Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Medicare Expenditures Decrease For Glaucoma Surgery As Number Of Procedures Increases

Date:
July 13, 2009
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
The overall number of glaucoma surgical procedures appears to be increasing, but payments by Medicare for the procedures have been decreasing, according to a new report.

The overall number of glaucoma surgical procedures appears to be increasing, but payments by Medicare for the procedures have been decreasing, according to a new report.

Related Articles


Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide and currently affects more than 2 million people in the United States, according to background information in the article. "Management and treatment of glaucoma can be costly, and it has been estimated that glaucoma is the primary reason for ophthalmologist visits in the United States," the authors write. One previous study estimated that annual Medicare payments for glaucoma exceeded $1.2 billion each year between 1991 and 2000. "An important driver of glaucoma treatment costs is surgery." Surgery is typically used to reduce intraocular pressure (pressure within the eye) when medications fail to do so.

Jordana K. Schmier, M.A., of Exponent Inc., Alexandria, Va., and colleagues conducted an analysis of Medicare claims and payments for glaucoma surgery between 1997 and 2006. The most common surgical treatments for glaucoma include laser trabeculoplasty, in which a beam of light changes the drainage angle of the eye to relieve pressure; filtering surgery, in which surgeons use a surgical tool to create a drainage hole; shunt surgery, which involves placement of a small plastic tube with an attached pouch; and cyclodestructive procedures, used to reduce the production of eye fluid in severe cases of glaucoma.

"Overall, there were decreases in both the number of glaucoma surgical procedures and the amount of annual payments from 1997 to 2001 but an increase in the number of procedures in the following years," the authors write.

"Trends in claims and payments vary according to procedure. Average payments for trabeculectomies decreased over time, while annual payments for cyclophotocoagulation [a type of cyclodestructive procedure] and shunt-related procedures have increased."

After an initial decline, the number of trabeculoplasties increased, coinciding with advances in technology and changes in the global period for reimbursement (the amount of time after a surgery during which additional billing is limited; in 2002, this period changed from 90 to 10 days for laser trabeculoplasty).

The analysis examines only direct medical fees paid to physicians, which may be less than half of total glaucoma-related expenditures, the authors note. "Regardless, Medicare payments remain an important component of the cost of glaucoma in the United States and the overall trend toward lower-cost surgical procedures (i.e., fewer trabeculectomies) despite the increased use of newer technologies (i.e., more glaucoma drainage devices) observed in this analysis may have a substantial impact on national glaucoma expenses," they conclude. "Further advances and the application of new technologies may help to moderate the cost of providing glaucoma care to all who require it."

Funding for this research was provided by Alcon Research Ltd., Fort Worth, Texas. Ms. Schmier and co-author Mr. Lau received a grant from Alcon Research Ltd. to conduct this research. Co-author Mr. Covert is an employee of Alcon Research Ltd. Co-author Dr. Robin is a consultant to Alcon Research Ltd.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Schmier et al. Trends in Annual Medicare Expenditures for Glaucoma Surgical Procedures From 1997 to 2006. Archives of Ophthalmology, 2009; 127 (7): 900 DOI: 10.1001/archophthalmol.2009.122

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Medicare Expenditures Decrease For Glaucoma Surgery As Number Of Procedures Increases." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090713170709.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2009, July 13). Medicare Expenditures Decrease For Glaucoma Surgery As Number Of Procedures Increases. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090713170709.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Medicare Expenditures Decrease For Glaucoma Surgery As Number Of Procedures Increases." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090713170709.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said the risk of Ebola becoming an epidemic in the U.S. is essentially zero Thursday at the Washington Ideas Forum. He also said an Ebola vaccine will be tested in West Africa in the next few months. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) A nurse who vowed to defy Maine's voluntary quarantine for health care workers who treated Ebola patients followed through on her promise Thursday, leaving her home for an hour-long bike ride. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) Colorado may have legalized marijuana for recreational use, but the debate around the decision still continues, with a recent - failed - attempt to ban cannabis-infused edibles. Duration: 01:53 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
British Navy Ship Arrives in Sierra Leone With Ebola Aid

British Navy Ship Arrives in Sierra Leone With Ebola Aid

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) The British ship RFA ARGUS arrived in Sierra Leone to deliver supplies and equipment to help the fight against Ebola. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins