Patients with vision loss who are hospitalized experience longer hospital stay, greater resource use, and costs compared to hospitalized patients without vision loss, reports a new study. The findings of the study are published in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology.
Visual loss or blindness affects nearly four million people in the United States.
‘By addressing vision-related problems, the length of hospital stay, readmission rates, resource use, and costs can be reduced while enhancing patient outcomes and satisfaction.’
Researchers analyzed health care claims data for older adults (12,330 Medicare beneficiaries and 11,858 with commercial health insurance) to see if vision loss was associated with longer stays and higher readmission rates and costs when patients were hospitalized with common illnesses.
The study reports patients with vision loss used more health care resources and had higher costs than those without vision loss. Authors estimate vision loss among hospitalized patients contributed to excess health costs of more than $500 million annually.
The study is limited by its reliance on claims data, which lacks important clinical information on types of vision loss.
The findings suggest identifying vision loss during hospitalization or discharge planning could help to develop strategies for patients with vision loss and improve patient outcomes.