Medicaid recipients with open-angle glaucoma received significantly less glaucoma testing, regardless of their race or ethnicity, compared with patients who had commercial health insurance.
A total of 21,766 patients aged 40 years old or younger with newly diagnosed open-angle glaucoma were included in a retrospective longitudinal cohort study. The researchers determined the proportion of patients with Medicaid or commercial health insurance who underwent typical glaucoma testing, such as fundus photography and visual field testing, within the first 15 months of their diagnosis.
In the study cohort, 18,372 patients were commercial health insurance recipients and 3,394 patients were Medicaid recipients.
A statistically significant lower proportion of Medicaid recipients underwent visual field testing and other ocular imaging testing within 15 months of their diagnosis than those with commercial health insurance; 48.6% of Medicaid recipients did not have any of these three glaucoma tests within 15 months of initial diagnosis compared with 21.5% of commercial health insurance recipients (P < .001).
“The odds of receiving no glaucoma testing among patients in Medicaid were 198%, 291% and 167% higher for whites, blacks and Latinos/Hispanics, respectively, compared with their counterparts with commercial health insurance,” the researchers wrote. “The findings of these analyses raise serious concerns regarding the quality of glaucoma care received by Medicaid recipients.” – by Robert Linnehan
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.