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For Aging Patients, One Missed Doctor’s Visit Can Lead to Vision Loss

Visit adherence plays an important role in outcomes for patients with age-related macular degeneration, a Penn Medicine study found
February 6, 2020
Patient undergoes and eye exam. Courtesy National Eye Institute.

Missing a single ophthalmology appointment over a two-year period was associated with decreased visual acuity for patients with macular degeneration—a leading cause of permanent vision loss in the elderly—according to a new Penn Medicine study. The findings suggest that more attention should be paid to ensuring visit adherence for this patient population. The authors say the results of the study also have financial implications for clinicians, due to impending changes in Medicare reimbursement. These changes will reportedly shift financial risks to the physician, while also accounting for patient outcomes.