For over 15 years, Holcomb C3-R® has been halting the worsening of Keratoconus. Many individuals have been able to resume living their lives to the fullest, spend time with their families, and resume working.
Unfortunately, those individuals with a Keratoconus diagnosis who have served or are attempting to enlist in the armed forces are not provided this opportunity.
We are constantly receiving inquiries and understand the frustration of these men and women who want to serve their country and are denied this due to a diagnosis of Keratoconus.
This News Story Put Pressure on Military to Re-Write Policy on Keratoconus
Keratoconus Affects Two Categories Of Military Members
Those Who Wish to Join the Military
MEPS is where keratoconus will exclude applicants because of Army Regulations of Standards of Medical Fitness, AR40-501, Chapter 2, section 12, c. While it is possible to seek a waiver with doctor’s records and comments, unfortunately, we have not seen any applicant receive a waiver.
Military Service Members Over 6 Months
If you fail Retention Standards, you should know there is the option to pursue Disability Evaluation System which you will be assigned a military attorney and who the opportunity to provide evidence about your Keratoconus status, if you had treatments, etc. A Physical Evaluation Board (comprised of two military officers and one physician) will evaluate your case and make a decision.
We at the Boxer Wachler Vision Institute are committed to all Keratoconus patients and continue to petition the Department of Defense to update their policies regarding Keratoconus.
Dr. Brian Surprises Army Hopeful with Keratoconus Treatment
Dr. Brian Helps Man Discharged from Military, Urges Updated Policy
Currently, the medical policy issued April 28, 2010, states that “The conditions listed in this enclosure are those that do NOT meet the standard by virtue of current diagnosis, or for which the candidate has a verified past medical history.”
Under a subset, the policy states, “Corneal dystrophy or degeneration of any type (371.x), including but not limited to Keratoconus (371.6x) of any degree.”
This policy is outdated and obviously does not reflect the current treatments that are available for keratoconus. Regrettably, they have not acknowledged any consideration for a reassessment of these policies to date.
We urge you to help as well by writing a letter requesting a medical policy change that would allow individuals with Keratoconus to enter the military with documented stability and appropriate visual acuity after receiving Holcomb C3-R® (Cornea Collagen Crosslinking).
Submit Letters To
Department of Defense
Medical Examination Review Board
1155 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1155
The Boxer Wachler Vision Institute is helping “leading the charge” at the grassroots level. It is our hope that an outpouring of support and requests for a reassessment of the policies may result in positive action on behalf of the Department of Defense. Individuals with Keratoconus should be able to live their lives just as much as any other person, and for many that includes a career in the Armed Forces.
Out Of Town Eye Patients – Complimentary Record / Photo Review
In our practice 58% of keratoconus patients travel from out of town (including out of state and out of the country). If you are interested, Dr. Brian can provide a complimentary record review prior to you scheduling an appointment at the institute. This will not only help to determine initial candidacy but also provide you with an estimate of pricing to help you prepare financially for the trip.
Records Review for Vision Correction and Keratoconus Procedures
A records review (for vision correction or Keratoconus procedures) is easy and the first step to improving your life. Here’s how to submit them to Dr. Brian:
- Request a copy of your most recent eye exam from your doctor – be sure they include your manifest refraction (prescription) with best corrected vision.
- Request a copy of your most recent cornea map (topography).
- Write a brief cover sheet explaining your current vision and situation.
- Include on the cover sheet the best phone number and e-mail to contact you.
Scan & E-mail
Sending By Mail
Boxer Wachler Vision Institute
ATTN: Records Review
465 N. Roxbury Drive, Suite 902
Beverly Hills, CA 90210