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The purpose of this study was to develop a survey to assess possible solutions for an economic turnaround in paediatric ophthalmology. A 12-item survey was circulated with questions related to practice location, setting and years in practice. Responses were received from 301 of 1652 American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus (AAPOS) members representing a 19.2% rate. About one quarter were partners in ambulatory surgical centres, 44% with ROP contracts, 32% with financial contracts with optical shops in their offices and 8% with private equity investors. Over half (52.5%) had hired a paediatric ophthalmic extended (e.g. optometrist / orthoptist), 29.5% had increased their marketing profile and 30% had ownership or shares in their practice property. Ophthalmologists in academic settings were less affected and there were significant differences between these and private practice responders. The latter were often partners in the practice, owned an optical shop or had private equity buy-out. Alternative income generation may improve workforce and manpower issues with increased access to paediatric eyecare.

Is there a path for an economic turnaround in pediatric ophthalmology?
Lee KE, Sussberg JA, Nelon LB, Thuma T.
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Fiona Rowe (Prof)

Institute of Population Health, University of Liverpool, UK.

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