Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Increase in consultations for medicare patients before cataract surgery

Date:
December 23, 2013
Source:
American Medical Association (AMA)
Summary:
Preoperative consultations before cataract surgery became more common for Medicare patients despite no clear guidelines about when to require such a service, hinting at unnecessary use of health care resources, according to a study published.

Preoperative consultations before cataract surgery became more common for Medicare patients despite no clear guidelines about when to require such a service, hinting at unnecessary use of health care resources, according to a study published by JAMA Internal Medicine, a JAMA Network publication.

Preoperative medical consultation is a common health care service that can be billed separately to Medicare. There is little information about how often preoperative consultation is performed among the large numbers of patients in the United States who undergo elective, low-risk surgical procedures that may not require routine consultation, and how the referral for such consultation varies by patient, facility and geographic region, according to the study background.

Stephan R. Thilen, M.D., M.S., of the University of Washington, Seattle, and colleagues measured consultations performed by family practitioners, general internists, pulmonologists, endocrinologists, nurse practitioners or anesthesiologists as early as 42 days before cataract surgery. Researchers analyzed a 5 percent sample of Medicare part B claims, which included 556,637 patients 66 years or older who had cataract surgery from 1995 to 2006.

The study findings indicate preoperative consultations became more common, increasing from 11.3 percent in 1998 to 18.4 percent in 2006. Older patients (age 75 to 84 years) were more likely to have a consultation than patients between age 66 to 74 years, while patients who were black or lived in a rural area were less likely to receive a consultation. Those patients who had their cataract surgery in an inpatient or outpatient hospital had higher odds of having a consultation than those whose surgery was performed in an office. Patients who had an anesthesiologist involved with their care (either personally administering it or medically directing or supervising certified registered nurse anesthesists) also had higher odds of having a preoperative consultation. Living in the northeast also meant higher odds that a patient would have a consultation compared with patients living in the South or West.

"This large retrospective study suggests that there was substantial use of preoperative medical consultation for cataract surgery and that referrals for consultation had increased during the study period. With the exception of age, referral for preoperative consultation seems driven primarily by nonmedical factors including practice setting, type of anesthesia provider and geographical region," the authors conclude. "These data highlight an area of opportunity for interventions aimed at reducing unwanted practice variability in a process that has the potential to consume vast amounts of health care resources."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Medical Association (AMA). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Stephan R. Thilen, Miriam M. Treggiari, Jane M. Lange, Elliott Lowy, Edward M. Weaver, Duminda N. Wijeysundera. Preoperative Consultations for Medicare Patients Undergoing Cataract Surgery. JAMA Internal Medicine, 2013; DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.13426

Cite This Page:

American Medical Association (AMA). "Increase in consultations for medicare patients before cataract surgery." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131223181139.htm>.
American Medical Association (AMA). (2013, December 23). Increase in consultations for medicare patients before cataract surgery. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131223181139.htm
American Medical Association (AMA). "Increase in consultations for medicare patients before cataract surgery." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131223181139.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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