ASCs surpass hospitals in cataract surgery volumes, study finds

More cataract surgeries are now being performed in ASCs than hospitals, according to a study published Nov. 22 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

For the study, researchers from the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center in Ann Arbor examined claims data for 531,325 cataract surgeries performed through a nationwide managed care network between January 2001 and December 2014.

Researchers found ASCs performed 73 percent of cataract surgeries in 2014, up from 43.6 percent in 2001. The average co-pay for cataract surgery in an ASC was $190 in 2014, compared to $350 at a hospital's outpatient department.

Patients who were young, had a higher income and lived in states that did not have certificate of need laws regulating ASCs were more likely to undergo cataract surgery in an ASC.

Researchers cited convenience, lower out-of-pocket costs for patients and a decreased cost per case for insurers as the main drivers for the heightened utilization of ASCs. The study also identified a similar shift toward ASCs for the treatment of cornea conditions, glaucoma, retina issues and strabismus.

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