Navigation Links
Medicare expenditures decrease for glaucoma surgery as number of procedures increases

CHICAGO The overall number of glaucoma surgical procedures appears to be increasing, but payments by Medicare for the procedures have been decreasing, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

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."


Contact: Jordana K. Schmier, M.A.
JAMA and Archives Journals

Related medicine news :

1. Physician Hospitals of America Charges: Hospital Associations Bargain Away $155 Billion in Medicare Funding in Attempt to Destroy Physician Hospitals
2. NEJM study addresses impact of Medicare Part D on medical spending
3. Jury Convicts Los Angeles Physician Assistant for Stealing Doctors Identity and Defrauding Medicare in $7.7 Million Scheme
4. With Medicare Plan, Drug Spending May Be Up
5. Avalere Estimates Medicare Part D Donut Hole Will Be Obsolete in 2023
6. Miami Physician Sentenced to 97 Months in Prison for Role in $10 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme
7. Rising Financial Solutions Taps Director of Business Development for Medicare Set Aside Administration Offerings
8. Eight Miami-Area Residents Charged in $22 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme Involving Home Health Care Agencies
9. First Coast Medicare to Provide Case by Case Reimbursement for the Renessa(R) Treatment for Incontinence in Women
10. RetireSafe Salutes Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America for Its Commitment to Cut Drug Prices and Help Seniors in the Medicare Doughnut-Hole
11. PhRMA Statement on Medicare Part D Coverage Gap
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/25/2016)... Long Beach, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... from UCLA with Magna Cum Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School ... San Diego and returned to Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland Department of ... recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness at Work ... Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of 42 businesses ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... A recent article published June 14 on E ... goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking to undergo not ... as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, Beverly Hills Physicians ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Marne, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... awareness about the dangers associated with chronic pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, ... for individuals who are suffering with Sickle Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) learned ... receive two significant new grants to support its work to advance research and ... by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their work in fighting pulmonary ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016  Arkis BioSciences, a leading innovator in ... durable cerebrospinal fluid treatments, today announced it has ... is led by Innova Memphis, followed by Angel ... investors.  Arkis, new financing will accelerate the commercialization ... release of its in-licensed Endexo® technology. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research ... "Pharmaceutical Excipients Market by Type (Organic Chemical (Sugar, Petrochemical, ... (Oral, Topical, Coating, Parenteral) - Global Forecast to 2021" ... The global pharmaceutical excipients market is ... a CAGR of 6.1% in the forecast period 2016 ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. ... company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization ... in its ongoing randomized HOPE-Duchenne clinical trial (Halt ... its 24-patient target. Capricor expects the trial to ... 2016, and to report top line data from ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: