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Research Letter
September 2016

Variation in Ophthalmologist Use of Antivascular Endothelial Growth Factor Therapy Among Medicare Beneficiaries

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Ophthalmology, Alpert Medical School, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island
  • 2Division of Ophthalmology, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence
  • 3Section of Ophthalmology, Providence Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Providence, Rhode Island
  • 4Center for Healthcare Studies, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois
  • 5Department of Ophthalmology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois
  • 6Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development Service, Chicago, Illinois
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2016;134(9):1071-1072. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2016.2051

Antivascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) drugs used for ophthalmic conditions account for more than $6 billion in Part B Medicare costs.1 Recent research2,3 has shown that bevacizumab may be equally as effective as the more-expensive agents (aflibercept and ranibizumab) for some but not all retinal vascular diseases. Using provider-level billing data for Medicare beneficiaries, we analyzed geographic trends in anti-VEGF therapy to identify whether the use of lower-cost drugs increased among ophthalmologists from calendar years 2012 to 2013.

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