Money doesn’t grow on trees, so patients and families are understandably cautious about what they invest in. I’ve previously addressed the fact that to do vision therapy with appropriate outcomes, one needs to do office based therapy, and doing office based therapy properly involves a serious investment in time and resources. Home therapy is a useful adjunct, but is not intended to bypass office therapy. After reading our blog and participating in Sovoto (the vision advocacy network), Pamela Kohn created a PDF showing another perspective on what’s expensive.
Permit me to point out several highlights of Pamela’s well-organized compilation. She is an adult who completed vision therapy in our office for convergence insufficiency. She addresses long-standing difficulties with reading, sports, and driving. Pam is a bright, insightful woman and what comes through loud and clear are the long-term costs to a patient’s psyche when they are made to feel that they’re dramatizing a problem that doesn’t exist. This added to the repeated and useless cost of exams provided by “top doctors” who did nothing other than to tweak her spectacle prescriptions, which would turn out to be an additional waste of money. Her unique approach in writing this is to identify her problems, show how expensive the “find nothing/do nothing” approach actually is, and show how inexpensive vision therapy is relative to the benefits it provides. She also touches upon how appreciative she is of the primary care optometrist who determined that she could benefit from VT with no ulterior motive other than to see her obtain needed care.
A few more observations. I received these thoughts unsolicited from Pam and therefore wanted to preserve her raw and heartfelt emotion. Pam chooses to call VT a “cheap solution”, and by this she means comparatively inexpensive. You’ll note that she completed therapy in three months, which is the same time frame used in the CITT study. This time frame worked for Pam because of what she brought to the therapy environment, and her interaction with her therapist, which she beautifully details. Therapy is highly individualized in terms of projected time frames and is prescribed based on the patient’s diagnosed condition and supporting factors. It was fortunate for Pam that her major medical carrier reimbursed her for 80% of the fees paid to our office. In that sense her net outlay was inexpensive, but she would be the first to tell you that even if she weren’t reimbursed a dime, her therapy was well worth the investment.
– Leonard J. Press, O.D., FCOVD, FAAO