KHN: Medicare Cataract Patients Undergo Unnecessary Tests

More than half of Medicare patients undergoing cataract surgery do some form of preoperative test, which experts call unnecessary, according to a recent study.

Veteran Jose Juan Herrera gets his eyes checked by Dr. Alexander P. Sudarshan, an ophthalmologist in Weslaco who treats veterans referred by Veterans Affairs.

More than half of Medicare patients undergoing cataract surgery do some form of preoperative test, which experts call unnecessary, according to a recent study. Pre-op tests for the procedure have not been a part of the surgery’s best practices for more than a dozen years. Tests including blood work, urinalysis and cardiac stress tests totaled $4.8 million for more than 440,000 patients during the 11 months of the study.