Results from eye exams can help improve the quality of care. (AP photo/Aaron Favila)

In today’s health care environment, it is not unusual for consumers to feel overwhelmed when it comes to their health care. Whether it’s remembering the details of their medical and vision history, understanding the new options available for coverage or sorting through multiple insurance claims, consumers need help.

In fact, a recent survey conducted by WellPoint revealed that consumers believe increased coordination among doctors would make their lives easier.

Overwhelmingly, consumers recognize the connection between collaboration and quality care. Results found that 74 percent of consumers believe collaboration among doctors would foster better treatment, 73 percent believe it would provide a more comprehensive understanding of their health, and 73 percent believe it would lead to more accurate diagnoses.

But many Americans believe that doctors already are working together and sharing information to provide the best possible care. In fact, 76 percent believe doctors are collaborating about their overall health.

Unfortunately, collaboration is not the norm.

As experts in the field, it is our job to help guide consumers through it all, offering solutions along the way to improve patient experiences and overall health.

Clinical integration — the capability for various doctors across specialties to securely access patient’s claims data for a holistic view of a patient’s overall health — is helping to solve this challenge because it provides a summarized and organized analysis of information that can be viewed and saved to the member’s medical record in any provider’s office. It’s the closest thing to having multiple doctors in the same room providing care simultaneously, and it’s setting health plans apart from many others.

Patient claims data can often be the window into a patient’s overall health. For example, eye health is a key indicator of overall health, due to the fact that it can reveal important clues about chronic conditions like high blood pressure, hypertension or diabetes. Because of this, a clinically coordinated vision plan integrated with a patient’s medical plan is critical.

Forty percent of consumers support the idea of doctors collaboratively coordinating their care as a way to make their life easier. And, employers are beginning to get the message.

Collaboration among benefit offerings also is becoming streamlined, leading to better coordination and better care as a result. Employers overwhelmingly (93 percent) agree that including vision with other benefits — dental and health — in a health care package means better health overall for their employees.

As employers consider their benefits package offerings for 2015, we believe more will choose to offer vision benefits as an integrated option. It just makes sense to manage the health of consumers by helping doctors to better manage their care.

See also: Still a lot of value in vision – even with PPACA.