Study: Cataract Surgery Experiences Significant Shift to ASCs

December 13, 2017

Results of a new study indicate that ASCs are now the preferred setting for a healthy majority of cataract surgery procedures.

The study, conducted by University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center researchers, shows that 73% of cataract surgeries were performed in surgery centers in 2014. That’s up from about 44% in 2001.

The study, published in JAMA Ophthalmology, examined cataract surgery claims data from 2001–2014 for about 369,00 enrollees age 40 and older who were part of a nationwide managed care network.

Patients were more likely to undergo cataract surgery at an ASC if they:

  • were younger age;
  • had higher income; and
  • lived in states without certificate-of-need laws.

A Michigan Medicine news release noted that while well-equipped hospitals are more prepared than an ASC if medical complication occurs, surgery centers are an attractive setting thanks to their convenience, lower out-of-pocket costs for patients and decreased cost-per-case for insurers.

The release also noted that an analysis estimated that cataract surgeries performed at ASCs rather than hospitals saved Medicare more than $800 million in 2011.

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