Corneal Transplantation in the United States
Cornea Associates of Texas’ Work in Corneal Transplantation Contributes
to Total Lifetime Net Benefit of Nearly $6 Billion
Dallas, Texas (October 14, 2013)– Corneal transplants performed in the United States this year will result in nearly $6 billion in total net benefits over the lifetime of the recipients, according to a six-month study undertaken by the Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA). Cornea Associates of Texas will perform approximately 800 cornea transplants this year, with an estimated lifetime value of $94,400,000*.
The study compared the medical cost of transplant procedures to the direct and indirect lifetime costs of the alternative – living with blindness or severe vision impairment. With a corneal transplant, an individual avoids the direct expenditures that come with vision loss, such as higher routine medical costs and long-term care costs, and the indirect costs of potential years of lost productivity to both the patients and their family caregivers.
Eye disorders are the fifth costliest to the U.S. economy after heart disease, cancer, emotional disorders and pulmonary conditions.
Dr. Brad Bowman, physician at Cornea Associates, had the following to say about cornea transplantation, “I have seen firsthand the dramatic impact that sight restoration can have on a patients’ quality of life. The ability to see touches every aspect of life and the improvements possible through corneal transplantation are profound. Having personally attended the Donor Appreciation Luncheon, sponsored by the UTSW Eye Bank, the choice to donate also has a positive lasting impact on the families of those who choose to donate.”
The Eye Bank Association of America commissioned this study to determine the economic impact of corneal transplants. Researchers used previous years’ transplant numbers and census data to estimate total corneal transplants for the full 2013 calendar year.
The cost-benefit analysis depicted in the table below reveals that the lifetime benefit of the procedure is overwhelmingly greater than the costs of the surgery.
Lifetime Economic Cost-Benefit of Corneal TransplantationSource: Cost-Benefit Analysis of Corneal Transplant, September 2013, The Lewin Group
Since 1982, our surgeons have performed cornea transplants for more than 10,000 men, women and children, restoring their vision and relieving pain from injury and disease. With a success rate greater than 95 percent, the one-hour procedure restores the patient’s sight and his or her quality of life. In fact, it’s one of the most common and least invasive transplant procedures. The EBAA study proves the value of the procedure and the economic benefit to the patient, family and society.
Corneal transplants also result in direct federal and state government savings. This study assumed full retirement at age 65, so the net indirect cost savings is small for these patients, but the per-capita lifetime net medical benefits of $67,500 for patients age 65 or greater receiving corneal transplants in 2013 will save Medicare, Medicaid and patients a combined $2.4 billion nationally.
For a full copy of the report, please contact EBAA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Cornea Associates of Texas: Henry Gelender, M.D., Walter E. Beebe, M.D., C. Bradley Bowman M.D., Tyrone McCall, M.D., Gregory Nettune, M.D.
About EBAA: The Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA), established in 1961, is the oldest transplant association in the nation and champions the restoration of sight through corneal transplantation. Over 80 member eye banks operate in the United States, Canada and Asia. These eye banks made possible more than 70,000 sight-restoring corneal transplants in 2012 and the opportunity to perform more transplants is significant. Aside from those suffering from infections or communicable diseases, virtually everyone is a universal donor. The function of corneal tissue is not dependent on blood type, age, strength of eyesight or the color of the eye. To learn more, visit www.restoresight.org
* Savings calculations are determined by multiplying the net lifetime benefit by the number of patients we served in the past 12 months (10/2012 through 9/2013).