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New Medicare Policy Allows Seniors Access to Crystalens

Eyeonics Inc.-led effort results in expanded reimbursement policy for presbyopia correcting IOLs.

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The Crystalens changes focus by moving within the eye, mimicking natural vision.


ALISO VIEJO, Calif., May 10, 2005 /PRNewswire/ -- Eyeonics, inc. today announced that the Crystalens(TM) procedure can now be privately purchased by Medicare beneficiaries. Crystalens is the first and only FDA-approved naturally focusing (accommodating) vision-correction lens replacement for adults with cataracts and presbyopia.

Crystalens is the most advanced intraocular lens (IOL) currently available, yet the previous Medicare reimbursement policy did not allow its beneficiaries to opt for this advanced technology for cataract surgery. Culminating a five-year effort, Eyeonics led the way in affecting this policy change, working with U.S. Congressman Christopher Cox (Newport Beach, Calif.), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, physicians and ophthalmic industry leaders.

"More than 2.2 million cataract surgeries are performed each year on patients age 65 and over," said J. Andy Corley, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Eyeonics. "Yet as vision technologies advanced, Medicare reimbursement did not keep pace."

"This policy change means that patients will have the right to choose a vision correction technology that best meets their lifestyle and visual demands. It also gives doctors the freedom to offer innovative technologies such as the Crystalens for their Medicare patients," said ophthalmologist Steven J. Dell, MD, of the Texan Eye Care in Austin, Texas.

Seniors on Medicare now can choose the presbyopia-correcting Crystalens, which focuses and moves in the eye like the natural lens thanks to its proprietary accommodating characteristics. The Crystalens is designed to treat two conditions: cataract removal with lens replacement (a procedure covered by Medicare) and presbyopia (a non-covered service). Patients who select Crystalens will receive the standard Medicare reimbursement for cataract surgery, and can now pay privately for the presbyopic portion of the treatment.

Presbyopia is an inevitable age-related eye condition that makes it difficult to read or see objects up-close without the use of reading glasses. Presbyopia is the first sign of a cataract and is the most prevalent eye condition in America. It causes the crystalline lens to increasingly stiffen, lose flexibility and cloud, diminishing its focusing ability.

Crystalens corrects vision at all distances and in most cases eliminates the need for glasses and contacts for everyday tasks. Its ability to focus at all distances frees most patients from the need for glasses following cataract surgery. In clinical trials, nearly three-times the number of patients (85 percent) who received the Crystalens could see at all distances compared to a standard IOL.

"This ruling greatly expands the market opportunity for Crystalens now that doctors can offer a presbyopic treatment to their Medicare patients with cataracts," said Corley. "This policy change would not have been possible without the support and efforts of Congressman Cox. Medicare beneficiaries now have the same access to this new technology that was previously available only to non-Medicare patients."

About Crystalens

The Crystalens is the result of more than 14 years of research and development by J. Stuart Cumming, M.D., F.A.C.S., and was approved by the FDA in November 2003. More than 24,000 lenses have been implanted worldwide to date. During clinical trials, all of the patients who received the Crystalens greatly reduced their need for corrective lenses or eyeglasses. The patented Crystalens technology is designed to allow the lens to move in the eye in a manner similar to the natural lens. By using the eye's muscle to move the lens back and forwards naturally, patients can focus through a continuous range of vision including near, far and everywhere in between. All other intraocular lenses are designed to remain fixed in the eye. For more information about the Crystalens go to

About Eyeonics Inc.

Eyeonics is a privately held medical device company headquartered in Aliso Viejo, Calif., founded in 1998. Eyeonics is committed to developing a new class of visual enhancement systems that will enable patients to see up close, far away and all distances in between. For more information about Eyeonics, inc., go to

Click for more information regarding Medicare policy changes for presbyopic lenses

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