How It Works
- Potential patients fill out a short referral form on the Academy’s EyeCare America website.
- Eligible patients are matched to the nearest volunteer by the patient’s ZIP code.
- To keep referrals even among volunteers, patient referrals rotate to the next available ophthalmologist. You’ll see an average of two to four patients a year, a maximum of 15 per program per year. Program FAQs
What You’ll Do
You can volunteer for any or all of the following EyeCare America programs:
- Seniors Program: Provide a comprehensive medical eye exam to an eligible senior (65+) and care for up to one year for any condition diagnosed during the initial exam.
- You accept Medicare and/or other insurance reimbursement as payment in full.
- With EyeCare America’s federal waiver, you can also waive co-payments and/or unmet deductibles.
- The few patients without insurance receive this care at no charge.
- Glaucoma Program: Provide a one-time glaucoma eye exam at no cost to those who are eligible and uninsured. For those who are eligible and insured, you bill the normal office procedure and the patient covers any co-payments.) You may initiate care, if deemed necessary. This awareness program provides a baseline glaucoma eye exam to those who are at increased risk, determined by their age, race and glaucoma history.
- Retina Re-Referral Program:Provide care for Seniors Program patients who need retinal care the original EyeCare America doctor could not provide.
Enroll here or email any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Help us provide continued coverage: About 1,000 of our long-time volunteers are retiring, leaving shortages in their communities.
- Get the satisfaction of mission work without leaving your office. “There is plenty to do right in our own communities. ECA patients are very grateful, they tell their families and are impressed that people take the time out of their busy lives to help.” - Ann A. Warn, MD, MBA
- Care for some of the neediest in your community. “All too often ophthalmologists see patients who have already lost some of their vision because they waited too long to schedule an appointment for an eye exam. Many times the reason was limited insurance or they couldn't afford the co-pay. EyeCare America is here to help.” - C. Pat Wilkinson, MD, Chair, EyeCare America.
- Connect with and give back to your community. "In a very busy practice, ECA is one way for me to stop and reconnect with one of the most rewarding aspects of practicing medicine which is, really making a difference in the lives of those who might not otherwise get the help they need.” - Megha Agrawal, MD
You could even save a life!
EyeCare America volunteer Michael R. Feilmeier, MD (Omaha, Neb.), likely saved an elderly man’s life when the patient complained of partial vision loss. During a comprehensive medical eye examination, Dr. Feilmeier detected troubling signs of a blood clot in one of David J. Hibler’s eyes. He immediately sent Mr. Hibler to his primary care physician for an ultrasound, which revealed a large clot obstructing 95 percent of his left carotid artery. “Had this condition not been quickly diagnosed and treated, this patient would have had a major stroke,” said Dr. Feilmeier.
“My mom lost her sight from glaucoma and continued to remind me to get my eyes examined. I had limited medical insurance and tried for 6 months to get an eye exam. Finally, I felt so frustrated, I searched online for help and found EyeCare America. I received a letter from EyeCare America and saw Julie Song, MD who diagnosed me with narrow angle glaucoma. She said I needed surgery right away. Dr. Song referred me to a physician who could provide the surgery. If I would not have seen an EyeCare America doctor, I may have lost my sight. I was so grateful to have found EyeCare America. Thank you.” Ms. Kleinstiver, Los Angeles, Calif.
The Academy recognizes the following partners for their EyeCare America support
- Knights Templar Eye Foundation Inc.
Contact EyeCare America
Admin: 877-887-6327 (Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – noon Pacific Time)