Photodynamic therapy with verteporfin: Observations on the introduction of a new treatment into clinical practice

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess adherence to Food and Drug Administration-approved indications and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services policy through June 2001 regarding the use of photodynamic therapy in Medicare beneficiaries. Design: Systematic review of pretreatment fluorescein angiograms of 1245 consecutive Medicare patients who received photodynamic therapy from physicians in 3 contiguous Medicare coverage areas (fee-for-service arrangement) and in 136 consecutive patients in a Medicare health maintenance organization. Results: In the 3 Medicare fee-for-service regions, payment denial due to nonconforming fluorescein angiograms ranged from 17% to 29% by region in 1245 beneficiaries. In the health maintenance organization setting, 60 (44%) of 136 submitted angiograms were nonconforming, including 8 in which the photographic quality was too poor to grade the lesion size, composition, or both. Conclusions: A substantial proportion of the actual or intended clinical application of photodynamic therapy with verteporfin was directed to patients who did not meet concurrent published clinical criteria associated with treatment benefit or national coverage policy. Although this policy has evolved, it still depends on fluorescein angiographic interpretation, suggesting that there is an opportunity to improve the cost-effectiveness of delivery of photodynamic therapy with verteporfin to Medicare beneficiaries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-63
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of ophthalmology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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