Featured Practice: Jackson Eye Associates — Reducing Unnecessary Examinations

Formed in 1999 with four physicians, Jackson Eye Associates has grown to be the largest ophthalmology practice in Mississippi. The mission of JEA is to provide eye care that is accessible and affordable. Their team of medical professionals are committed to an unsurpassed standard of excellence in patient care, striving to exceed patient expectations in comfort and accessibility and to provide the best vision care possible.

Their trained and skilled professionals utilize the most effective diagnostic and therapeutic equipment and methods available. With offices in Jackson, Clinton, and Madison, each location feature ophthalmology services as well as an optical boutique.

Annual comprehensive eye exams are unnecessary for children who pass routine vision screenings. These exams increase the overall cost of healthcare when over utilized, especially when done by an ophthalmologist. Additionally, these exams also occupy appointment times that could be used more efficiently. Prior to joining TCPi, their annual comprehensive eye exam rate in children was about 7.2%. However, they still felt that had room for improvement.

To solve this problem, they opted to discontinue comprehensive eye exams unless medically indicated, and to refer the patient back to optometrist or primary care provider. As a direct result, they are now reducing costs and creating more availability for appointment times.

Their efforts results in a 3.6% reduction from the baseline in annual comprehensive eye exams for children who pass routine vision screenings. They surpassed their practice target of 7% in Q4 2017, and have since maintained consistent performance.

Jackson Eye Associates provide an important example of how an already high performing practice can still find areas for improvement, underscoring how change can be created through continuous quality improvement.

The views expressed in this story are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of Jackson Eye Associates. Additionally, this work was funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative, under grant number 1CMS331549-03-00. The contents provided are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of HHS or any of its agencies.

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