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Jack Phu, Katherine Masselos, Michael Sullivan-Mee, Michael Kalloniatis; Glaucoma Suspects: The Impact of Risk Factor-Driven Review Periods on Clinical Load, Diagnoses, and Healthcare Costs. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2022;11(1):37. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.11.1.37.
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To model the healthcare impact (clinical attendance time and financial cost) and clinical outcomes (glaucoma diagnoses) of different risk factor–driven review frequencies for glaucoma suspect patients up until the point of discharge or diagnosis.
Medical records of 494 glaucoma suspects were examined to extract the clinical diagnosis. Two criteria for review periods were defined, based on contrasting stringency from established clinical guidelines: American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), more stringent/less frequent; and the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), less stringent/more frequent. We used these data to model patient outcomes and healthcare costs using a Markov model.
The less stringent/more frequent criterion resulted in more high-risk glaucoma suspects requiring more frequent review compared with the more stringent/less frequent criterion. Across the 15 Markov cycles (7.5 years), the less stringent/more frequent review criterion resulted in 6.6% more diagnoses and fewer overall clinical visits (14.7%) and reduced cost per diagnosis by 12% to 32% (P < 0.0001). The number of glaucoma diagnoses made using each criterion converged at 2.5 to 3 years.
The stringency of risk assessments for glaucoma suspects impacts review periods and therefore clinical load, healthcare costs, and diagnosis rates. Using current testing methods, more frequent review periods appear advantageous for diagnostic efficiency, with both lower clinic load and lower cost up until the point of discharge or glaucoma diagnosis.
A less stringent criterion for assessing the risk of developing glaucoma potentially offers a more cost-effective method for reviewing glaucoma suspects, especially within the first 2.5 years.
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