Cataract surgery cost utility revisited in 2012: a new economic paradigm.Ophthalmology. 2013 Dec; 120(12):2367-2376.O
To assess the 2012 cost utility of cataract surgery in the United States and to compare 2012 cost-utility data with those from 2000.
Value-Based Medicine (Flourtown, PA), patient preference-based, comparative effectiveness analysis and cost-utility analysis using 2012 real United States dollars.
Previously published Patient Outcomes Research Team Study data and time tradeoff utilities obtained from patients with vision loss. Visual acuity measurements from patients wtih untreated cataract were used as controls.
Thirteen-year, average, first-eye and second-eye cataract surgery cost-utility analysis using the societal and third-party insurer cost perspectives.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES
Patient value gain in quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) and percent gain in quality of life as well as the cost-utility ratio using the dollars expended per QALY gained. Patient and financial value outcomes were discounted at 3% annually with net present value analysis.
First-eye cataract surgery conferred 1.6212 QALYs over the 13-year model, a 20.8% quality-of-life gain. Bilateral cataract surgery conferred 2.8152 QALYs over 13 years, a 36.2% improvement in quality of life. The direct ophthalmic medical cost for unilateral cataract surgery in 2012 United States nominal dollars was $2653, an inflation-adjusted 34.2% less than in 2000 and 85% less than in 1985. The 2012 inflation-adjusted physician fee was 10.1% of that in 1985. The 13-year societal cost perspective, financial return on investment (ROI) for first-eye cataract surgery was $121,198, a 4567% gain. The third-party insurer cost perspective average cost-utility ratio was $2653/1.6212 = $1636/QALY for unilateral cataract surgery, whereas the societal cost perspective average cost-utility ratio was -$121,198/1.6212 = -$74,759/QALY. The net 13-year $123.4-billion financial ROI from a 1-year cohort of cataract surgery patients was accrued: Medicare, $36.4 billion; Medicaid, $3.3 billion; other insurers, $9.6 billion; patients, $48.6 billion; and increased United States national productivity, $25.4 billion.
Cataract surgery in 2012 greatly improved quality of life and was highly cost effective. It was 34.4% less expensive than in 2000 and 85% less expensive than in 1985. Initial cataract surgery yielded an extraordinary 4567% financial ROI to society over the 13-year model.