Lions Instrumental to America’s Eye Bank Network
Lions Clubs International’s Support for Corneal Transplantation Contributes to Total Lifetime Net Benefit of Nearly $6 Billion
Washington, DC– (October 10, 2013) – Corneal transplants performed in the United States this year will result in nearly $6 billion in total net benefits over the lifetime of the recipients, according to a six-month study undertaken by the Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA). Over half of all EBAA-member eye banks were founded by Lions Clubs; these eye banks will provide nearly 25,000 corneas for transplant this year, with an estimated net lifetime benefit of $3 billion*.
The study compared the medical cost of transplant procedures to the direct and indirect lifetime costs of the alternative – living with blindness or severe vision impairment. With a corneal transplant, an individual avoids the direct expenditures that come with vision loss, such as higher routine medical costs and long-term care costs, and the indirect costs of potential years of lost productivity to both the patients and their family caregivers.
Eye disorders are the fifth costliest to the U.S. economy after heart disease, cancer, emotional disorders and pulmonary conditions.
“Lions Clubs were instrumental to the establishment of America’s eye banking network”, said Kevin Corcoran, President and CEO of the Eye Bank Association of America. “Without their support, it’s almost inconceivable that we would now have an infrastructure that could provide over 70,000 corneas to people at home and abroad. Just as this study illustrates the value of eye banking in general, it clearly shows how the Lions’ impact continues to be felt today.”
The Eye Bank Association of America commissioned this study to determine the economic impact of corneal transplants. Researchers used previous years’ transplant numbers and census data to estimate total corneal transplants for the full 2013 calendar year.
The cost-benefit analysis depicted in the table below reveals that the lifetime benefit of the procedure is overwhelmingly greater than the costs of the surgery.
With a success rate greater than 95 percent, the one-hour procedure restores the patient’s sight and his or her quality of life. In fact, it’s one of the most common and least invasive transplant procedures. The EBAA study proves the value of the procedure and the economic benefit to the patient, family and society.
Corneal transplants also translate to direct federal and state government savings. This study assumed full retirement at age 65, so the net indirect cost savings is small for these patients, but the per-capita lifetime net medical benefits of $67,500 for patients age 65 or greater receiving corneal transplants in 2013 will save Medicare, Medicaid and patients a combined $2.4 billion nationally, and $1.2 billion among those communities served by Lions-affiliated eye banks.
For a full copy of the report, please contact EBAA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About EBAA: The Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA), established in 1961, is the oldest transplant association in the nation and champions the restoration of sight through corneal transplantation. Over 80 member eye banks operate in the United States, Canada and Asia. These eye banks made possible more than 70,000 sight-restoring corneal transplants in 2012 and the opportunity to perform more transplants is significant. Aside from those suffering from infections or communicable diseases, virtually everyone is a universal donor. The function of corneal tissue is not dependent on blood type, age, strength of eyesight or the color of the eye. To learn more, visit www.restoresight.org
* Savings calculations are determined by multiplying the net lifetime benefit by the number of patients we served in 2012.