Turning A Blind Eye: New Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Survey Finds Americans Value Vision Health, but Still Delay Care
ATLANTA – (March 13, 2012) – On average, Americans report having five items on their daily to-do list; however, during this time of the year, the ever-expanding list becomes “supersized” as people focus on projects, errands and tasks they put off for another day. And, with everyone eager to check off items on their daily to-do list, now is the perfect time to prioritize one’s vision health.
Although 85 percent of Americans recognize that managing their vision health right now means less to worry about in the future, a new Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGa) survey found that one in five Americans delayed their annual eye exam because they were too busy. This is of concern, as a routine eye exam can help detect serious health conditions such as diabetes. In fact, 89 percent of Americans surveyed know eye exams can detect such chronic illnesses.
“Americans live fast-paced lives with a never-ending to-do list,” said Morgan Kendrick, president, BCBSGa. “This mad-dash lifestyle can sometimes mean overlooking small but simple activities that contribute to their health and well-being, such as getting regular vision checkups.”
Half of Americans who participated in the survey (49 percent) say at times they feel overwhelmed by the number of items on their daily to-do list. The survey results also indicate that half of Americans wish health professionals were available to assist them in keeping their health on track.
There are solutions for Americans with BCBSGa’s vision coverage. Members who have access to the 360° Health® program can be enrolled in the Diabetic Education Program if their vision claims include a diabetic-related diagnosis. The program is supported by registered nurses, who provide 24-hour phone support. In addition, the nurses proactively reach out to members to help them manage their diabetes. The nurses also offer members special health evaluations and help with online resources.
“The features and benefits in BCBSGa’s clinical integration programs provide members with the guidance they need to better manage their overall health, including proper vision care. By better managing their overall health, members are better prepared to do what is most important to them, whether that is spending time with family and friends or handling other tasks on their to-do list” said Dr. Mark Kishel, medical director, BCBSGa.
BCBSGa’s vast vision network also allows members the flexibility to get their vision checked while on the go, handling other errands. Many network providers offer night and weekend hours – in fact, some providers report close to 40 percent of their business with members takes place on the weekend.
Additional survey results found:
• Half of Americans who participated in the survey (49 percent) say at times they feel overwhelmed by the number of items on their daily “to-do” list.
• More than half of Americans who participated in the survey (52 percent) wish it were easier to make vision care a priority in their lives.
• Nearly half of Americans who responded to the survey (46 percent) also wish they had more help managing their daily life, including their health.
• Four in ten Americans who participated in the survey (42 percent) wish there were more resources available to help them manage their busy schedule.
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An online survey was conducted using the field services of TNS. The study reached a national sample of 2,500 American adults ages 18 and older. The margin of error for the total sample is ±2.0 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. This means that if we were to replicate the study, we would expect to get the same results (within 2.0 percentage points) 95 times out of 100.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Inc. and Blue Cross Blue Shield Healthcare Plan of Georgia, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association®. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia is available at www.bcbsga.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/healthjoinin, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HealthJoinInBCBSGa, visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/healthjoinin or check out the Our Health Connects Us campaign site at http://connects.bcbsga.com/.