Study: 14 million Americans visually impaired

A National Institutes of Health (NIH; Bethesda, Maryland) study report says that although 94% of Americans 12 and older have good vision, the remaining 6%, or 14 million, are visually impaired.

Of these, more than 11 million have uncorrected visual impairment, such as nearsightedness. They need eyeglasses or contact lenses to improve their vision. Teenagers, people with diabetes, Hispanics, and people who are economically disadvantaged have higher rates of visual impairment and can most benefit from corrective lenses. The study is published in the May 10, 2006, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Elias Zerhouni, MD, NIH director, said, “This is the first national survey on vision since the mid-1970s, and it confirms that uncorrected visual impairment is a major public health problem. The good news is that we now have information on the extent of visual impairment in the United States that will be available to policymakers as they seek to address health care issues at the local, state, and national levels.”

The study, designed and supported by the National Eye Institute of the NIH, was part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, an ongoing survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Atlanta).

Intrepid Holdings forms Intrepid Healthcare

Intrepid Holdings (Houston) reported the formation of Intrepid Healthcare Group (IHG). Intrepid Healthcare Group places the healthcare assets of Intrepid Holdings under one management and operating structure. IHG is composed of three subsidiaries: Rx Fulfillment Servi-ces , Healthy Access , and Intrepid Systems . IHG will coordinate the efforts of these companies to provide continuity with the company's mission to deliver effective and affordable healthcare solutions to the underserved urban market.

Rx Fulfillment provides PBM, mail order, long term care and institutional pharmacy services. Healthy Access' business model is to provide episodic care for acute non-life-threatening conditions. Intrepid Systems provides e-platform clinical practice systems including e-prescribing and electronic medical records to the physicians' office.

Toney Means will serve as president of the Healthcare Group and also remains president of Rx Fulfillment Services.