Health Watch — The Eyes Have It: Medicare and Eye Surgery

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about advances in eye care. One advance in eye care in the past year has been in the area of government regulation. Now patients who need a lens replacement to restore vision damaged by cataracts can get an implanted lens that also corrects for astigmatism, with Medicare paying much of the cost.

Dr. James McCulley, chairman of ophthalmology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says this not only allows patients to get back vision lost because of cataracts, but also may allow them to see without glasses. Under the new guidelines, Medicare will pay for the surgery to implant a replacement lens for treating the cataract and part of the cost of the lens, with the patient paying for the vision correction part of the lens. Cataracts usually occur with age and cause cloudy vision, while astigmatism is caused by an irregularly shaped cornea and causes blurred vision.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in eyes (ophthalmology). 


April 2008

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