This study examined the practice of co-managed post-operative care and the visual acuity outcomes and complications associated with co-managed services. Data on service utilization and medical outcomes were collected for 2822 cataract surgery procedures performed in 5 ambulatory eye centers between January and July 1988. Average age of patients was 72.8 (SD = 10.4) and 63% were female. Eighty-seven percent of eyes were co-managed. Average number of post-operative visits within 90 days was 4.7 and 6.2 for co-managed cases with and without complications, respectively. Successful visual acuity outcomes (< 20/40) were experienced by 86% of all co-managed patients. There was evidence that patients with pre-existing ocular conditions (e.g. glaucoma, macular degeneration) and serious post-surgical complications were not referred for co-management. For co-managed patients without pre-existing medical or ocular conditions, 92% had successful vision outcomes, while 77-90% with these conditions had successful outcomes. Ninety-three percent of co-managed cases had no post-operative complications, and the rate of specific types of complications ranged from 0.04 to 2.0%. Using physician evaluations as the standard, sensitivity of optometrist detection of complications was 59% and specificity was 99.6%. Optometrists located in separate offices demonstrated 95.8% accuracy in assessing patients for post-operative complications.