Cost of Vision Report from PBA Reveals Significant Increase in Vision Care Spending

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CHICAGO—According to the new “Cost of Vision” Report released by Prevent Blindness America (PBA) at their “Focus on Eye Health National Summit” this week, vision-related diseases are costing patients, insurance companies and the U.S. government about twice as much as originally estimated in PBA’s 2007 report.

The new report, commissioned by PBA from researchers at the University of Chicago, shows that the annual cost of eye and vision disorders is estimated to be $139 billion, double the previous data and qualifying vision-related diseases to be among the costliest health problems to the U.S. economy.

“Cost of Vision Problems: The Economic Burden of Vision Loss and Eye Disorders in the United States” includes a breakdown of estimated costs of eye disorders and vision loss from the perspective of three payers: government at $47.4 billion; private insurance at $20.8 billion in direct medical costs and $1.3 billion for long term care; and patients and their families at $71.6 billion. Further, the update includes a searchable map and data of the Economic Burden Breakdown of Eye Disorders and Vision Loss by State and Age as well as estimates of costs associated with vision loss on disability and quality of life.

“It is important that people understand that eye disease is among the most expensive conditions in our country,” said Hugh R. Parry, PBA president and CEO.

Data presented in the updated report provide a more comprehensive view of vision-related economic challenges than the 2007 report, PBA said, with the updated version including a revised methodology, cost data across the age spectrum, including children for the first time, and all disorders related to the eye.