CHARLESTON, W.Va.—The West Virginia Association of Optometric Physicians (WVAOP) has established a strategic partnership with the West Virginia Eye Collaborative. The partnership will be managed by Coherent Eye Care, according to an announcement late last week. The West Virginia Eye Collaborative and its eye physicians are strategically positioned to partner with health systems, health plans and accountable care organizations, the announcement noted. The two groups are building a statewide clinically integrated eyecare network to deliver comprehensive eyecare services and coordinate such care with primary care physicians.

“Creating pathways to better manage and improve the health of patients with chronic diseases is critical,” Coherent president and chief executive officer Jim Brocato said in the announcement. “This partnership will help the WVAOP take a major step forward in helping its members prepare for the future shift from fee-for-service to value-based care.”

Brocato also noted that a key part of the initiative is to provide population health services with the goal of achieving “the Quadruple AIM in eye health,” which includes improving the patient experience, improving the health of the populations we serve, reducing per capita costs and improving the clinician experience.

More than 1 in 10 West Virginia adults have diabetes (15 percent), which ranks West Virginia as the state with the largest diabetes population nationally, the announcement noted. It is estimated that another 11 percent of West Virginians have pre-diabetes.

"Doctors of optometry are doing their part," WVAOP president Dr. Mark Cinalli said in the announcement, noting that many people learn about their diabetes through a dilated, comprehensive eye examination from their doctor of optometry.

Dr. Cinalli added, "We expect this relationship to have a significant improvement on the quality of care and much-needed access for the patients of West Virginia with chronic eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration and glaucoma."