Socioeconomics of retinopathy of prematurity in-hospital care

Arch Ophthalmol. 2010 Aug;128(8):1055-8. doi: 10.1001/archophthalmol.2010.151.


Objective: To determine if there was any uniform experience across the United States relative to retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) services provided, reimbursement, and malpractice insurance coverage.

Methods: An online pediatric ophthalmology listserv poll queried pediatric ophthalmologists regarding ROP screening, reimbursement, malpractice insurance, and call and consult coverage.

Results: Compensation for providing ROP services is quite variable around the United States. The Southern respondents reported the highest contract income while the Northeast reported the lowest. The mean annual contract income was $63 753 and the median annual contract income was $39 000. There was an even distribution between physicians vs hospitals providing malpractice coverage. There was also a fairly even distribution between physicians who do and do not provide consult and call coverage.

Conclusions: Nationwide, there is no standard rate of compensation for ROP in-hospital care, coverage of liability insurance, or providing additional consult or on-call services. Income generation performing ROP screening examinations is roughly half what a pediatric ophthalmologist can generate by seeing patients in the clinic or performing surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care / standards*
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Services Research
  • Hospitalization / economics*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Insurance, Liability / economics*
  • Malpractice / economics
  • Neonatal Screening / standards
  • Ophthalmology / economics
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / standards
  • Reimbursement Mechanisms / economics*
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / diagnosis*
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / therapy*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States