A circular image showing a diagnostic image of the retina of the eye, specifically the epiretinal membrane. Enhanced Visualization Technology is applied making the retinal image brighter and highly visible.Digital retinal imaging, or fundus photography, offers detailed views of the retina, making it easier to detect disease. Early eye disease detection helps ensure that the proper treatment is put in place to hinder disease progression, or cure it all together. Consistently tracking anomalies in the eye with retinal imaging can lead to early detection of the following diseases:

First… Why Invest in Fundus Photography?

  1. Rates of eye-related conditions are increasing year over year.
  2. Better, more accurate diagnosis of conditions.
  3. Required procedures become a revenue generator for your practice.

With eye conditions continuing to rise, the demand for proper examination follows suit, along with continuous development of treatments and therapies. Competition is growing between eyecare practices to provide the most comprehensive exam possible to better serve patients. Most Americans are covered by private insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid. This opens the door to reimbursement for diagnostic testing, with an added boost of revenue by expanding your practice’s capabilities. All-in-all, diagnostic testing can generate more business for your practice, and potential for a substantial return-on-investment.

Why is Digital Retinal Imaging Important?

Digital retinal imaging offers detailed views of the retina, providing the opportunity to detect disease or early signs of disease. Early eye disease detection helps ensure that the proper treatment is put in place to hinder disease progression, to implement therapies, or procedures. Tracking anomalies in the eye with retinal imaging can lead to early detection of the following diseases:

6 Diseases Digital Retinal Imaging Can Help Detect Sooner

Glaucoma

Retinal imaging can reveal damage to the optic nerve caused by excess pressure or increased pressure on blood vessels in this area. Early detection of glaucoma is crucial, as it can often lead to permanent vision loss for the patient. The Huvitz HFC-1 Non-Mydriatic Fundus Camera includes red-free imaging, which gives a clear comparison of nerve fiber layers to better assist in the diagnosis of glaucoma.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Retinal imaging can expose symptoms of age-related macular degeneration, including fluid leakage or bleeding in the rear of the eye. Age-related macular degeneration is one of the primary culprits in vision loss for patients over age 50. Adding retinal imaging to a patient’s eye exam at this age threshold could be the difference between being adequately treated and being oblivious to serious concerns.

Retinal Detachment

For patients who report seeing flashes of light or floaters, you can quickly find evidence that the retina has become detached with retinal imaging. Retinal detachment is a medical emergency that requires prompt treatment to prevent permanent vision loss, so early detection is key.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Patients with diabetes can be screened for early signs of damage to the retina with retinal imaging. Ophthalmologists can also check for other abnormal changes, such as the formation of new blood vessels or leakage in this part of the eye. Swelling in the retina is also a common sign of the disease.

High Blood Pressure

Veins and arteries of the eye are important to observe, especially because they are the only veins and arteries in the body that can be inspected without making an incision. Observation of these veins and arteries can quickly indicate if the patient has high blood pressure. Classic signs of high blood pressure are the blood vessels becoming narrower, bleeding in the rear of the eye, or retinal spots. High blood pressure, or hypertension, can go unnoticed and untreated for months or years, putting the patient at risk for heart problems or stroke.

Cancer

Retinal imaging can significantly increase a patients’ chances of successfully treating certain types of cancer. High-resolution images of the retina can reveal early signs of cancer in the eye, such as dark spots that indicate a melanoma. When these symptoms are noticed early, patients can undergo diagnostic testing and seek treatment promptly to prevent cancer from spreading to other parts of the body. The longer it takes to find and diagnose signs of cancer, the more difficult it becomes to treat, especially if it enters the bloodstream.

CPT Codes for Digital Retinal Imaging

According to the Corcoran Consulting Group, the current billing code for Fundus Photography is 92250. The diagnosis of a disease with assistance from a fundus camera/retinal imaging qualifies your practice for reimbursement.

Once a diagnosis is made, it may be necessary to require or suggest treatment, medication, therapy, or a diagnostic procedure. This path to diagnosis and treatment is considered necessary for the proper care of the patient, and therefore necessary to be paid by most insurance plans. A physician’s report is then drafted and submitted through the procedural code for fundus photography.

And, importantly, standard protocol must be used to be accepted by all insurers. Procedure codes are a standardized list of both the test indicated and the doctor’s cost. The amount the doctor charges is most often not the amount received by the doctor.

The value for a procedure paid by Medicare is the same for all doctors in your immediate area who accept Medicare. This information is helpful for calculating your ROI. It should also be noted that fundus photography is generally paid back quicker than other diagnostic equipment.

Supporting Statistics for Incorporating Digital Retinal Imaging into Your Practice

  • An estimated 93 million adults in the United States are at high risk for serious vision loss, but only half visited an eye doctor in the past 12 months.
  • Approximately 12 million people 40 years and over in the United States have vision impairment, including 1 million who are blind, 3 million who have vision impairment after correction, and 8 million who have vision impairment due to uncorrected refractive error.
  • As of 2012, 4.2 million Americans aged 40 years and older suffer from uncorrectable vision impairment, out of which 1.02 million who are blind; this number is predicted to more than double by 2050 to 8.96 million due to the increasing epidemics of diabetes and other chronic diseases and our rapidly aging U.S. population.
  • Approximately 6.8% of children younger than 18 years in the United States have a diagnosed eye and vision condition. Nearly 3 percent of children younger than 18 years are blind or visually impaired, defined as having trouble seeing even when wearing glasses or contact lenses.
  • The annual economic impact of major vision problems among the adult population 40 years and older is more than $145 billion.
  • Vision disability is one of the top 10 disabilities among adults 18 years and older and one of the most prevalent disabling conditions among children.
  • Early detection and timely treatment of eye conditions such as diabetic retinopathy has been found to be efficacious and cost effective.
  • 90% of blindness caused by diabetes is preventable.

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021)

Our Retinal Imaging Recommendation

We are a proud distributor of ophthalmic instruments by Huvitz, Co. Ltd., because of their ongoing innovation and consistent impressive performance. Continuing our ongoing partnership, we have added a new retinal camera to our extensive line of Huvitz products.

The HFC-1 Non-Mydriatic Fundus Camera has proved to be a highly precise and reliable fundus photography solution because of its advanced autodetection and enhanced visualization technology. ODs can expect to capture sharp, quick retinal imaging and measurements while maximizing patient comfort.

Here are the hallmarks of the HFC-1 Non-Mydriatic Fundus Camera:

Image of the HFC-1 Non-Mydriatic Fundus Camera by Huvitz in white and gray, with screen turned on showing a retinal image.

  • Automatic tracking and shooting with quick and stable mode adjustment
  • 20 Megapixel high definition camera
  • Full color retinal image acquisition
  • Enhanced Visualization Technology (EVT) captures high quality, high clarity images for any clinical case
    • EVT is ideal for capturing fine pathological variation
  • Reduced Motion Artifact and ability to enlarge images to study fine details
  • Image Modes: color, blue, red, red-free and cobalt
    • Aid in detection of Glaucoma, RNFL, Edema, Pigmentary Abnormalities, and more
  • Analyze measurement data on web browsers like Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer with the built-in Web Browsing System
  • Built-in PC supports robust measurement, analysis, diagnosis and reporting
  • User friendly 12.1” LCD touch screen

Optometrists and ophthalmologists want to deliver the finest and most personalized experience for their patient’s exams and incorporating retinal imaging can bolster and enhance that experience. With easy-to-use, advanced technology like the HFC-1, adding retinal imaging to your offering can be seamless and painless. Coburn offers free installation and one-on-one training, so you can start performing fundus photography with confidence.

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