Silver Book Fact

Medicare beneficiaries with vision loss incur significantly higher costs than individuals with normal vision. Approximately 90% of the higher annual costs are non-eye related medical costs– $2,193 for those with moderate loss, $3,301 for those with severe loss, and $4,443 for those who are blind. Extrapolating to the entire Medicare population, blindness and vision loss are associated with $2.14 billion in non-eye related costs (in 2003 dollars).

Javitt, Jonathan C., Zhiyuan Zhou, and Richard J. Wilke. Association Between Vision Loss and Higher Medical Care Costs in Medicare Beneficiaries: Costs are greater for those with progressive vision loss. Ophthalmology. 2007; 114(2): 238-45. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=17270673&dopt=AbstractPlus

Reference

Title
Association Between Vision Loss and Higher Medical Care Costs in Medicare Beneficiaries: Costs are greater for those with progressive vision loss
Publication
Ophthalmology
Publication Date
2007
Authors
Javitt, Jonathan C., Zhiyuan Zhou, and Richard J. Wilke
Volume & Issue
Volume 114, Issue 2
Pages
238-45
URL
Read Full Resource

Categories

  • Cost of Disease
  • Economic Burden

Related Facts

  • For assistance getting around, more than 100,000 visually impaired Americans use long canes, and more than 7,000 use guide dogs.  
  • Of the study participants in the Los Angeles Latino Eye Study (LALES) who had open-angle glaucoma, 75% were previously undiagnosed.  
  • Around 50% of those with glaucoma are not aware that they have the disease.  
  • The data from the NEI-sponsored Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) found that persons with vision worse than 20/40 OU (oculur unitas, meaning “in both eyes) were more likely to be…  
  • An estimated 51,593 Americans ages 40-49 are blind. That grows to 86,623 at ages 75-79 and just under 1 million for ages 80+.