disease for 14%.
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