Vistar Insights

Corneal Transplants Performed in 2013 to Save Patients Billions

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

According to the Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA), corneal transplants that are performed in 2013 in the U.S. will amount to almost $6 billion in total net benefits during the lifetime of the recipient of the transplant. A six-month study conducted by the Eye Bank Association of America uncovered this figure. After heart disease, cancer, emotional disorders, and other pulmonary conditions, eye disorders have been cited as the fifth most expensive to the U.S. economy.

This study took into account the medical costs associated with corneal transplant procedures as well as the direct and indirect lifetime costs of not undergoing the procedure. The EBAA examined the expenses that can be incurred when one is forced to live with blindness or a severe vision impairment. Individuals that receive a corneal transplant could avoid short-term expenditures like higher routine medical costs. They could also circumvent long-term expenditures associated with vision loss, such as lost productivity in the workplace or having to employ a caregiver for assistance with daily living.

The EBAA was founded in 1961. Since then, more than one million citizens have received corneal transplants for vision restoration and relief of pain from disease or injury to their eyes. The success rate of this procedure is astounding at greater than 95%. The surgery takes about an hour and is touted as one of the most common and least invasive transplants to receive.

Furthermore, corneal transplants also have a huge impact on federal and state government savings. Per-capita lifetime net medical benefits were significant. Patients age 65 or greater were expected to incur benefits at a value of $67,500 if they received a corneal transplant. It is expected that in 2013 alone, this life-altering procedure will save Medicare, Medicaid and patients combined a total of $2.4 billion.

We proudly offer this procedure at Vistar Eye Center. To learn more about the procedure and view informational videos, click here to be directed to our corneal transplant page.