OIG: Reduce payment for intraocular lenses

Recommendation won’t take affect now

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (OIG) has reported that the $150 Medicare payment for intraocular lenses (IOLs) is more than the cost of IOLs to surgery centers. OIG recommends that the Medicare payment be reduced in a manner that consider the different types and costs of IOLs.

Overall, IOL cost averaged $90.30 per lens, the report says. The highest cost IOL, made of soft acrylic, averaged $125 per lens. The most frequently used IOL, made of silicone, averaged $69 per lens. The lowest cost IOL, made of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) averaged $39 per lens.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will consider this recommendation as it designs a new payment system for surgery centers. CMS is required to implement a revised payment system by Jan. 1, 2008. This report will not change payments for IOLs in the immediate future.

A free copy of the report is available through the Federated Ambulatory Surgery Association. Go to www.fasa.org. Under "What’s New at FASA," click on "OIG Releases IOL Report," then "Read the IOL Report."