VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies, Inc., developer of the first FDA-approved ophthalmic telescope implant indicated to improve vision in patients with end-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD), announced today the expansion of its CentraSight™ provider teams nationwide. VisionCare's telescope implant is integral to the CentraSight treatment program (www.CentraSight.com), which helps patients follow the steps necessary for proper diagnosis, surgical evaluation and postoperative care. The telescope implant improves visual acuity and quality of life for those living with the most severe form of AMD and can help seniors become more independent and re-engage in everyday activities.
"Medicare patients who cannot be helped by available AMD therapies now have hope for improved vision and quality of life," said Henry L. Hudson, M.D, who was a principal investigator in the pivotal trial for FDA approval and lead author of VisionCare's FDA clinical trial outcomes publications. "For decades ophthalmologists had no answers for these patients. We are excited that the telescope implant is now available to this underserved patient population and to be the first provider team in our state to provide this to a Medicare patient."
Medicare provides coverage to patients in states across the country for eligible beneficiaries with the most advanced form of age-related macular degeneration – end-stage AMD. The eye disease is the leading cause of irreversible vision loss and legal blindness in older Americans. Patients with end-stage AMD have central blindness in both eyes that is uncorrectable by glasses, drugs or cataract surgery.
"The ability to provide a vital range of vision by implanting the telescope technology made a tremendous impact on my patients who were bilaterally blind from macular degeneration," said Kathryn Colby, M.D., Ph.D. "Implanting a telescope into the eye sounds like science fiction, but it is actually something we can do today as an outpatient procedure that many of the clinical trials patients found to be life changing."
VisionCare launched the CentraSight treatment program in October 2011 and is rapidly expanding provider team locations across the country to make this new option available to qualifying patients. Provider teams are comprised of multidisciplinary healthcare specialists trained in patient evaluation, surgical treatment and visual rehabilitation. Over 30 regional treatment teams in cities including Los Angeles, Chicago, Honolulu, Atlanta, Denver, New York, Boston, Tucson, Washington, D.C., Salt Lake City, Seattle, St. Louis and Charlotte are now accepting and actively screening patients to determine eligibility. To be considered a potential candidate for the telescope implant, patients must meet age, vision and cornea health requirements. To learn more about the telescope implant, CentraSight treatment program and locate a provider team, patients and physicians can call 1-877-99SIGHT or visit www.CentraSight.com.