Economic Cost Projections

The Cost of Vision project estimated the total economic burden of vision loss and eye disorders in the United States for all ages. Detailed methods and results are available in the Cost of Vision report at http://costofvision.preventblindness.org/downloads. Briefly, the Cost of Vision report calculated medical costs, costs of long-term care, productivity losses, and other direct and indirect costs incurred by the US economy in 2013. Medical costs were calculated from the Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys (MEPS) based on expenditures attributable to diagnosed eye disorders, self-reported low vision with no diagnosis, and vision correction costs including optometry expenses, which were collected separately from other costs in the MEPS data.[4] Costs of long-term care were calculated based on data from the National Nursing Home Survey and the Genworth Cost of Care survey.[5] Productivity losses were estimated based on data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation.[6] Other costs were estimated based on published data and government budgets.

In this analysis, we primarily present costs in real terms in which costs are reported in constant 2014 dollars, with future changes in cost due only to changes in demographics and medical intensity, a measure that captures changes in medical care utilization, standards of care and technology. We also report certain projections in nominal terms, in which costs are reported based on the expected dollar expenditures in future years by also indexing costs for general inflation, wage growth, and medical cost inflation. In all figures below, real costs are shown using solid lines, while nominal costs are shown using dashed lines.