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    Using health policy to advocate for patients

    Ophthalmologists serve as bridge between patient care and health policy

    Boston—Glaucoma specialists can be advocates for their patients on a number of levels. On a daily basis, ophthalmologists help overcome barriers to treatment and offer solutions to patients for instilling medications, involving family members in their care, organizing services for patients, and providing educational materials, said Cynthia Mattox, MD.

    Advocating for pharmacy and surgeries is probably one of the most important interventions, with physicians lobbying for coverage or access. Physicians also lobby for insurance coverage for individual patients as well as provide free care on a regular basis, said Dr. Mattox during Glaucoma Day at the annual meeting of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.

    Physicians are also involved in conducting research to advance the understanding and treatment of glaucoma, as well as participating in national, international, and multinational organizations, and mission service to aid their patients, explained Dr. Mattox, New England Eye Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston.

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