Nonmedical costs and implications for patients seeking vitreoretinalcare

Rebecca A. Smiddy, William E. Smiddy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


PURPOSE:: To measure nonreimbursable, nonmedical costs incurred by patients attending a vitreoretinal clinic appointment. METHODS:: A nurse-administered questionnaire designed to capture the nonmedical costs for a single clinical appointment was administered to patients attending an appointment at a single-center, single-physician, university-based vitreoretinal clinic. First day postoperative visits were excluded. End points were time commitment, time missing work, and median total nonmedical costs incurred. A subgroup analysis of Medicare patients who lived locally was performed. RESULTS:: Three hundred and six patients completed the survey. The median nonreimbursable, nonmedical cost incurred was $23.32; the mean cost was $236.53 (range, $0-$7,259). The largest component of cost was transportation costs ($13.43). The patient took at least a day off from work in 27% cases. An accompanying person attended in 58%, and 27% took at least 1 day off from work to do so. The Medicare cohort who lived locally had similar median costs ($21.53); the mean cost was $51.29 (range, $0-$1, 255.80). This cohort also had a lower incidence of missing work (6%), and a higher incidence of an accompanying person (68%) who had a lower incidence of missing work (16%). The costs and distributions varied minimally by visit type. CONCLUSION:: Physicians and policymakers may not recognize or consider the potential impediment to care that nonreimbursable costs may present when developing treatment strategies and designing policies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1882-1887
Number of pages6
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2014


  • Economic
  • Eye care
  • Health care costs
  • Retina
  • Vitreous

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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