PBA 'Focus on Eye Health National Summit' to Feature New 'Cost of Vision' Report

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CHICAGO—On June 18, Prevent Blindness America (PBA) will host the second annual “ Focus on Eye Health National Summit” at the Marriott at Metro Center in Washington, D.C. The Summit, scheduled to take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., will include a series of presentations from leaders in the vision health community, focusing on topics including vision benefits for children, access to care for those with low vision and systems of vision care for children and adults.

The Summit will also feature the release of “ Cost of Vision Problems: The Economic Burden of Vision Loss and Eye Disorders in the United States,” a new study commissioned by PBA from researchers at the University of Chicago. According to PBA, the report, updated from its original release in 2007, includes new data, a revised methodology and provides a more comprehensive view of the economic challenges associated with vision problems, calling to attention that eye disease is among the most expensive conditions in the U.S.

“We feel that we now have a true estimate of the current and growing costs of eye disease in this country,” said Hugh R. Parry, PBA president and CEO. “Armed with that information, we can address the need for increased prevention, research and healthcare options.”

Highlights of the study include:

• A breakdown of estimated costs of eye disorders and vision loss from the perspective of three payers: government ($47.4 billion), private insurance ($20.8 billion in direct medical costs and $1.3 billion for long term care) and patients and their families ($71.6 billion)
• An economic burden breakdown of vision-related disease by state and age
• Estimates of costs associated with vision loss on disability and quality of life

Following the Summit, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., PBA will hold the Congressional Vision Caucus reception at the Rayburn House Office Building B340. On June 19, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., the annual Eyes on Capitol Hill will take place, providing constituents with vision problems from across the U.S. to meet with their government representatives.

“We are looking forward to another outstanding event that brings together those who are passionate about improving vision health to a forum where they can share information and ideas to save sight,” Parry said.

The PBA “Focus on Eye Health National Summit” is sponsored by:

Gold-level sponsors: AMD Alliance International, American Optometric Association, Delta Gamma Foundation, Genentech, Transitions Healthy Sight for Life Fund, The Vision Council and the Vision Impact Institute.

Silver-level sponsors: the Allergan Foundation, Alliance for Eye and Vision Research, American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Public Health Association – Vision Care Section, EyeSight Foundation of Alabama, Foundation Fighting Blindness, Helen Keller International, Jewish Guild Healthcare, Lighthouse International, Lions Clubs International, PhRMA, Regeneron, Research to Prevent Blindness, Thrombogenics, Vision 2020 USA and VisionServe Alliance.

Those who cannot attend the Summit are invited to join a dedicated Twitter conference on June 18 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m E.T. at twitter.com/PBA_savingsight, #eyesummit.