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TMCNet:  Southern College of Optometry Provides $1.3 Million In Uncompensated Care

[August 14, 2014]

Southern College of Optometry Provides $1.3 Million In Uncompensated Care

MEMPHIS, Tenn. --(Business Wire)--

Southern College of Optometry today announced that as of the close of fiscal year 2013-14, the college's clinical programs provided $1,370,769 in uncompensated optometric care in the Memphis community, a 24 percent increase over the previous year and a 53 percent increase over the past five years. Uncompensated care represents a variety of outreach programs geared toward bringing eye care to the local community, as well as care for uninsured patients.

"Since we began tracking these numbers in 2009, our uncompensated care numbers have risen exponentially," said Dr. James Venable, vice president for clinical programs at SCO. "This represents 17 percent of our gross charges and 29 percent of our net receipts, above the industry standard of 10 to 15 percent."

Approximately 76 percent of SCO's uncompensated care was provided through professional services in one of the college's clinical facilities. This included services offered through partnerships with Church Health Center®, the InfantSEE® program, Baptist Outreach Programs® and many others. The additional 24 percent is a result of community-based services like community education events and SCO's preventive screenings program, which provides basic vision screenings to students in Shelby County Schools.


"SCO and The Eye Center are very dedicated to the Memphis community," Venable said. "We first provided more than $1 million of uncompensated care in 2011, and we've grown that number continuously since then. It really underscores our commitment to our community and to growing our outreach efforts."

About Southern College of Optometry

Southern College of Optometry was established in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1932. SCO is an independent, not-for-profit institution of higher education with nearly 500 students from 40 states. The clinical programs at SCO serve nearly 80,000 patients annually, helping make the college one of the top in the nation for clinical optometric education. SCO's Community Outreach Program reaches more than 12,000 children through vision screenings provided annually to Shelby County, Tennessee, students in public, private and charter schools. Additionally, SCO opened a second clinic, University Eye Care, on the campus of The University of Memphis in 2013. For more information on SCO or to donate, please visit www.sco.edu.


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