Impact of proposed Los Angeles County budget cuts on ophthalmology patients at Los Angeles County -USC Medical Center
Purpose: To determine the impact of proposed budget cuts on ophthalmology outpatients at Los Angeles County USC Medical Center (LAC-USC). Methods: A survey was conducted of all eye clinic patients at LAC-USC from Aug 28-Sep 1, 1995. Univariate and multi-variate statistical analyses were performed. Results: 425 patients surveyed with a mean age of 47.9 years of which 75% were born outside the USA The majority of patients (76.9%) either did not know where to obtain eye care if LAC-USC closed (46.8%), would go to an emergency room (9.5%), would not go anywhere (9.2%) or would attempt to go to a different county facility (11.4%). Persons born outside the USA demonstrated stastistically significant increased knowledge of alternate means of eye care compared to those born in the USA (p=0.005). Although insurance type did not correlate with amount or willingness to pay for eye care, 32% are unwilling to pay to see an eye specialist while 29% are willing to pay between 1-200 dollars (mean=16.6 with S.D. of 27.8). Conclusion: A majority of patients utilizing LAC-USC eye clinics have no knowledge of alternate means of eye care delivery and a significant number are unwilling to pay for such services. Persons born outside the U.S.A. appear to have greater knowledge about access to eye care.