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Cataract Headwinds Will Change Revenue

Now is a Good Time for Eye Outsourcing

The ever-changing landscape of the ophthalmology specialty (specifically in cataract practice) can prove to be a tough market to forecast when it’s a good time to invest in technology. The past held much more certainty regarding the security of investment when purchasing Cataract equipment. And even though the baby-boomer cataract age is here, that doesn’t mean there is certainty in ROI, due to the constant evolution of the medical industry and the changing cataract headwinds on the horizon.

What do we mean by “Cataract Headwinds”? Headwinds change climates, spear-heading an area into a new season. We believe there are 3 things on the horizon that can change the climate of cataract surgery as we know it, all 3 creating unique twists to ROI.

1) Cataract Surgeon Reimbursements

This one, in truth, isn’t really a headwind. It’s already here. In 2020, Medicare reimbursements for cataract surgeons will drop, maybe as much as 15% for non-complicated procedures. That’s a hit! Read through Review of Ophthalmology’s article titled “Medicare Proposes Another Cut In Cataract Reimbursement” for yourself for more info.

Having the need to increase your case volume to make up the difference makes profitability more challenging. Eliminating capital investments and/or adding satellite locations to your practice can help increase your revenue by reducing overhead and increasing market expansion. Our mobile cataract program is the perfect partnership for satellite locations!

2) Office-Based Cataract Surgery

There has been much talk about Office-Based cataract surgery in recent years. The idea first came to the surface in the 80s and was quickly discarded due to the hurdles at the time. Healthcare and technology have rapidly grown since the 80s, and now the discussion is back on the table in many circles, and serious thought and trials are in place to determine whether this is the future of cataract surgery (at least non-complicated cases).

Despite this not being here yet (it’s a headwind), if brought into effect would change the cataract climate dramatically. Patients and surgeons alike would appreciate the benefits and convenience of the office-based approach. Any practice with the means would likely be very interested. Of the many questions on the table in this discussion, 1 would be technology investment, and 2, whether the office-based model will be a short-lived trend. Either way, let Surgical Direct take on the risk of providing equipment and technology.

3) Bi-Lateral Cataract Surgery

The “Two-for-One” cataract model has been in debate for some time. Initially, this model was frowned upon due to the risk of infection and longer recoveries, but recently the discussion is back on the table and CMS is looking at this model again.
Bi-Lateral case-coding for the second same-day eye will reduce the reimbursement rate on the second eye by 50%, so if thinking about offering bi-lateral cataract surgery, you have to take into account the loss in revenue that you’ll encounter on these cases.

Let Surgical Direct Take Your Cataract Technology Risk.

The bottom line is that in today’s cataract surgery landscape, there is a lot of risk in investing in new technology. Surgical Direct offers a turn-key, zero-risk solution for your cataract program. Our Mobile Cataract Service model provides the newest technology to your OR of choice, full-service case supply management (including lenses), and no capital fund investments. You only pay for our service when you use our service.

Want to know more about Surgical Direct and our services? Check out our recent post about 5 Headaches Eliminated with Mobile Cataract Services to see how Surgical Direct can help alleviate your cataract surgery woes.

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