MAR 17, 2023
Cataract/Anterior Segment, Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Retina/Vitreous
A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.
Visually impaired people will soon have a new tool for taking photos and videos. Sony Electronics’ DSC-HX99RNV retinal projection camera kit is expected to be available to the public in limited quantities in summer 2023. At a cost of $600, the kit includes a compact camera and QD Laser’s Retissa Neoviewer, a viewfinder that attaches to the camera and uses laser technology to project a digital image from the camera directly onto the retina, allowing a person with impaired vision to take photos and record videos. Dr. Mitsuru Sugawara, President and CEO of QD Laser, said that with this kit, “We hope that people who may have found traditional viewfinders difficult to use will now enjoy taking photos, expanding their range of activities and discovering new worlds.” Sony Electronics
Cost of complex cataract surgeries exceeds Medicare reimbursements. An economic model using time-driven activity-based costing was used to determine the cost differences between simple and complex cataract surgical procedures at a single academic center (N = 16,092) and tie those differences to current Medicare reimbursements. The mean cost difference between simple and complex surgeries, in terms of combined supply and time-based costs, was $877.85 per procedure. However, because Medicare reimburses complex procedures by only $231.01, complex surgeries yield a net-earnings deficit of $646.84. The authors conclude that “These findings suggest that….complex cataract surgery is undervalued by current Medicare reimbursement rates,” and recommend additional studies to determine whether similar findings are noted across more institutions and practice structures, including ambulatory surgery centers and hospital-based outpatient departments. JAMA Ophthalmology
Early substance use could increase the odds of developing visual impairment. To evaluate potential links between early substance use/abuse (before age 21 years) and later visual impairment (VI), investigators studied data from 55,824 participants in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. In total, 4.6% of the survey participants had self-reported VI. There were significant associations between VI and early substance use (including nonprescription, prescription, and illegal substances), and participants who reported having hypertension, diabetes, and/or heart disease were more likely to have both VI and reported early substance use. Clinical Ophthalmology