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Thesis

A survey of the impact of TPAs on optometric practice in the Pacific Northwest

1 April 1992

Abstract

This report surveyed 1,219 optometrists in the Pacific Northwest to measure the impact TPAs have had on various aspects of practice. The response rate was 50.3% . The states (Washington, Oregon, and Idaho) were chosen due to their geographical proximity and differing lengths of time of TPA legislation. This survey revealed that TPA certified optometrists have a higher gross personal income from practice than do non-TPA certified optometrists. It was discovered that primary care physicians were more likely than ophthalmologists to refer patients to optometrists, but optometrists perceived no greater respect from primary care physicians than from ophthalmologists. The professional relationship between optometrists and ophthalmologists did not vary significantly between states, and was not dependent on whether the optometrist was TPA certified. The primary benefits perceived by using TPAs in practice include: better patient care (30%), fuller range of care (20%), and respect from the community (12%).


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