About the Program
The goal of the Vision Care Outreach Program is to reduce the incidence of unnecessary vision loss and impairment by providing access to a donated system of comprehensive vision care services for uninsured or underinsured adults and children in Ohio. The Vision Care Outreach program provides this targeted population with eye care services they desperately need, but are not able to access due to a lack of insurance or other vision benefits.
To help Ohioans in need without the means to get an eye exam or glasses, the Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness partners with a statewide network of volunteer eye doctors and optical companies. Each year we help over 5,000 adults and children to access donated eye care services. The retail value of the donated products and services provided by the vision care community to prevent blindness tops $2 million annually. The role of the Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness is to link donated eye care to all Ohioans in need. For more information on the Vision Care Outreach Program by region review our available VCO fact sheets.
You must be a partner agency to make vision care referrals, contact Karen Stone (614) 464-2020 ext. 116 to learn more.
Program Fact Sheets
Select one of the fact sheets below to learn more about the social service agencies, eye care providers, and optical industry donors that are working together in the Vision Care Outreach Program.
Vision Care Outreach Program- Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Served by the Vision Care Outreach Program?
The Vision Care Outreach Program provides access to comprehensive eye care services for children and adults that meet the following minimum requirements:
- Family income is at or below 200% of the current Federal Poverty Guidelines
- Have not used the program in the last 12 or 24 months (depending on program service requested)
- Does not have access to insurance benefits through Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance or Veterans benefits that carries a vision component, or benefits do not cover needed items such as eyeglasses.
How Can I Access the Services of the Vision Care Outreach (VCO) Program?
- Prevent Blindness; Ohio Affiliate (PBO) becomes aware of a client’s need for eye care through a statewide network of “Partner Organizations” (PO)–homeless shelters, rehabilitation centers, schools, and other social service Organizations. PO’s have direct access to the PBO CIVIC portal to make direct referrals/applications for their clients.
- Individuals can call direct (1-800-301-2020) to connect with a VCO staff member or use the on-line application on our website: https://ohio.preventblindness.org/
- When PBO receives notification of a client’s need for vision care, we arrange for a the best services for that client:
- VSP Gift Certificate – exam & glasses
- America’s Best Voucher – exam & glasses
- AEG Vision – exam & glasses
- One Sight /Healthy Eye Voucher – frames/lenses only
- Donated eye exam from an eye doctor Partner.
- PBO alerts the Partner organization who assists their client following the correct process.
- For individuals not related to a PO—PBO serves as their Partner organization, assisting them through the process.
Does the Vision Care Outreach Program Reach all Areas of Ohio?
- We have services available in all 88 counties of Ohio through our system of donating doctors and the various gift certificates and/or vouchers made available to us.
- We have Partner Organizations that work with us to refer clients with vision needs in most of the 88 Ohio counties.
- If there is not a Partner Organization in a county, PBO will process and attend to the vision needs of clients directly.
How can we serve Medicaid and Medicare clients?
Clients must use their insurance benefits first, however:
- PBO can provide vouchers for free glasses when Medicare benefits cover the exam but not the glasses/lenses.
- PBO can provide replacement glasses for those on Medicaid, Medicare or private insurance when they have already used their yearly benefit for vision care.
- If they have a vision change within the benefit period and need an exam, PBO can assist with vouchers/gift certificates.
- If there are no providers within a 30 mile radius, PBO can provide the needed eye care – exam, glasses or both
How Can My Social Service Organization / School / Community Health Center use this Program to Serve Our Clients?
Partner Organizations benefit from the Vision Care Outreach Program (VCO) by being able to offer a valuable eye care service to their clients. Partner Organizations are typically serve clients with multiple challenges in their lives. Often the receipt of eye care can be the key that unlocks potential to secure employment or accelerate learning in school. Prevent Blindness Ohio staff works with staff from the PO to provide them a program user’s manual, training and technical assistance in the client screening and referral process. There is no fee for a social service organization to participate in VCO; however there are some responsibilities that are requested of participating organizations. Call us today at 1-800-301-2020 or email us at [email protected] to get started. Partner Organization Responsibilities:
- Screens clients for eye health problems.
- Qualifies client for the program and confirms that individual is at the most current 200% Federal Poverty Guidelines.
- Refers clients needing eye care to PBO.
- Assists client with transportation to eye exam and eyeglass dispensary, if possible.
- Emphasize to the client the importance of keeping their eye exam.
- Completes a Partner Organization Agreement, appointing an advocate to serve as liaison between the client and Prevent Blindness and assist with follow-up eye care for the client.
How can an eye care provider donate goods/services to the Vision Care Outreach Program?
The Vision Care Outreach is able to serve thousands of Ohioans each year through the generosity of our friends in optometry, ophthalmology and in the vision industry. Voluntary donations of eye exams, newly fabricated eyeglasses, frames, and surgical care allows the program to expand its mission to save sight and prevent blindness in Ohioans in need. If you are interested in providing a donation to support the Vision Care Outreach Program contact us at 1-800-301-2020 or email us at [email protected] to learn more about the program and how your support can help to save sight.
This Partner Organization (PO) handbook will provide the essential guidelines that PBO has established to ensure a smooth process, along with accountability to this very important community outreach program. We serve those that lack vision insurance or are underinsured and living at 200% poverty or worse. All clients that are referred to the VCO Program must meet all program criteria as detailed in this handbook.