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Cost Effectiveness of the OIB Program

It is estimated the OIB programs are touching 1.4-5% of the eligible population of older persons with vision loss. We are serving a very small number of eligible persons, and our programs are often maxed out with waiting lists. We need more funding and more qualified personnel. There are several groups working on this – The Agenda on Aging and Vision in the 21st Century that AFB is spearheading and the NCSAB OIB Committee. We are trying to gather information on how the program is cost effective – if you have examples or anecdotes to share on how the program made a difference in your state – we would love to hear them. (No client names or identifying information please!)


Janet Ford's picture

We use group meetings across the state to reach as many potential clients as possible. Working with medical professionals we acquire referrals and immediate medical information to assist in the triage process. The program is underfunded but we are able to assist a higher rate of eligible clients by utilizing group meetings, technology and working in conjunction with other service providers.
Adele Crudden's picture

It is difficult to make the case for needing more money until numbers are presented to justify it. However, many states appear so overwhelmed with meeting current needs that they don't have time to promote their programs in such a way that new clients could be identified and counted.
Matthew Haynes's picture

Here in Alabama we record in our case management system how much time of instruction was provided and the estimated cost of the devices and aides provided to closed cases. I think this this helps show the value added to the consumer through services. We also have a consumer satisfaction survey that does ask our consumers if they have thought of moving to a nursing home due to their vision loss and if they felt our services have helped them avoid nursing home care. This does show that they feel more independent and able to stay in their home. I think we need to find a metric we can capture on our federal report which shows how our instruction reduces costs in some way. We can show where the money goes and what it does, but in todays environment we need to show how our program saves money in the long run. Congress and state legistators want to see the financial return on the investment not just how it impacts the quality of life the consumers we serve.
Adele Crudden's picture

Needing a metric to support this is a very valid point. I believe there are statistics about how much nursing home care costs. I would have to investigate how specific those estimates are to geographic region. So if you are asking your consumers if your services helped them avoid nursing home care, you could report the average cost for your area and how many people avoided it. It is not a perfect measure, but it is something. What suggestions do you and others have about what might be more accurate?