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Looking Back at 5 Years of iOR Partners

Fueled by a vision to redefine surgical excellence through physician-led care, iOR Partners has disrupted the ophthalmic industry with a rare healthcare model that unites patients, providers, and payors. Office-based surgery (OBS) is an unprecedented move to physician-led healthcare that’s safe, convenient, and efficient. 

In just five years, iOR Partners has become the undisputed leader in ophthalmic office-based surgery with 100+ iOR Suites® nationwide, 47,000+ successful outcomes, and 163,000 reimbursement claims paid (53,700 were Medicare). 

Visionary Beginning 

Founders Tony Burns, Daniel Durrie, MD, and Rick Prell foresaw a critical imbalance of supply and demand for the most performed procedure in healthcare – cataract surgery. Together, they envisioned a delivery model that addresses the capacity issue, streamlines patient care, and puts surgeons fully in control of the process. iOR Partners and the office-based surgery movement was born.  

Evolution of iOR Partners and the Office-Based Surgery Movement 

While iOR Partners was established in 2018, the seeds of OBS were planted long before.  

2005 – 1st Office-Based Surgery Suite Opens 
Future iOR founder, Tony Burns, develops the first ophthalmic OBS suite at a practice in California. The practice administrator and future iOR COO, Alex Jacobe, is a strong force in the process. Together, they begin to refine the OBS model for the practice and develop a billing methodology for OBS reimbursement. 

2015 – 21,000+ Successful Outcomes in the Office Setting
A study published by Kaiser Permanente shows that office-based surgery is safe and effective for cataract procedures. This prompts CMS to acknowledge a future need for OBS. 

2018 – iOR Partners is Born 
Tony Burns, Daniel Durrie, MD, and Rick Prell, meet at AAO to discuss the future of cataract surgery and visions for a more effective model. Together, they establish iOR Partners.  

2019 – 1st iOR Suite Opens 
The first iOR Suite launches at Precision Eye Institute in Edgewater, FL. Two more open by the end of the year. 

2020 – iOR Safety Data Presented to CMS 
Tony Burns and Daniel Durrie, MD meet with CMS in Washington D.C. to share iOR safety data and begin discussions on nationwide reimbursement.  
14 iOR Suites are open. 

2021 – COVID Accelerates the OBS Movement 
The countless advantages that OBS offers over other types of facilities become even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic. Surgical practices have to adapt quickly and providers begin to evaluate OBS for more control and flexibility.  
27 iOR Suites are open. 

2022 – CMS Proposed Rule for OBS Reimbursement 
iOR Partners submits CMS proposal for revaluation of non-facility payment rates. While not in the final rule, the agency stated that they will continue to evaluate these procedures in the non-facility setting. OBS surgeons continue receiving a Secondary-Local reimbursement of their professional fee based on local Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) codes, instead of a Traditional Primary-National reimbursement of the facility fee. This is in addition to their standard professional fee. iOR continues productive conversations with AAO and CMS regarding the valuation of cataract and glaucoma codes. 

James Williams (JW), joins iOR as President and CEO. 51 iOR Suites are open.  

2023 – 68,000+ Successful Outcomes in the Office Setting 
A study published in the Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery shows outcomes as good as or better than those in other settings.  iOR ‘s occurrence data of 47,000+ cases combined with Kaiser’s 2016 data confirm that OBS is the epitome of safe and effective surgery. 

71 iOR Suites are open and 30 in development. According to Market Scope, 2.5% of cataract surgeries are performed in the OBS. 

Looking Toward the Future 

As we begin a new year, 30 iOR Suites are in development and scheduled to open by Q2 2024. OBS is becoming more widely accepted as a standard of care in ophthalmology and other specialties. The evolution of OBS closely mirrors the transition from hospital-based surgery to ASC-based surgery. A recent survey showed 67% of surgeons plan to implement OBS in the next five years.   

What really makes iOR Partners special is our amazing team of people who are passionate about what they do. We have a powerful force dedicated to reimagining surgical excellence that is physician-led healthcare that’s safe, convenient, and efficient. The sky’s the limit during the next five years of iOR!