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Invited Commentary
June 2016

Enhancing the Value of Preschool Vision Screenings

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of Michigan Medical School, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Ann Arbor
  • 2University of Michigan School of Public Health, Department of Health Management and Policy, Ann Arbor
  • 3Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2016;134(6):664-665. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2016.0822

In this issue of JAMA Ophthalmology, Lowry and de Alba Campomanes1 present findings of a study comparing the cost-effectiveness of 2 approaches to follow-up examinations of children who fail preschool vision screenings: the use of a mobile eye examination unit (mobile follow-up) staffed by eye care professionals that travels directly to the schools to perform examinations vs referral of children to community eye care professionals, which is the standard of care in many school systems.1 They found the follow-up rate for children who failed the vision screenings was relatively similar using the mobile follow-up (55%) compared with referring children to community eye care professionals (59%). Moreover, mobile follow-up use had a higher cost per case of visual impairment detected ($776) relative to the standard practice of referral to community eye care professionals ($664). The authors1 aptly conclude that use of mobile follow-up to evaluate children after a failed vision screening as currently implemented is not as cost-effective as referral to community eye care professionals.

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