November 30, 2017

Study: Hospitals No Longer Top Provider of Cataract Surgeries

Ocular surgeries are steadily shifting away from hospitals, a move that offers convenience and financial perks. But questions of safety and accessibility remain.

A recent study by Brian Stagg, MD, and Joshua Stein, MD, found that the setting of many eye surgeries is shifting from hospitals to ambulatory surgery centers where care may be delivered at a lower cost, more quickly and closer to home for some patients, new national data show. 

The migration has been significant: Ambulatory facilities performed 73 percent of cataract surgeries in 2014. But they handled only 43.6 percent in 2001. Reasons for the increasing popularity of ambulatory surgery centers include convenience, lower out-of-pocket costs for patients and decreased cost per case for insurers.

“The increased use of ambulatory care centers raises questions about access and the effect on surgical outcomes, patient safety and patient satisfaction,” says Dr. Stagg, the study’s lead author.