Frequently Asked Questions
What is Operation Sight?
Operation Sight is the ASCRS Foundation’s U.S-based charitable cataract surgery program. The program matches eligible cataract patients with volunteer surgeons who are members of the Operation Sight Network. The Operation Sight Network includes volunteer surgeons from the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) and other established charitable organizations. Operation Sight strives to provide accessible care in the home communities of eligible patients.
Who qualifies for the Operation Sight program?
To be eligible for the Operation Sight program patients must be at or below the 200% Federal Poverty Level defined by the Federal Poverty Guidelines, uninsured or underinsured (insurance must not cover cataract surgery), and must have a formal cataract diagnosis where cataract surgery has been deemed medically necessary.
Does Operation Sight help with co-pays?
Operation Sight does not assist with the payment of co-pays or out of pocket costs through private insurance.
Do insured patients qualify for the Operation Sight program?
To qualify as an Operation Sight patient, patients must be uninsured or underinsured (If insured, patients must not have insurance that would cover cataract surgery). Medicare Part B patients do not qualify for the Operation Sight program.
How does Operation Sight financially qualify a patient to receive charitable cataract surgery?
When applying to become an Operation Sight patient, you will be asked to document your household income. To be eligible for the Operation Sight program, a patient must show annual household income of less than 200% of the federal poverty level. Proof of income can be submitted in the form of a W-2 or monthly paystub, or through your annual tax return.
If unemployed, a copy of any financial award letters from disability, social security, food stamps, retirement fund/pension, alimony, or unemployment offices. If unemployed and living with family members or friends, send proof of the household income and letter from family confirming they are financially supporting the applicant.
When and how will I be notified on my application status?
If an email is listed, patients will be notified via email within 7-10 business days of submitting their completed application. If no email is provided we will contact you via telephone, and inform you on your status. If an application is incomplete an ASCRS Foundation staff member will contact you to request the additional information or documentation needed. Applications are placed on hold until all information or documentation requested has been provided.
How long will it take a patient to receive charitable cataract surgery through Operation Sight once approved?
Operation Sight charitable surgeries are done by volunteer surgeons at their own facilities and must be worked into their existing surgical schedule. Operation Sight volunteers are donating their surgical services and office visits to you. Some may happen quickly, others may require a wait of several months. Acceptance to the Operation Sight does not guarantee surgery. There is no single set timeframe for when an approved applicant will receive surgery. It is dependent on the location of the patient and the availability of a volunteer surgeon in the patient’s home city or town.
What happens once I’ve been matched to a volunteer surgeon?
The volunteer surgeon who has accepted your case will have his or her staff members contact you via telephone to schedule a pre-operative eye exam.
We ask that you keep us updated in case there is a change in the telephone number(s) provided on your application. Please call the ASCRS Foundation at 703-788-5787 to update your information.
What happens if the initial exam indicates that the patient has another condition, such as glaucoma?
At this point in time, the Operation Sight program is only for cataract surgery. If the surgeon determines that the patient is not a good candidate for surgery due to another condition, the patient will – unfortunately – not be eligible for the Operation Sight program.
Does the patient supply their own transportation?
Yes, the patient is responsible for getting to and from the office/surgery center for both pre- and post-op exams and the surgery.
Who performs the cataract surgery?
The Operation Sight network program includes a network of established charitable organizations and ASCRS (American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery) member volunteer surgeons who perform the surgeries.
Where does the surgery take place?
The surgery takes place at the ambulatory surgery center used by the volunteer surgeon.
Who is responsible for the post-op care?
The volunteer surgeon/practice will provide routine follow-on care for a 90-day period following cataract surgery. After the 90-day period, if additional post-op care is required, it then becomes the responsibility of the patient.
Have any additional questions? Please contact the ASCRS Foundation at 703-788-5787.