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Am J Ophthalmol. 2017 Oct;182:133-140. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2017.07.022. Epub 2017 Aug 4.

An Analysis of Medicare Reimbursement to Ophthalmologists: Years 2012 to 2013.

Author information

1
Department of Ophthalmology, Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California.
2
San Diego Retina Associates, San Diego, California.
3
Department of Health Research and Policy, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California.
4
Department of Ophthalmology, Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California; Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, California. Electronic address: pershing@stanford.edu.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To analyze trends in utilization and payment of ophthalmic services in the Medicare population for years 2012 and 2013.

DESIGN:

Retrospective, cross-sectional study.

METHODS:

A retrospective cross-sectional observational analysis was performed using publicly available Medicare Physician and Other Supplier aggregate file and the Physician and Other Supplier Public Use File. Variables analyzed included aggregate beneficiary demographics, Medicare payments to ophthalmologists, ophthalmic medical services provided, and the most common Medicare-reimbursed ophthalmic services.

RESULTS:

In 2013, total Medicare Part B reimbursement for ophthalmology was $5.8 billion, an increase of 3.6% from the previous year. From 2012 to 2013, the total number of ophthalmology services rendered increased by 2.2%, while average dollar amount reimbursed per ophthalmic service decreased by 5.4%. The top 5 highest reimbursed services accounted for 85% of total ophthalmic Medicare payments in 2013, an 11% increase from 2012. During 2013, drug reimbursement represented 32.8% of the total Medicare payments to ophthalmologists. Ranibizumab and aflibercept alone accounted for 95% of the entire $1.9 billion in drug reimbursements ophthalmologists in 2013.

CONCLUSION:

Medicare Part B reimbursement for ophthalmologists was primarily driven by use of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) injections from 2012 to 2013. Of the total drug payments to ophthalmologists, biologic anti-VEGF agents ranibizumab and aflibercept accounted for 95% of all drug reimbursement. This is in contrast to other specialties, in which drug reimbursement represented only a small portion of Medicare reimbursement.

PMID:
28784553
DOI:
10.1016/j.ajo.2017.07.022
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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