A study by University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center researchers shows eye surgery procedures completed at local surgery centers have steadily increased over the past decade.
The study recently published in JAMA Ophthalmology used the claims data of 369,320 enrollees in a nationwide managed-care network who were age 40 and older, according to a press release. The study shows a 73 percent of cataract surgeries were performed at surgery centers in 2014, up from 43.6 percent in 2001.
“The increase in utilization occurred in many U.S. communities such that in some places nearly every cataract surgery took place in an ambulatory care center,” Joshua Stein, senior author, glaucoma specialist at Kellogg Eye Center and eye policy researcher at the U-M Institute of Healthcare Policy and Innovation, said in the release.
Researchers said more research is needed to determine if there are differences in safety between procedures at hospitals and surgery centers.
“The increased use of ambulatory care centers raises questions about access and the effect on surgical outcomes, patient safety and patient satisfaction,” Dr. Brian Stagg, the study’s lead author and a clinical scholar at the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, said in the release.
According to researchers, the reasons for the increase in surgeries at ambulatory surgery centers compared with hospitals involve convenience, a decrease in cost for insurers and lower out-of-pocket costs for patients.