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Giving Back: Free Cataract Surgery for National Sight Week

Dr. Elmer's team holding a banner for National Sight week in one of our surgery centers

Thousands of Americans develop cataracts every year. Four million cataract procedures are performed annually in the United States, but this doesn’t begin to cover the number of people with cataracts in our nation. Hundreds of Americans cannot afford cataract surgery, putting them at risk of permanent vision loss.

Fichte Endl & Elmer Eyecare is partnering with the American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) for the third annual National Sight Week (October 14-20, 2018) to combat the growing rate of blindness caused by cataracts.

What is National Sight Week?

During National Sight Week, ASCRS Foundation’s Operation Sight partners offer charitable cataract surgeries to the underinsured and uninsured. Operation Sight matches eligible patients with volunteer surgeons, such as Michael J. Endl, MD and Thomas R. Elmer, MD, for free cataract surgery.

Hundreds of cataract procedures are performed by Operation Sight volunteer surgeons annually, with many of these procedures conducted during National Sight Week to bring awareness to the number of underinsured Americans today.

Who qualifies for Operation Sight?

According to the ASCRS, eligible patients must prove an annual household income less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level. This can be proven via a W-2, monthly paystub, or annual tax return. Applicants must also undergo an eye exam to determine if the patient is a good candidate for cataract surgery – namely a patient with a valid cataract diagnosis causing a substantial vision decrease and no additional conditions that could hinder the procedure.

Eligible patients must also lack a form of insurance that could cover the cataract procedure offered by Operation Sight. Examples of this include the uninsured or underinsured, such as those with only Medicaid A (without the Medicaid B plan).

What is included in the program?

During National Sight Week, the volunteer surgeon will perform the cataract surgery and provide the routine follow-up care for a 90-day period. Additional care after the 90-day period is the responsibility of the patient.

We are currently identifying potential patients to receive free cataract surgery during National Sight Week (October 14-20, 2018). If you believe you or a loved one could be eligible for the procedure, apply as soon as possible to complete the vetting process prior to surgery.

For more information about National Sight Week or the charitable work performed by Fichte Endl & Elmer Eyecare annually, please call 1-800-309-2020.