Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is the leading cause of vision loss in working-age adults throughout the United States. Preventing vision impairment requires overcoming barriers like long waiting times, knowledge gaps, cost, inconveniences, and reluctance to undergo pupil dilation. To address this growing care gap and provide a viable point-of-care screening solution, AI-based diagnostic screenings have emerged. However, effective adoption in primary care settings hinges on seamless workflow integration that aligns with existing clinic operations, benefiting both the clinic and patients. Addressing the practicality of operation and workflow integration is vital to ensure successful implementation and maximize the clinical benefits for both primary care providers and patients.
AEYE-DS as a Practical Screening Solution
Among the various AI-based diagnostic solutions available, AEYE Health's diagnostic screening for diabetic retinopathy (AEYE-DS) stands out for its accuracy and practicality. Unlike the more complex options, AEYE-DS requires only a single image per eye and takes less than 2 minutes to perform, reducing the burden on both the patients and the clinic staff. Furthermore, AEYE-DS rarely requires pupil dilation for the majority of patients and can be conducted at the patient's point of care, eliminating two of the significant barriers to regular screenings.
Integration into the Patient’s Visit Workflow
To successfully integrate a screening solution into a clinic's workflow and gain patient and clinician acceptance - practicality, simplicity, and swift execution are essential factors. AEYE-DS is thoughtfully designed to be operated independently of physicians, allowing any healthcare professional within the clinic to perform the procedure with minimal training. The examination process takes less than two minutes to perform. A robotic camera automatically captures retinal images, without requiring any specialized ophthalmology training from the operator. Integrating AEYE-DS into the clinic's existing processes can be achieved without significant disruption. Screenings conveniently take place during regularly scheduled doctor visit, typically before the patient sees the doctor..
One of the key advantages of AEYE-DS is its ability to produce a diagnosis on the spot. Unlike teleretinal screenings, AEYE-DS provides immediate feedback on image quality and delivers the diagnostic result instantly, enabling the patient's physician to make prompt and informed recommendations. This real-time diagnosis feature not only enhances clinic reporting but also facilitates timely intervention if needed, reducing the risk of vision loss and ensuring better patient outcomes. Moreover, the on-the-spot diagnosis allows for immediate communication with patients about their condition, potential treatment options, and the significance of regular follow-ups. Such timely interaction significantly improves patient compliance and engagement in their own healthcare, leading to better disease management and overall health outcomes. Additionally, the ability to diagnose and record results on the spot allows clinicians to track patients’ adherence rates and takes away the hassle of chasing down documentation required by payers.
EMR Integration for Seamless Patient Care
Integrating AEYE-DS with the clinic's Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system plays a vital role in streamlining patient care. Through the EMR, reminders regarding annual screenings are initiated, notifying staff when patients are due for their screenings. AEYE-DS seamlessly integrates image capture and analysis into the clinic's EMR, ensuring a smooth and efficient process. The diagnostic results are automatically recorded in the patient's electronic health record, creating a comprehensive medical history for future reference and tracking. This eliminates the need for manual data entry and reduces reliance on external referral communication, minimizing the chances of transcription errors. Having the screening results readily accessible through the EMR ensures that all pertinent information is at the fingertips of treating physicians, facilitating well-informed decision-making and personalized patient care.
CPT Category II Benefits and the Role of CPT Code 92229
CPT code 92229 outlines the reimbursement for performing autonomous diabetic retinopathy (DR) screening, specifically designed for primary care settings. This unique code addresses diabetic retinopathy detection in primary care, simplifying the billing process for clinics and ensuring appropriate reimbursement. The national average reimbursement rate of $50 for CPT code 92229 makes it a financially viable option for clinics seeking to implement AEYE-DS as their screening solution. Moreover, since the entire AEYE-DS exam is conducted within the clinic, there is no need to share reimbursement with external telemedicine services, maximizing the financial benefits for the clinic and supporting the sustainable implementation of the screening program.
In addition, CPT Category II codes can be reported as part of HEDIS incentives programs and other performance measures. These codes play a crucial role in tracking patient outcomes, adherence rates, and the effectiveness of diabetic retinopathy screenings. The combination of CPT code 92229 and CPT Category II benefits reinforces the importance of AEYE-DS as a practical and efficient solution for diabetic retinopathy screening in primary care settings.
As the prevalence of diabetes continues to rise, the demand for diabetic retinopathy screenings grows, placing strain on traditional screening methods and leading to a concerning care gap. AEYE-DS emerges as a practical and accessible solution, addressing the challenges of workflow integration, EMR compatibility, and instant diagnosis reporting. By seamlessly integrating AEYE-DS into the clinic's workflow, healthcare professionals can efficiently conduct screenings and diagnose diabetic retinopathy on the spot, enhancing patient care and closing care gaps. The real-time diagnosis feature not only improves clinic reporting but also fosters better patient engagement and compliance. With dedicated CPT code 92229 and CPT Category II benefits, AEYE-DS presents a financially viable option for clinics seeking to improve diabetic retinopathy screening and prevent vision loss in at-risk patients. Embracing AEYE-DS technology demonstrates a commitment to patient care and heralds a new era of diabetic retinopathy screening that prioritizes efficiency, accuracy, and patient well-being.