Countering cost concerns
Although it is true that OCT screening for macular pathology will not be reimbursed if the exam is negative, Dr. Charles noted that it does not represent a valid reason for limiting OCT use to patients who are paying extra for a premium IOL procedure.
“Doing OCT on all patients represents good medical practice,” Dr. Charles said. “The cost associated with its use is negligible because it only involves the time spent by the technician performing the imaging and by the physician reviewing the results, both of which are minimal.”
He added that in his retinal practice, almost every patient is evaluated with OCT. The business office staff determines whether or not to bill the insurance companies for the study.
“I have been in practice for 42 years, and it is astounding and embarrassing to think about the number of problems I missed when I was examining patients with complaints about their vision before OCT was available,” Dr. Charles said. “With OCT, I can diagnose diseases that can be treated effectively to provide great outcomes. I am glad to have the information that I can get with OCT because it makes me a better doctor and my patients happier.”