Economic appraisal of the Boston Ocular Surface Prosthesis

Am J Ophthalmol. 2009 Dec;148(6):860-8.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2009.07.012. Epub 2009 Sep 24.


Purpose: To perform an economic appraisal of the Boston Ocular Surface Prosthesis in patients with corneal ectasia, irregular astigmatism, or ocular surface disease.

Design: Cost, incremental cost-effectiveness, and benefit-cost analyses in a prospective observational study.

Methods: The effects of this scleral lens on visual functioning were measured in 69 patients who received the prosthesis in 2006 and were reassessed 6 months after fitting the prosthesis. Benefits, based on improvements in visual functioning, were converted to quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), and economic values were derived using results from published studies. Costs were estimated from the provider organization's 2006 operating financial statement with additions for donated resources and future scale-up.

Results: Mean scores on a 100-point visual functioning questionnaire (VFQ-25) improved from 57.0 to 77.8 (P < .0001). On average, each fitted patient cost $11,841 ($6001 for clinical services and $5840 to produce the prosthesis). Patients' quality of life improved by 0.10 QALYs per year. Assuming that benefits persist for an average of 5 years, the lifetime gain was 0.48 QALYs; the average cost-effectiveness of the prosthesis was $24,900 per QALY (95% confidence interval $19,100 to $29,600), and the average benefit-cost ratio was 4.0 to 1. In patients with the lowest baseline scores (average VFQ score 38.6), results were even more favorable: cost-effectiveness $17,100 per QALY and benefit-cost ratio 5.6 to 1.

Conclusions: The Boston Ocular Surface Prosthesis is cost-effective and cost beneficial in patients with severely compromised visual function attributable to ectasia, irregular astigmatism, or ocular surface disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Astigmatism / economics
  • Astigmatism / rehabilitation
  • Conjunctival Diseases
  • Contact Lenses / economics*
  • Corneal Diseases
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Dilatation, Pathologic / economics
  • Dilatation, Pathologic / rehabilitation
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prosthesis Fitting
  • Quality of Life
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years
  • Sickness Impact Profile
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vision Disorders / economics*
  • Vision Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Visual Acuity