David H. Abramson, MD
Chief, Ophthalmic Oncology Service, Department of Surgery
Retinoblastoma; Ocular Melanomas (Melanoma of the Eye); Uveal Melanoma; Orbital Tumors; Ophthalmic Oncology
New Patient Appointments
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Accepted Insurance Providers
Dr. Abramson accepts the following list of insurance providers. Select your insurance provider to see more details.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with Aetna HMO, POS, and PPO plans. Aetna does not include us in any of the plans you can purchase through the insurance exchanges or through Medicare. Please ask your insurance if you need a one-time referral.
In New York State
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield (Wellpoint) of New York HMO, EPO, PPO, and POS plans, with the following exceptions:
- Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield does not include us in any of the plans you can buy through the insurance exchanges.
- Memorial Sloan Kettering is not an in-network provider for Empire's Medicare Managed Care plan known as Mediblue).
- The Empire Indemnity Plan provides limited coverage for our services.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Blue Cross Blue Shield.
In New Jersey
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with some Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey plans for individuals, families, and small businesses. For example, the PPO plan is in-network with our Manhattan locations.
Horizon Blue Cross HMO is only in-network with our Basking Ridge, Bergen and Monmouth locations. It does not allow access to our Manhattan facilities.
Horizon Blue Cross PPO is in network with our Basking Ridge, Bergen, Monmouth and Manhattan locations.
OMNIA Plans: Tier I EPO based plan policy is only in-network with our Basking Ridge, Bergen and Monmouth locations and does not allow access to our Manhattan sites. Tier II EPO is only in-network with our Manhattan sites if it is a blue-card plan (there would be a suitcase logo indicating PPO on the front of the card).
Other plans may only be in-network at our Basking Ridge, Bergen or Monmouth locations.
Outside New York State and New Jersey
Some, but not all, Blue Cross Blue Shield plans outside of New York and New Jersey include Memorial Sloan Kettering as an in-network provider. Contact your insurance to find out if your plan provides in-network access to Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with CIGNA's HMO, POS, and PPO plans. CIGNA does not include us in any of the plans you can buy through the insurance exchanges.
- If you are a New York State resident: Please ask your insurance if you need a one-time referral.
- If you live outside of New York State: Please ask your insurance if you have in-network access to Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with EmblemHealth’s PPO, EPO, POS, and HMO plans as well as their Enhanced Care Prime Network, which supports Medicaid Managed Care and Child Health Plus plans. Memorial Sloan Kettering is also in-network with the New York State Essential Emblem Health plan, which can be purchased on the insurance exchange. Emblem Health does not include us in any of its Medicare plans or in any of its Select Care network plans. You must bring a referral from your Emblem primary care doctor to your first appointment.
Formerly known as Health Plus Amerigroup, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Plus is an in-network provider with Memorial Sloan Kettering. You will need a one-time referral from your primary care doctor.
We understand that there may be many complexities involved with insurance coverage purchased through the health exchange network of the Affordable Care Act. We're here to help. If you have questions about how your care will be covered by an insurance provider, or need help navigating a change in coverage, please call us at 646-227-3378; if you are not a resident of New York, you can call us at 866-248-1274. Our team is here to listen to your concerns and assist you in any way we can. We want our care to be as accessible and affordable for as many people as possible.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with HealthSmart’s Accel, HSPC, and HPO networks.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Humana.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Interlink Health Services.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Lifetrac.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider for all MagnaCare health plans except those products you can buy through the insurance exchanges.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with Medicaid NY Emblem Health (formerly known as HIP) and Medicaid NY Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield HealthPlus (formerly known as Amerigroup). You will need a one-time referral from your primary care doctor.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with some Multiplan/Beech Street/PHCS plans. Contact your insurance carrier to find out if your plan provides in-network access to Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Multiplan.
If you are covered by more than one insurance plan, you will want to determine your benefits from both plans. First, you need to determine which one is your primary insurance provider by contacting your employee benefits office or your insurance carriers. After you find out which is your primary insurance provider, you should then contact your insurance carrier to determine if you have access to Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with some MVP plans. Contact your insurance carrier to find out if your plan provides in-network access to Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider for New York State employees who have enrolled in UnitedHealthcare's Cancer Resource Services. If you have the Empire Plan, you should call Cancer Resources Services at 866-936-6002 to verify and enroll in this coverage.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is in-network with Oscar's Circle Plus Network, a part of its Small Group Broad line that is offered only to select small business groups. Oscar does not include Memorial Sloan Kettering as an in-network provider for any of its individual plans. Please confirm eligibility with your insurance carrier.
We have agreements with several insurance companies that may provide additional coverage for cancer patients. These benefit programs include:
- AXA Assistance USA
- Beech Street
- Integrated Health Plans
- National Health Administrators
- National Preferred Provider Network
- UnitedHealthcare's Cancer Resource Services
- United Resource Network
- Veterans Choice Program
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with Oxford’s Freedom and Liberty plansas well as the Metro Plan (which is only offered to small business groups and no longer offered as individual plans). Please confirm with your insurance if you need a one-time referral. Note: Oxford's Medicare Managed Care plan — Secure Horizon — does not include Memorial Sloan Kettering as an in-network provider. Oxford does not include us in any of the plans you can buy through the insurance exchanges.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with QualCare's PPO and HMO/POS network.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Specialty Care Management.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with UnitedHealthCare's HMO, POS, and PPO plans. Please confirm with your insurance if a one-time referral is needed.
UnitedHealthCare's Medicare Managed Care plan does not include Memorial Sloan Kettering as an in-network provider.
United does not include us in any of the plans you can buy through the insurance exchanges.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by UnitedHealthcare.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with the World Trade Center Health Program.
Contact and Location
Find a Convenient Location
Memorial Sloan Kettering has locations throughout New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, and Westchester. These locations offers many services, including screening, chemotherapy, and medical testing.
MD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Ophthalmology - Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center
Ophthalmology - Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center
I am a board-certified ophthalmologist with specialty training in opthalmic oncology. I am Chief of the Ophthalmic Oncology Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the only service of its kind dedicated to ophthalmic oncology in a cancer hospital in the US. Because of our close association with specialists in pediatrics, radiation oncology, and medicine, we are able to offer coordinated, state-of-the-art care with access to novel therapies and clinical trials not available anywhere else in the country.
Ophthalmic oncologists are ophthalmologists who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer on the surface of the eye, in the eye, and in the tissues around the eye (the lids and orbit). I have a joint appointment in Surgery, Pediatrics, and Radiation Oncology.
I have had extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of cancers in and around the eye. These cancers are all rare and are usually diagnosed without biopsy, so experience is very important in arriving at the correct diagnosis every time. To help make a diagnosis we use the latest in diagnostic digital imaging and ultrasound, including standardized A and B scan, in addition to high frequency anterior segment ultrasound (“ultrasonic biomicroscopy,” or UBM), OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography), digital imaging and needle biopsy when indicated.
The most common cancer we see is melanoma in the eye, also known as ocular melanoma. We offer the most sophisticated diagnostic and therapeutic option for these cancers, including brachytherapy (radioactive material sealed in needles, seeds, wires, or catheters is placed directly into or near a tumor) with radioactive iodine and ruthenium. Our medical physicists and brachytherapy team are internationally respected for their expertise in delivering individually designed treatment for each patient. In collaboration with Memorial Sloan Kettering’s melanoma team, we are now offering a Phase II trial for the first targeted molecule in the treatment of melanoma of the eye (uveal melanoma) that has spread, or metastasized, to another part of the body.
Our retinoblastoma center, with records that go back to 1914, is the longest continually operating center of its kind in the world, with the longest follow-up of the largest number of patients. We have a newly-constructed examination suite dedicated to caring for children with retinoblastoma, which has all the modern equipment used to diagnose and treat retinoblastoma.
I have introduced many new treatments for retinoblastoma that have been adopted by other cancer hospitals worldwide. These treatments include the novel use of chemotherapy delivered around the eye to prevent systemic toxicity of intravenous medication; and in 2006, the use of high concentration — but low dose — chemotherapy delivered directly into the eye via a catheter placed in the groin, administered on an outpatient basis. Our studies on the long-term complications in this disease have been published extensively in the Journal of the American Medical Association as well as ophthalmic and oncology journals.
I have published more than 400 books, chapters, original articles, scientific reviews, audiotapes, and videotapes, and I was the editor of the American Academy’s instruction book on ophthalmic oncology. I have delivered more than 400 lectures worldwide, including in France, Italy, Switzerland, Israel, China, Hong Kong, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, Brazil, and Argentina.
Among the many honors I have received are awards from the Swiss Ophthalmological Society, The Association for Research in Vision, the Helen Keller Society, and the New York State Ophthalmological Society. I have received many teaching awards, and I have received the Honor Award, the Senior Honor Award, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Awards and Honors
- Castle Connolly: New York Magazine Top Doctors (2002-2018)
Doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering work as teams, with specialists from all different areas. This allows us to consider all your needs together, and to give you the best possible care.
Clinical Trials Co-Investigated by Dr. Abramson
- Effect of Treatment on Quality of Life in Survivors of Retinoblastoma in One Eye
Find a Clinical Trial for You
Memorial Sloan Kettering's doctors and scientists are constantly developing new treatments for cancer. MSK is typically running hundreds of clinical trials at a given time.
You may be able to participate in a clinical trial even if you are new to MSK. Search our online directory to find trial information and see more about who can participate.
Research and Publications
Abramson, DH, Marr, BP, Brodie, SE, Dunkel, IJ, Palioura, S, Gobin, YP. Opthalmic Artery Chemosurgery for Less Advanced Intraocular Retinoblastoma: Five Year Review, PLoSONE 2012 April 7(4):1-5.
Marr, BP, Hung, C, Gobin, YP, Dunkel, IJ, Brodie, SE, Abramson, DH. Success of intra-arterial chemotherapy (chemosurgery) for retinoblastoma: effect of orbitovascular anatomy. Arch Opthalmol. 2012 Feb; 130(2):180-185
Marr, BP, Brodie, SE, Dunkel, IJ, Gobin, YP, Abramson, DH. Three-drug intra-arterial chemotherapy using simultaneous carboplatine, topotecan, and melphan for intraocular retinoblastoma: preliminary results, Br J. Ophthalmol. 2012 Aug 3. (Epup ahead of print)
Abramson, DH, Gobin, YP, Marr, BP, Dunkel, IJ, Brodie, SE. Intra-arterial chemotherapy for retinoblastoma, Ophthalmology. 2012 Aug;119(8):1720-1721
Friedman, DN, Sklar, CA, Oeffinger, KC, Kernan, NA, Khakoo, Y, Marr, BP, Wolden, SL, Abramson, DH. Long-term medical outcomes in survivors of extra-ocular retinoblastoma: The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) experience. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2013 Apr; 60(4):694-9.Doi: 10.1002/pbc.24280. Epub 2012 Aug21
Gobin, YP, Dunkel, IJ, Marr, BP, Francis, JH, Brodie, SE, Abramson, DH. Combined sequential intravenous and intra-arterial chemotherapy (bridge chemotherapy) for young infants with retinoblastoma. PLoS One. 2012;7(9):e44322
Brodie, SE, Munier, FL, Francis, JH, Marr, BP, Brodie, SE, Gobin, YP. Ophthalmic artery chemosurgery for retinoblastoma prevents m new intraocular tumors. Ophthalmology 2013 Mar; 120(3):560-5. Doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2012.08.023
Liu, CY, Jonna, G, Francis, JH, Marr, BP, Abramson, DH, Brodie, SE. Non-selectivity of ERG reductions in eyes treated for retinoblastoma, Doc Ophthalmol. 2013 Nov 9. (Epub ahead of print)
Abramson, DH. Retinoblastoma: saving life with vision. Annu Rev Med. 2014 Jan 14;65:171-84. Doi: 10.1146/annurev-med-061312-123455.
Publications on PubMed
Visit PubMed for a full listing of Dr. Abramson’s journal articles. Pubmed is an online index of research papers and other articles from the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.