Low-Vision Device Use Among Medicare Recipients Assessed

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Medicare coverage should be expanded to include low-vision devices in order to better address use disparities, researchers suggested after conducting a cross-sectional population-based survey involving >3,000 individuals.

Participants were low-vision Medicare beneficiaries who took part in National Health Interview Survey vision supplement in 2002, 2008, or 2016. Investigators looked at the impact sociodemographic and economic factors had on self-reported use of low-vision devices or low-vision rehabilitation. Among the results: 

  • ~One-fourth reported using low-vison devices.
  • 4% said they used low-vision rehabilitation. 
  • After adjusting for ocular diagnoses, Hispanics were nearly 40% less likely than whites to use low-vision devices.
  • Blacks were equally as likely as whites.
  • Those from other races/ethnicities were ~60% less likely to do so. 
  • There were no racial/ethnic disparities regarding low-vision rehabilitation use.

Choi S, Stagg BC, Ehrlich JR. Disparities in low-vision device use among older US Medicare recipients. [Published online ahead of print September 6, 2018]. JAMA Ophthalmol. doi:  10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2018.3892.

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