Over one-third of all parents with children living at home report that their child(ren) have never received an eye exam, according to the The Vision Council‘s VisionWatch Parent Child Vision Care Report. Parents with only one child living at home, and parents with a child under the age of 10 living at home, were more likely than other parents to never have taken any of their children to get their eyes examined. Insurance coverage (of any kind) has little-to-no influence regarding the frequency or history of eye exams among American children.
It appears that the only noticeable and significant influence that insurance coverage has with regard to children’s eyewear pertains to prices and what parents are willing to pay for the eyeglasses their children wear. In particular, parents with some type of insurance coverage (health insurance, MVC and/or FSA/MSA) are more likely than parents without coverage to be willing to pay more than $99 for a pair of children’s eyewear.
These facts highlight the need to educate all patients about the need for children to have their eyes examined. Everyone is either a parent, grandparent, uncle, aunt or a friend of a child. The circle of everyone’s life touches a child at some point, therefore, educate everyone.
Use a multimedia approach to educate people. Use simple signs placed in the reception area, computer screen savers, brochures, scripted elevator speeches by staff–use whatever you can to communicate the need for children to have their eyes examined. Make sure your primary message is that undiagnosed visual problems contribute to two unresolved life problems–school performance not at expected levels and poor athletic performance. Unresolved problems mean that children are making life choices based on what they can do rather then what they want to do. Make the point that unresolved means unnecessary.
Your action plan today is to re-examine how you are educating people about the need for children to have their eyes examined and then do it better.