Volunteer Frequently Asked Questions | ASCRS
Operation Sight

Volunteer Frequently Asked Questions

Operation Sight Volunteers Frequently Asked Questions
What is Operation Sight?
Operation Sight is the ASCRS Foundation’s U.S. based charitable cataract surgery program. The program was launched in 2014 to serve financially vulnerable, uninsured or underinsured Americans who cannot afford or access care. The program screens and matches patients with its nationwide network of volunteer surgeons, who donate their time and services to those who could not otherwise afford the life-altering cataract surgery.  
What is the benefit of being an Operation Sight Volunteer?
Operation Sight screens pre-qualifying applicants to ensure they meet program patient requirements. This reduces the administrative burden on our volunteers and brings the eligible patients directly to the participating volunteer practice. It is always at the volunteer’s discretion on whether they can or cannot accept an Operation Sight patient at the time of a proposed match. 
Operation Sight is an opportunity for practices to give back within their local communities and to serve the most financially vulnerable patient populations.  
Will the patient be screened for medical necessity when they come to my practice?

If you would like the ASCRS Foundation to source the patients, there may be varying degrees of pre-op testing. Operation Sight does require a formal cataract diagnosis as part of the application process. However, patients may have varying details in the eye exam they provide. Some may have had a full documented exam, while others may have minimal information. We do our best to provide our volunteer surgeons with as much information as possible.  Typically, practices provide an evaluation appointment in advance to ensure the patient is a good candidate for surgery. 

Where does the initial exam and pre-op testing take place?

It is generally performed at your practice by your staff. Once the volunteer practice/surgeon has accepted the Operation Sight patient, the practice staff become responsible for all medical scheduling with the patient.  

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. 

Where does the surgery take place?

The surgery typically takes place at the ambulatory surgery center used by the volunteer surgeon.

What does the surgery center supply?
The center provides all supplies associated with cataract surgery, as well as the staff necessary to support the surgery and cataract care.  
Is the post-op care in my office?

Among the advantages to delivering cataract surgery is that the surgeon and the practice’s responsibility ends following the 90-day period. While the Operation Sight team will explain this to the patient, it is important that the surgeon or staff reinforce the message. Every surgeon can determine his/her own plan for post op care and visits. 

Please note that if glasses or contact lenses are needed, the patient would be financially responsible. 

After the 90-day global period, who then take over the care?

Following the 90-day post-op period, additional care is entirely the patient’s responsibility.  

Who pays for/supplies the pre/post-op medications?

The surgery center provides all supplies associated with cataract surgery, as well as the staff necessary to support the surgery.  
Please note that patients have been screened to be of financial need and should not be billed for the cataract surgery or its associated appointments/care. The practice waives these costs. The patient only becomes responsible for costs if additional care is required post the 90-day global cataract period. 

Who performs surgery on the 2nd eye (if applicable)?

If the surgeon would like to do the second eye through the Operation Sight program, the same process applies as with the first. If not, the volunteer must notify Operation Sight staff, so that we can work to match that patient with a different volunteer surgeon.  

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 due to another condition, unfortunately, that would fall outside the capability of the program to provide care. If this occurs, the volunteer should notify Operation Sight staff.   
Who carries the medical liability of the patient post-operatively?

Care through the Operation Sight program is limited to the 90-day global cataract surgery period. The surgeon’s responsibility and liability end with that period. This is explained to the patient, but volunteers should confirm this with the patient during their initial visit.  

Have any additional questions?

Please contact Jaya Minhas, Foundation Program Manager at jminhas@ascrs.org.


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