OneCare Vermont ACO Includes 26 Optometrists

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For a number or reasons, one of which being that accountable care organizations are still in their formative stages, few of them currently include optometrists among their providers. However, there are those that do, and OneCare Vermont is a good example. Having evolved from the Vermont Managed Care PHO (physician hospital organization), which already included 61 optometrists and 35 practices, OneCare Vermont invited them to participate. Less than half, 26 optometrists of 13 different practices, signed up.

 
  Norman Ward, MD
Among them are the following Vermont-based optometric practices – Absolute Eye Care, PLLC; Eye Care Associates, PC; Eye Vermont; Eyecare of Vermont, PLC; Irish Eyes; Middlebury Eye Associates, Inc.; Northern Valley Eyecare, Inc.; and Vermont Family Eye Care, Inc.

“We reached out to everybody in our existing network, which included optometry,” said Norman Ward, MD, who helps administrate this ACO. “I’m a believer in including optometrists. As a family doctor, I don’t claim to do anywhere near a thorough exam as an optometrist. There certainly is a place for optometry to help make diagnoses. A year and a couple of months into this journey, we are sharing data with our participants by way of our clinical advisory board. Our ACO absolutely wants to be inclusive of as many kinds of interdisciplinary providers as we can.”

The OneCare Vermont ACO’s network of providers will coordinate the care of approximately 42,000 of Vermont’s 118,000 Medicare beneficiaries. ■