Best Practices For Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery

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A femtosecond (FS) laser is exciting new technology, but it requires consideration of some important governance and compliance issues. Best practices require the surgeon and the facility (ASC or Hospital) to identify covered and non-covered services, create formal arrangements between the two, develop suitable financial waiver forms, and ensure that patients are clearly informed about their financial responsibility.

The addition of a femtosecond (FS) laserexcites ophthalmic surgeons like few other new technologies. Excitement aside, some consideration must also be given to the associated implementation and compliance issues. In particular, when it comes to charging for the FS laser, there are several things to consider. Have third party payers, specifically Medicare (CMS), taken any positions? What have the major professional societies, like AAO and ASCRS published? Who owns the FS laser? Can a patient be charged for items and services associated with cataract surgery? Who can charge the patient for services rendered with the FS laser? And finally, what administrative forms are needed?

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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