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Successful Implementation of Femtosecond Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery: A Real-World Economic Analysis

Authors George DS, Ainslie-Garcia MH, Ferko NC, Cheng H

Received 20 November 2020

Accepted for publication 8 February 2021

Published 2 March 2021 Volume 2021:15 Pages 923—929


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

David S George,1,2 Margaret H Ainslie-Garcia,3 Nicole C Ferko,3 Hang Cheng4

1The Eye MDs, Parkersburg, WV, USA; 2Physicians Outpatient Surgery Center, Belpre, OH, USA; 3EVERSANA™, Burlington, ON, Canada; 4Alcon Vision LLC., Fort Worth, TX, USA

Correspondence: David S George
The Eye MDs, 418 Grand Park Dr #315, Parkersburg, WV, 26104, USA
Email [email protected]

Purpose: To calculate the minimum number of Femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery (FLACS) procedures required per month to pay off the fixed investment cost over 5 years to achieve break-even.
Setting: A rural ophthalmology practice located in the mid-West United States.
Design: An economic analysis, based on real-world, retrospectively collected data over 12 months, from an ambulatory surgical care perspective.
Methods: FLACS was initiated in 2017 with the LenSx® laser (Alcon Vision LLC., Fort Worth, TX). The incremental cost of FLACS, cases needed to break-even, return on investment (ROI), patient education, and marketing efforts were assessed. The financial analysis considered cataract volume, conversion rates, fixed (eg, principal) and variable (eg, supplies) costs, and revenue in the first 12 months.
Results: The clinic performed 2717 cataract surgeries in the 12-month period, with 1304 (48%) of patients converting to FLACS. Of FLACS procedures, 613 (47%) selected an advanced-technology intraocular lens (AT-IOL; eg, toric or lifestyle IOL), and the remaining patients selected a monofocal IOL with laser astigmatism correction. FLACS increased AT-IOL use by 113 procedures (23%) compared to volumes in the year prior to FLACS. Overall, FLACS was predicted to be profitable, with only 13 cases required per month to break even in 5 years. If both facility and physician fees are considered revenue, only eight cases per month are required to break-even in 5 years.
Conclusion: The practice experienced a greater-than-anticipated conversion to FLACS and increased selection of AT-IOLs, well above the break-even volume required, contributing to a rapid return on their investment.

Keywords: cataract surgery, economic, return on investment, financial pro-forma, femtosecond laser

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