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AHRQ--Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: Advancing Excellence in Health Care

Topic Suggestion Description

View Topic Suggestion Disposition (PDF) 190 kB

Date submitted: January 28, 2014

Briefly describe a specific question, or set of related questions, about a health care test or treatment that this program should consider.
Does the implantation of the Argus II Retinal Device System improve the performance of the activities of daily living in patients with sever retinitis pigmentosa?


Describe why this topic is important.
The FDA issued an "Humanitarian Device Approval" in 2013 for the Argus II Retinal System. A surgeon implants part of this device in the retina of persons with severe retinitis pigmentosa. The implanted portion consists of numerous small electrodes that are implanted over the surface of the retina. The external portion consists of a small video camea mounted on the glasses with a transmitter that transmits the image to the implanted electrode array. Current estimates of the cost are in the $140,000 range for the intital implantation in a single patient.

Potential Impact

How will an answer to your research question be used or help inform decisions for you or your group?
If this improves the ADLs of the patients partially blinded by retinitis pigmentosa, then Medicare contractors might choose to cover this procedure.

Nominator Information

Other Information About You: (optional)
Please choose a description that best describes your role or perspective: (you may select more than one category if appropriate)
Medical Director for Medicare Contractor
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