American Family Vision Clinic Logo
Authors
Stephanie Choi, AB; Brian C. Stagg, MD; Joshua R. Ehrlich, MD, MPH

Disparities in Low-Vision Device Use Among Older US Medicare Recipients

publication date
December 2018
Category
see more

Abstract/Introduction

Importance:  Low-vision assistive devices are not covered by Medicare and many private insurers, although there is evidence that they can improve functioning and quality of life. Little is known about whether sociodemographic disparities exist in the use of low-vision services by Medicare beneficiaries.

Objective: To determine if sociodemographic disparities exist in the use of low-vision services by Medicare beneficiaries.

Design, Setting, and Participants: Cross-sectional population-based survey. The National Health Interview Survey is an annually administered nationally representative US survey. Data used in this study were from the 2002, 2008, and 2016 National Health Interview Survey vision supplement. Participants who were Medicare beneficiaries 65 years and older with self-reported vision impairment were included.

Main Outcomes and Measures: Multivariable logistic regression was performed to evaluate if sociodemographic or economic factors were associated with self-reported use of low-vision devices or low-vision rehabilitation among Medicare beneficiaries 65 years and older who self-reported vision impairment.


Conclusion/Results

Results: There were 3058 participants included in the study. The survey weighted proportion of participants who were men was 37.9% (95% CI, 35.8%-40.0%), while 79.1% (95% CI, 77.2%-80.9%) were non-Hispanic white, 10.2% (95% CI, 9.0%-11.5%) were non-Hispanic black, 6.7% (95% CI, 5.6%-8.1%) were Hispanic, and 4.0% (95% CI, 3.2%-5.0%) identified with another race/ethnicity. The weighted proportion who reported using low-vison devices and low-vision rehabilitation were 26.1% (95% CI, 24.2%-28.1%) and 3.5% (95% CI, 2.8%-4.3%), respectively. In a model adjusted for ocular diagnoses, Hispanic individuals (odds ratio, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.39-0.97) and individuals from other races/ethnicities (odds ratio, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.19-0.80), but not black individuals, were significantly less likely to report using low-vision devices than white individuals. In the model that was not adjusted for ocular diagnoses, black individuals (odds ratio, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.54-0.99) were also significantly less likely to report using low-vision devices. There were no significant racial/ethnic disparities for reported use of low-vision rehabilitation.

Conclusions and Relevance: Additional research is needed to clarify the association between sociodemographics and use of low-vision services in the Medicare population. However, policy makers could consider expanding Medicare coverage to include low-vision devices in an effort to address significant disparities in the use of this evidence-based intervention.


Testimonials


  • Such a nice optician. My grandson is only 4 and needs glasses. We were so sad, but he explained the issues, and we will follow up as he suggested.


    Anna P.

  • I had such a good experience with the clinic. Very friendly staff and doctor, did not have to wait for long to be called, and was treated respectfully. Thanks, American Family.


    June S.

  • Dr. Zurcher has gone above and beyond what any other eye doctor has ever done to figure out what is going on with my eyes. Very happy with American Family Vision.


    Christine R.

  • Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.


    Lars Wulff

  • Very professional, yet kind and helpful. They do what they can to make the appointment comfortable. I was running a bit late, I made sure ti call. They were able to switch me with a patient who was already there, they treated me with respect, and helped my son have confidence by getting him the eye care he needed that day. Thank you so much! Would recommend to anyone. It's a blessing that they care enough to work with people who have all different types of insurance from work to state coverage.


    Justin E.

Blog

Atkinson Hyperlegible Font (1)

Atkinson Hyperlegible Font

Named after Braille Institute founder, J. Robert Atkinson, Atkinson Hyperlegible font is great for low vision readers.  In contrast to […]

Read More
displeased-grey-haired-man-suffers-headache-keeps-hands-head-reveal-pain-needs-painkillers-has-migraine-after-noisy-party-wears-formal-shirt-isolated-brown-wall

Binocular Vision Dysfunction (BVD)

Binocular vision refers to the ability of the eyes to work together. The term binocular vision dysfunction describes a misalignment […]

Read More
woman-putting-eye-drops-sore-eyes (1)

Contact Lens Discomfort Caused by Dry Eyes

Dry eye symptoms are the main reason that most people stop wearing contact lenses. There are many causes and reasons […]

Read More
see all blogs

Contact Us To Amplify Your EyeCare

Working Hours

Monday - Thursday
8:00 am - 5:15pm
friday-sunday
Closed
Location
400 Yauger Way SW. Bldg 1, Ste A Olympia, WA 98502
Website Accessibility Policy
Safety protocols page
phone-handsetarrow-uparrow-right linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram