CMS Establishes New Ambulatory Surgery Center Payment for Samsara Vision’s Telescope Implant for Macular Degeneration

CMS decision will provide patients access to Samsara Visions AMD telescope in surgical facilities where 80% of ophthalmic surgeries are conducted

Saratoga, CA – November 3, 2014

Samsara Vision Ophthalmic Technologies, Inc. a developer of advanced visual prosthetic devices for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), today announced the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will reimburse the Implantable Miniature Telescope (by Dr. Isaac Lipshitz) under a revised Ambulatory Payment Classification designation, APC 0351, Level V Intraocular Procedures. The announcement was included as part of CMS’ CY 2015 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) Payment System final rule.

The outpatient surgical procedure for telescope implantation has been restricted to hospitals until now due to current reimbursement rules, despite the fact that approximately 80 percent of ophthalmic surgical procedures are performed in local ASCs. The CMS ruling provides the mechanisms needed for broad ASC adoption of the therapy, which will significantly improve patient access and bolster ophthalmologist and healthcare provider efficiency. When the new designation for APC 0351 code takes effect on January 1, 2015, reimbursement payment levels will increase overall and ASC payment levels will be comparable to those paid to hospital outpatient departments.

Studies show that telescope implantation in individuals with bilateral end-stage AMD significantly improves vision and quality of life and is also cost-effective. The telescope implant is the integral component of Samsara Vision’s comprehensive treatment program called CentraSight®, which helps patients follow the steps necessary for proper diagnosis, surgical evaluation, implantation and postoperative care. Full prescribing information, including indications, contraindications, risks and benefits associated with the telescope implant can be found at

“We envisioned and designed the CentraSight program to function within the Medicare system to better assure the telescope implant will be broadly assessable and within financial reach of most Medicare eligible individuals,” said Allen W. Hill, President and Chief Executive Officer, Samsara Vision Ophthalmic Technologies. “It is vitally important to both patients and their healthcare providers that our telescope implant procedure be available and economically viable in local ASCs where ophthalmologists conduct the vast majority of their surgical procedures. This CMS ruling will go a long way in helping make this a reality.”

About CentraSight and the Telescope Implant
The Implantable Miniature Telescope (by Dr. Isaac Lipshitz) is indicated for monocular implantation to improve vision in patients greater than or equal to 65 years of age with stable severe to profound vision impairment (best-corrected distance visual acuity 20/160 to 20/800) caused by bilateral central scotomas (blind areas) associated with end-stage AMD. This level of visual impairment constitutes statutory (legal) blindness. Smaller than a pea, the telescope is implanted in one eye in an outpatient surgical procedure. In the implanted eye, the device renders enlarged central vision images over a wide area of the retina to improve central vision, while the non-operated eye provides peripheral vision for mobility and orientation. The telescope implant is the only FDA approved surgical device for end-stage AMD.

Patients and physicians can learn more about the telescope implant by visiting or calling 1-877-99-SIGHT.

About Samsara Vision Ophthalmic Technologies
Samsara Vision Ophthalmic Technologies, Inc., headquartered in Saratoga, CA, is a privately-held company. The Company and its ISO 13485 certified and FDA registered manufacturing and R&D facility are focused on development, manufacturing, and marketing of implantable ophthalmic devices and technologies that are intended to improve vision and quality of life for individuals with end-stage age-related macular degeneration. Samsara Vision’s Implantable Miniature Telescope was invented by company founders Yossi Gross and Isaac Lipshitz.

Media Contact:
Jessica Daitch

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