PRP130: Outcomes of providing affordable eye exams and eyeglasses in a free clinic for the uninsured population

Soyong Lee, MD; Anna Lee, MD; William Markle, MD, FAAFP


Context: In the United States, refractive error (i.e., myopia and hyperopia) affects more than 48 million people ages 12 and older. Refractive error increases risks of falls, depression, and car accidents. The uninsured population who receive medical care at free clinics is at particular risk of not receiving proper ophthalmic care as free clinics are not always able to provide eye exams and eyeglasses.
In the past year, a partnership between a local free clinic (9th Street Clinic) and a local community service (Rainbow Kitchen), was arranged to meet the ophthalmic needs of this population. Since this partnership was made, clinic staff has provided education about the benefits of regular eye exams, using appropriately prescribed eyeglasses, and provided information about Rainbow Kitchen, which offers free eye examinations and resources for access to free eyeglasses. Objective: To provide education on the importance of regular eye exams, wearing properly prescribed eyeglasses, and to provide access to these resources to improve the rate of patient follow up for eye exams. To increase the rate of patients wearing eyeglasses with a correct prescription. Study Design: Survey. Setting: 9th Street Clinic, a local free family medicine clinic. Population studied: Uninsured patients with complaints about poor eyesight or a history of refractory error who visited the clinic between August 2019 to December 2019, inclusively
Intervention/Instrument: Education about the risks of having uncorrected refractive error, a free eye exam and free eyeglasses provided by Rainbow Kitchen. Outcome measure: Questionnaires which include: when a patient last had an eye exam prior to the intervention; if the patient followed up with Rainbow Kitchen; if the patient received an eye exam and new eyeglasses; patient satisfaction with the process. Expected Results: Increase in the rate of eye exams and eyeglass prescriptions after the intervention. High rate of satisfaction. Conclusions: Educating uninsured patients at 9th Street Clinic about the importance of having eye exams and providing free resources increased the rate of receiving an eye exam and proper eyeglasses significantly.

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11400 Tomahawk Creek Parkway
Leawood, KS 66211