Glaucoma suspects - the impact of risk factor-driven review periods on clinical load, diagnoses, and healthcare costs: new publication
With an ageing population in Australia, more patients are identified as being glaucoma suspects every year. However, what is the cost of monitoring and reviewing these patients, and at what frequency is the most cost-effective for early treatment and blindness prevention?
In this paper, Phu et al analysed the impact of different review schedules for patients up until they are discharged or diagnosed with glaucoma. Overall, 6 monthly reviews are more likely to identify glaucoma conversion in a more cost-effective manner compared to 12 monthly reviews, with approximately 10% more cases diagnosed at 2.5 years with more frequent review periods.
An Australian optometrist eye care provider is also more likely to result in a lower dollar-cost per diagnosis based on Medicare costs at approximately $400/diagnosis, compared to an ophthalmologist (approximately $600/diagnosis).