Care Partnership Progam
Dr. Richardson, an ophthalmologist, works closely with optometrists in the San Gabriel valley for shared responsibility of care for select patients. Our partnering optometrists provide primary eye care including eye examinations for vision problems and refractive errors by prescribing eyeglasses and contact lenses. Some of our partnering optometrists also provide low vision care and vision therapy.
What Is Care Partnership?
In care partnership, our partnering optometrists refer patients to Dr. Richardson (an ophthalmologist) for a definitive diagnosis and treatment plan for their eye problems such as, but not limited to, glaucoma, AMD, and cataracts. After the conditions are controlled or surgically treated, Dr. Richardson then coordinates ongoing care with their primary care eye doctors, who continue to monitor and provide appropriate testing based on the care plan.
How Does a Care Partnership Benefit Me, The Patient?
Very few people are born with diseases of the eye. Because of this, most people only need to see an optometrist for spectacles or contact lenses. However, as we age, conditions such as glaucoma, cataract, and macular degeneration may appear. Although these conditions may be followed by an optometrist in the early stages of the disease, at some point it is necessary for these conditions to be evaluated and treated by an ophthalmologist (an M.D.) such as Dr. Richardson.
Dr. Richardson recognizes that you may have experienced many years of trusted care from your optometrist and that continuing that relationship is in your best interest. As we develop eye disease it becomes increasingly more challenging to correct vision with spectacles. Who better to meet this challenge than the doctor who has prescribed your earlier glasses or contact lenses?
Additionally, as Dr. Richardson does not participate with Medicare, MediCal, or Commercial Insurances, your insurance may not reimburse you for testing performed in Dr. Richardson’s office. Yet, most insurances will cover testing performed by your optometrist. Thus, you may find it more convenient and affordable to have some of your eye tests performed at your optometrist’s office. Through Dr. Richardson’s Care Partnership, certain tests done in your optometrist’s office can be used by him reducing the need for additional testing with Dr. Richardson.
The Care Parnership is simply another way that Dr. Richardson maintains his focus on you, the patient – demanding excellence in the care of your vision while also providing convenience, flexibility and affordability.
Legal and Ethical Considerations
Dr. Richardson engages on care partnership only when when it is appropriate for the patient’s medical condition and when there is an explicit consent from the patient. Dr. Richardson does not engage in illegal and unethical “payment or other remuneration in return for or to induce the referral of a patient for services”, upholding the principle (among others) that care partnership should be driven by the patient’s best interest and not by financial considerations.