LasikPlus 'Lifetime Warranty' Raises Patient Advocacy and Wall Street Concerns

May 09, 2007, 01:00 ET from Council for Refractive Surgery Quality Assurance

    SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Many Lasik clinics
 offer long-term warranties that offer additional services or a refund for
 the popular laser eye surgery, but the controversial practice of money back
 plans for medical care has raised concerns with the Council for Refractive
 Surgery Quality Assurance (, a nonprofit patient
 advocacy that evaluates patient outcomes and certifies Lasik doctors. The
 restatement of $48.9M of revenue loss by LCA-Vision, Inc., which operates
 63 LasikPlus centers across the nation, has Wall Street concerned as well.
     "It's admirable for a clinic to provide a high level of commitment to
 its patients, however the reality is that what constitutes a lifetime and
 what is covered may be a matter of contention and circumstance," says Glenn
 Hagele, Executive Director of "Are we talking about the
 lifetime of the patient, the doctor, or the corporation that employed the
     The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has raised a few questions
 too. On May 8th SEC concerns about LCA-Vision's reporting method for its
 "Lifetime Acuity Program" that promises to provide additional patient
 services prompted an amended earnings change effecting a reduction in
 revenues of $48.9 million and a reduction in retained earnings of $27.4
 million from 2002 to 2006.
     "A warranty of any kind is only as viable as the people who back it,"
 warns Hagele. In 2001 ICON, another national Lasik chain, suddenly filed
 for bankruptcy and left patients stranded. "Some patients found their
 warranty was good for a few days before the doors were closed."
     The Council for Refractive Surgery Quality Assurance
 ( is a nonprofit nongovernmental patient advocacy
 organization that evaluates and certifies doctors who perform surgery to
 reduce the need for corrective lenses.

SOURCE Council for Refractive Surgery Quality Assurance