Eye Surgery Program
Eye Surgery assistance is provided for individuals who meet a financial criteria of 200% of Federal Poverty Level, and are un- or under-insured. Lions Vision Services will pay for the costs of the physician, facility, and anesthesia for the client’s surgery.
Study after study reveals the link between our quality of life and the quality of our vision. We are more likely to have strong mental health and mitigate other health issues if we have good vision health. In South Carolina, people with severe vision impairment are 9% more likely to have diabetes, 18% more likely to have arthritis, and 26% more likely to have mobility issues. People with vision loss are also more likely to have depression, stroke, hearing loss, chronic kidney disease, balance problems, fall-related injuries, and early death.
These factors impose an estimated $2-3 billion economic burden on the State of South Carolina each year because of vision loss. The CDC underscores in its evaluation of vision healthcare services that, unfortunately, vision health is rarely included in public health programs designed to prevent or manage chronic diseases because of limited resources and competing priorities. As a result, most public health agencies lack the framework or guidelines they need to appropriately address vision and eye health as a public health issue.
This means that no service is more urgent or impactful than saving sight.
LVS Eye Surgeries
Since 1976 LVS has been saving sight for low income families in South Carolina through the Affordable Eye Surgery Program. Our Eye Surgery program currently addresses eye conditions related to cataracts (and subsequent yag capsulotomy treatments when necessary), cornea transplants, corneal cross linking, retinal detachments, glaucoma surgeries, eye lid related surgeries, pterygium surgeries, strabismus surgeries, and laser surgery, among others, with the principal goal of the program being to save and/or restore vision for each client. There are no age restrictions on who can apply for services through this program, making it the most comprehensive and inclusive eye surgery program of its kind in the state.
In order to prioritize the increasing demand for these services, LVS staff review the financial and personal health information of each applicant and weigh them against established qualifications and guidelines. Clients typically meet 150-200% of Federal Poverty Guidelines or below to qualify for assistance. The average annual income of an LVS Eye Surgery client is $14,500/year with an average of 3 dependents in each household.
Once approved LVS staff walk each client through the process of meeting with a physician to set post-op outcomes, scheduling the date of the surgery, and following up after the procedure. LVS will cover the cost of the physician, facility, and anesthesia for each client’s surgery. Transportation assistance is sometimes available based on where the client lives.
To provide these services LVS utilizes a statewide Provider Network of physicians (ophthalmologists), surgery centers, and anesthesiologists who have contractually agreed to provide a discounted rate on their services. This allows LVS to reduce the cost to our organization in providing these eye surgeries and leverage every $1 raised for an additional $5 in services provided. Members of our Provider Network include 122 entities spanning 25 counties in SC, 2 counties in Georgia, and 4 counties in NC.
We firmly believe in a compassionate, flexible, and client-centric philosophy in providing vision healthcare services. Our clients receive quality medical treatment with dignity, confidentiality, and compassion. Even when clients do not meet qualifications for our services, our staff are committed to helping clients find a viable resource to assist them and will utilize the extensive range of collaborative networks in our community to connect clients with other avenues of support.