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Viewpoint
April 2015

Retinal Implants and Medicare Reimbursement Policies for Breakthrough Treatments in Ophthalmology

Author Affiliations
  • 1Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • 2The Blackstone Group, London, England
  • 3Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston
  • 4Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2015;133(4):373-374. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2015.54

Novel medical devices intended to treat diseases of the eye, such as retinitis pigmentosa and glaucoma, could greatly improve patient care and health outcomes. A number of factors influence the research and development process of these investigational therapeutics.1 Specifically, given the significant upfront investments required to develop new devices, reimbursement and payment policies of large payers, such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), play an important role in product development and commercialization. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services granted the first ophthalmic device, a retinal prosthesis, an incentive payment through the New Technology Add-on Payment (NTAP) program. In this Viewpoint, we consider how innovative reimbursement pathways may impact the pace of ophthalmological research and development.

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