Welch Allyn and Summit Medical Group Sign Exclusive Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Agreement

Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness among working-age adult. With early detection, the sight-threatening disease can be treated and the risk of severe vision loss decreased by more than 90 percent. Unfortunately, nearly half of all diabetic patients do not get the recommended annual retinal exam due to either lack of access to specialist care or lack of compliance with their doctor’s referral.

Using its award-winning RetinaVue™ Network that combines retinal imaging with proprietary over-read architecture and a network of board-certified physicians, Welch Allyn enables retinal screening for diabetic retinopathy as part of a routine primary or convenient care visit.  By improving access and making the screening more convenient, compliance rates can double in less than 12 month.  Increased compliance permits earlier detection and treatment of the disease to help prevent severe vision loss.

“This alliance is another example of Summit Medical Group’s commitment to quality that has led our primary care physicians to rank top ten in the nation for all three categories of National Committee for Quality

Assurance (NCQA) recognition: Patient Centered Medical Home, Diabetes Recognition Program, and Heart/Stroke Recognition Program,” said Ed McBride, MD, vice president of Clinical Services at Summit Medical Group.

“The agreement with Summit Medical Group is a great opportunity for both organizations to work together to provide sight-saving solutions in primary care settings where there is the largest potential for impact on improving population health, while also lowering the cost of care,” said Scott Gucciardi, Welch Allyn senior vice president, New Healthcare Delivery Solutions at Welch Allyn.

RetinaVue retinal screening for diabetic retinopathy has other potential benefits.  In addition to the obvious benefit of preserving vision, diabetic retinopathy screening can help both provider practices and payer systems to comply with quality-of-care metrics established for diabetic patients under various state and federal healthcare programs and with insurance plan accreditation. For health insurers, annual retinal examinations are included in the NCQA HEDIS health insurance plan accreditation program, as well as the Medicare Advantage “Stars” quality rating program.  Providers participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP ACOs), Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), Value Based Purchasing (VBP), and Meaningful Use Programs may also have performance payments tied in part to the performance of annual diabetic retinopathy screenings. For more information about Welch Allyn RetinaVue Network visit www.hubbletelemedical.com.