June 2022
Volume 63, Issue 7
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2022
Gender-based differences in Medicare reimbursements among ophthalmologists persist across time
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Omar Halawa
    Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
    Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • Sayuri Sekimitsu
    Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
    Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • Michael V Boland
    Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
    Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • Nazlee Zebardast
    Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
    Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Omar Halawa None; Sayuri Sekimitsu None; Michael Boland Carl Zeiss, Code C (Consultant/Contractor), Meditec, Code C (Consultant/Contractor), Topcon, Code C (Consultant/Contractor); Nazlee Zebardast None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2022, Vol.63, 3087. doi:
  • Views
  • Share
  • Tools
    • Alerts
      ×
      This feature is available to authenticated users only.
      Sign In or Create an Account ×
    • Get Citation

      Omar Halawa, Sayuri Sekimitsu, Michael V Boland, Nazlee Zebardast; Gender-based differences in Medicare reimbursements among ophthalmologists persist across time. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2022;63(7):3087.

      Download citation file:


      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

      ×
  • Supplements
Abstract

Purpose : Evaluate differences in Medicare reimbursements between men and women ophthalmologists between 2013 and 2019.

Methods : The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Physician and Other Supplier Public Use File was used to determine total reimbursements and number of charges submitted by MD or DO ophthalmologists between 2013 and 2019. Reimbursements were standardized to account for geographic differences in Medicare reimbursement per service. Billing codes were grouped into service categories including outpatient office visits and eye examinations, diagnostic testing, laser and surgery. Data from the American Community Survey (ACS) were used to determine zip-code-level socioeconomic characteristics (unemployment, poverty, income, and education) for the location of each physician’s practice. A multivariable linear regression model was used to evaluate differences in annual reimbursements by gender, accounting for calendar year, years of experience, total number of services, ACS zip-code data, and proportion of procedural services.

Results : Among 20,730 ophthalmologists who received Medicare reimbursements between 2013 and 2019, 15,722 (75.8%) were men. The most common billing codes submitted were for outpatient visits and eye examinations (17.7 million charges/year), diagnostic imaging of the retina (5.9 million charges/year), intra-vitreal injection (3.1 million charges) and removal of cataract with insertion of lens (2.3 million charges). Compared to men, women ophthalmologists received lower median annual reimbursements ($95,042.73, IQR 29,548.99-206,034.7 for women vs. $199,044.10, IQR 77,230.51-397,937.60 for men, p<0.001, Figure 1) and billed for a lower annual number of services (1,232, IQR 432-2484 vs. 2,302, IQR 988-4,252, respectively p<0.001). After adjustment for covariates, women ophthalmologists received $20,239.80 less in reimbursements than men (95% confidence interval -18,732.28 to -21,747.32, p <0.001). The greatest disparity in reimbursements was seen in vitreoretinal surgery, with women ophthalmologists earning 0.27 cents for each dollar earned by men (Figure 2).

Conclusions : Women ophthalmologists received less reimbursements from Medicare than men over time and across all categories of billing codes. Disparities in reimbursement persisted after controlling for physician and practice characteristics.

This abstract was presented at the 2022 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Denver, CO, May 1-4, 2022, and virtually.

 

 

×
×

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

Sign in or purchase a subscription to access this content. ×

You must be signed into an individual account to use this feature.

×