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What's Happening 

January 2013 Notebook 1
EYESMART SUCCESS. Monthly page views
of www.eyesmart.org have increased from 113,000 in 2011 to 1 million.

EyeSmart Surpasses 1 Million Page Views Per Month

On Oct. 25, the Academy’s public-facing website, www.geteyesmart.org, hit 1 million page views for the month. EyeSmart provides comprehensive, medically accurate information created by ophthalmologists to inform the public about eye diseases and conditions and related treatment options. The site has expanded over the past year and a half to include more content, rotating feature stories, and a Spanish version. These features, in addition to promotion on Facebook and Twitter, have increased the site’s success from 113,000 page views per month in May 2011 to the current total of more than 1 million views per month.

This is a significant achievement as the Academy approaches the fifth anniversary of the launch of its public communications channel. With the support of Academy members and staff, as well as the public, EyeSmart is becoming the preferred online destination for information about eye health.

For more information, visit www.geteyesmart.org.

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For the Record

Election Results

On Nov. 12, voting opened for four positions on the 2013 board of trustees. One month later, voting closed, and the results are as follows:

  • President-elect: Gregory L. Skuta, MD
  • Senior Secretary for Clinical Education: Louis B. Cantor, MD
  • Trustee-at-large: Thomas A. Oetting, MD
  • Trustee-at-large: Mildred M. G. Olivier, MD

For more information on the board of trustees, which is the policy-making body of the Academy, visit www.aao.org/bot, where you can see biographies of all the current members.

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Nominations for the Academy Board in 2014

By Ruth D. Williams, MD

As past president of the Academy, it is my privilege to serve as chairwoman of the Academy Nominating Committee in 2013. This committee represents a variety of interests within the Academy and is charged with identifying appropriate candidates for the open positions on the 2014 board of trustees.

We are especially interested in identifying leaders in our profession with experience in confronting the critical issues facing organized medicine and who reflect the strength and diversity of our members. The Academy’s leaders should be knowledgeable, experienced, and prepared to devote the time and energy required by a large organization in these challenging times. This work is both demanding and rewarding for those interested in helping to assure the Academy’s success and responsiveness to members. With these characteristics in mind, I ask you to assist the committee by suggesting appropriate candidates for the following positions in 2014:

  • President-elect (to serve as president in 2015). Because the president-elect automatically becomes president the following year, it is crucial that nominees are individuals who have had leadership experience within the Academy. They also should have demonstrated leadership qualities in clinical practice, in their own ophthalmic communities, and in other medical or ophthalmological organizations.
  • Senior Secretary for Ophthalmic Practice (three-year term). This senior secretary coordinates the programs and activities relating to the management and practice of ophthalmology.
  • Secretary for Annual Meeting (three-year term). This secretary is responsible for all Academy programs at the Annual Meeting and Subspecialty Day. Jonathan Rubenstein, MD, is currently serving the third year of his term and is eligible for a second term.
  • Trustee-at-large (four-year term). This individual should be an Academy fellow who is especially attuned to the needs and expectations of our members. In addition to demonstrating strong leadership potential, he or she should be able to represent and articulate to the Academy board the needs and concerns of members.
  • One public trustee (a renewable three-year appointment; an advisor to and member of the board of trustees). The bylaws allow the board to appoint up to three public trustees. We currently are served by Humphrey J. F. Taylor and Paul B. Ginsburg, PhD. Mr. Taylor is chairman of Harris Interactive and is serving the second year of his seventh term. Dr. Ginsburg is president of the Center for Studying Health System Change and is serving the third year of his third term. Public trustees do not vote on Academy governance, the budget, or other programmatic issues. They do, however, provide insight on how ophthalmology can better work with the rest of medicine, the public, government, and industry. A public trustee should not be an ophthalmologist but should be someone who is familiar with and has a personal interest in current medical issues. The nominating committee will be pleased to receive suggestions for individuals, who may include physicians from other medical specialties or leaders in industry, government, public policy, or advocacy.

Thank you for your interest and participation in this process. Membership participation is vital, not only for the Academy but also for our collective goals of being able to provide appropriate, accessible, and affordable eye care to the public. On behalf of the Nominating Committee, I look forward to receiving your suggestions as we seek to identify our profession’s future leaders.

Send your confidential suggestions by Jan. 31 to Ruth D. Williams, MD, Nominating Committee Chair, American Academy of Ophthalmology, P.O. Box 7424, San Francisco, CA 94120-7424. Suggestions can also be e-mailed to nominate@aao.org or faxed to 415-561-8526.

For more information, visit www.aao.org/elections and click “2013 Election Nominations.”

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ONE SPOTLIGHT: Celebrating Five Years of Advancing Ophthalmic Education. Since late 2007, the Ophthalmic News and Education (ONE) Network has connected more than 70,000 ophthalmologists worldwide to information on the latest advances and best practices in patient care. With news, videos, courses, case studies, practice guidelines, and more, the ONE Network is the largest online ophthalmic resource in the world. This year, the site will continue to grow—look for changes in the fall.

See what ONE has to offer at www.aao.org/one.

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The Academy Honors Newest Life Members

The physicians below have been members of the Academy for 35 consecutive years. The Academy honors them for their support by granting them “life” status.

Jacob L. Ackerman, MD, FACS

William M. Aden, MD

Richard E. Akers, MD

Charles W. Akins, MD

James W. Alexander, MD

Valeriano Alicea-Cruz, MD

Kenneth G. Amend, MD

Richard L. Anderson, MD, FACS

Mary E. Uffelman Andrews, MD

Richard K. Apt, MD

Van M. Ardoin, MD

Robert L. Asbell, MD

Alex Azar, MD

Paul J. Azar Jr., MD

C. Durham Barnes, MD

Anthony R. Barri, MD

Leslie H. Bear, MD

Peter H. Berglas, MD

Roger D. Berglund, MD

Daniel Bernstein, MD

Jerry Black, MD, PhD

Edwin E. Boldrey, MD

W. Benton Boone, MD

F. Elaine Brennan, MD

Edward H. Brenner, MD

Thomas E. Brewington Jr., MD

Harris C. Brustein, MD

Christine L. Burns, MD

Robert W. Butner, MD, FACS

Michael A. Callahan, MD

J. Kemper Campbell, MD

Francis E. Cangemi, MD, FACS

Anthony R. Caputo, MD

Donald M. Cardone, MD

M. Kathleen Carriker, MD

James B. Carty, MD

Lung-Hsiung Chang, MD

Steven T. Charles, MD

Richard M. Chavis, MD

Eugene A. Chiappetta, MD

Andrew E. Choy, MD

Ernest C. Clifton, MD

Gary S. Clorfeine, MD

Steven H. Cobb, MD

John S. Cohen, MD

Kenneth Cohn, MD

Charles E. Cox, MD

Ronald D. Cox, MD

Earl R. Crouch, MD

James M. Cuttone, MD

John J. Dagianis, MD

Kjell Dahlen, MD

Martha Damaske Snearly, MD

Anthony P. D’Amato, MD, FACS

Richard E. Damiano, MD

Sonja S. Declercq, MD

James H. Dew, MD

Peter C. Donshik, MD

Arthur Dorf, MD

Gordon R. Douglas, MD, FRCSC

James E. Dowling, MD

Bruce D. Dragoo, MD

Stuart M. DuBoff, MD

Thomas G. Duckett, MD

David A. Durfee, MD

Nicholas Dushku, MD

Norman L. Edelstein, MD, FACS

Peter R. Egbert, MD

William Ellis, MD

Joel M. Engelstein, MD

C. Richard Epes, MD

David L. Epstein, MD

Richard M. Evans, MD

Quentin D. Falgoust, MD

Allan J. Flach, MD

Harry W. Flynn Jr., MD

Alan R. Forman, MD

S. Lance Forstot, MD, FACS

C. Stephen Foster, MD

John F. Frantz, MD

Charles D. Fritch, MD

Luther Fry, MD

Robert L. Fry, MD

Samuel H. Galib, MD, PhD, FACS

Nader G. Gary, MD, FACS

James G. Geisinger, MD

Edward C. Gelber, MD

Alan S. Geller, MD

Scott L. Geller, MD

Richard A. Getnick, MD

Howard D. Gilbert, MD

Ronald J. Glatzer, MD

Jeffrey D. Gold, MD

Andrew L. Goldstein, MD

Robert A. Gordon, MD

Dennis J. Gormley, MD, FACS

Timothy E. Goslee, MD

Herbert B. Gould, MD

M. Gilbert Grand, MD

Lawrence Green, MD

Stephen R. Greenberg, MD

Donald A. Greenfield, MD

Stephen N. Grimes, MD

Jay Gross, MD

Paul L. Gunderson, MD

Mohinder K. Gupta, MD

John C. Hagan III, MD

Barry W. Haight, MD

Lealis L. Hale, MD

John M. Haley, MD, OCS

Thomas S. Harbin, MD

R. E. Hardberger, MD

Bernhard Heersink, MD

John C. Hendricks, MD

Bruce E. Herron, MD

Stanley B. Hersh, MD

Richard J. Hesse, MD

Eva H. Hewes, MD

Stuart E. Hirsch, MD, FACS

Barton L. Hodes, MD

Peter M. Holland, MD

S. Jerome Holtz, MD

Ted V. J. Houle, MD

Gerald E. Hughes Jr., MD

Jack L. Hughes, MD

Alfred L. Humphrey Jr., MD, FACS

Por-Tying Hung, MD

Bruce M. Hyman, MD

Oscar B. Jackson Jr., MD

Frederick L. Jardon, MD

Evan D. Jones, MD

Howard C. Joondeph, MD

Robert L. Joseph, MD

Paul R. Kalkut, MD

Yair Karas, MD

David W. Karp, MD

Peter R. Kastl, MD, PhD

Richard Katz, MD

Paul L. Kaufman, MD

Robert B. Kaufman, MD

Michael L. Kay, MD

Phillip W. Kelly, MD

Stephen E. Kelly, MD

Barry M. Kerman, MD

Samuel N. Key III, MD

Robert B. Keyser, MD

Elie G. Khouri, MD

James L. Kinyoun, MD 

F. Randall Kirchner, MD

Michael L. Klein, MD

Richard M. Klein, MD

Terence G. Klingele, MD

Richard D. Klotz, MD

Richard J. Kolker, MD

Carol R. Kollarits, MD

Kenyon K. Kramer, MD

Gregory P. Kwasny, MD, OCS

Frank P. La Franco, MD

Thomas G. Lamkin, MD

James H. Landers, MD

Michael B. Lappin, MD

Frank M. Lawrence, MD

Thomas R. Leddy, MD

James R. Lee, MD

Richard G. Lembach, MD

Robert E. Lembach, MD

Lai-Sung E. Leung, MD

Richard Alan Lewis, MD, MS

Marc F. Lieberman, MD

Eric E. Lindstrom, MD, FACS

Richard D. Lisman, MD, FACS

Robert A. Liss, MD

Steven M. Litinsky, MD

Loren E. Little, MD

Lawrence E. Lohman, MD

Cheraphat Lopansri, MD

Osvaldo I. Lopez, MD

James A. Loreto, MD

Ronald S. Lorfel, MD

Douglas A. MacLeod, MD

Everett C. Madson, MD, FACS

David B. Mallory, MD

Barry A. Maltzman, MD

Justin Mang, MD

Edward P. Mann, MD

Alfred C. Marrone, MD

Jack F. Mason, MD

Mercer L. McClure, MD

James E. McDonald II, MD

Marguerite B. McDonald, MD

James McGroarty, MD

Travis A. Meredith, MD

Walter W. Merriam, MD

Neil R. Miller, MD

Steven A. Miller, MD

John R. Millwater, MD

Bartly J. Mondino, MD

L. David Monroe, MD

Stephen A. Moore, MD

Thomas F. Moore, MD, FACS

Gary B. Morris, MD

Donald B. Muenk, MD

Gerald J. Mullan, MD

Garfield A. Munroe, MD

James A. Murphy, MD

Sheldon J. Nankin, MD

Jerrol R. Neupert, MD

Verinder S. Nirankari, MD

Larry Noble, MD, MPH

Raymond H. Nootens, MD

David E. Oakley, MD

Robert D. Ostrow, MD

Wayne H. Parris, MD

Leonard M. Parver, MD

James T. Patten, MD

Bernard E. Patty III, MD

John L. Pendergrass, MD

Guillermo Pico Jr., MD

Ceaser G. Pitta, MD

Allan J. Press, MD

Lorin R. Press, MD

William D. Price, MD

James E. Puklin, MD

Sheldon Rabin, MD

James F. Rambasek, MD

James G. Ravin, MD

G. Thomas Reavell, MD

Robert W. Reidy, MD

Carol G. Reinert, MD

Donald E. Rodgers, MD

Teresa O. Rosales, MD

Sanford I. Rosenthal, MD

Thomas S. Rowe, MD

Anthony D. Sakowski Jr., MD, FACS

Paul C. Salmonsen, MD

William C. Sams III, MD

Joel S. Sandberg, MD

Harold I. Sawelson, MD

Harry D. Schlosser, MD

Karl L. Schwiesow, MD

Paul M. Scott, MD

Alan J. Segal, MD

Frank J. Seidl, MD

Gerald S. Sevachko, MD

William A. Shachtman, MD

Lee Shahinian Jr., MD

H. John Shammas, MD

Clifford N. Share, MD

Donald W. Shelley, MD

Peter B. Shelley, MD

Norman Shorr, MD

Julius Shulman, MD

David R. Simon, MD, PhD, FACS

Richard M. Simon, MD

Lawrence J. Singerman, MD

Edward M. Solomon, MD

Edward M. Sorr, MD

Niel J. Squillante, MD

Larry K. Stauffer, MD

Michael L. Steiner, MD

Gwen K. Sterns, MD

William R. Stiles, MD

Samuel Stoleru, MD

Kearfott M. Stone, MD

Errol R. Sweet, MD

Charles F. Sydnor, MD

Vigilio M. Tan, MD

Robert M. Tenery Jr., MD

Jeffrey S. Tennant, MD

Frank V. Terrell, MD

Kenneth M. Tewel Jr., MD

A. Henry Thomas, MD

Wallace A. Thomas, MD

Nalin H. Tolia, MD

Daniel W. Tolpin, MD

David M. Tracy, MD

Clement L. Trempe, MD

Alfredo Trevino Jr., MD

Sanford Ullman, MD

Allen Z. Verne, MD

Eduardita E. Vicencio, MD

H. Nicholas Vondrak, MD

Walter M. Vukcevich, MD

Joseph B. Walsh, MD

Martin Wand, MD

Robert S. Warshawsky, MD

Michael D. Washburn, MD

Gary M. Waters, MD, FACS

Bruce L. Weinberger, MD, FACS

Thomas A. Weingeist, MD, PhD

Harold Weiss, MD, FACS

Jeffrey N. Weiss, MD

Richard G. Weleber, MD

Matthew B. Wesson, MD

Geoffrey G. White, MD

Richard H. Whitten Jr., MD

Charles E. Wingate Jr., MD

James P. Wise, MD

Darrell Eugene Wolfley, MD

William J. Wood, MD

Lawrence A. Wright, MD, FACS

Shelby A. Wyll, MD

Thomas M. Wyman, MD

Kathleen O. Yamaguchi, MD

Paul R. Yoder Jr., MD

Kenneth M. Younger, MD

Ihor G. Zachary, MD, FACS

Peter D. Zeegen, MD

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International Ophthalmologist Education Award

The Academy is pleased to announce the recipients of the International Ophthalmologist Education Award for 2012. This award acknowledges Academy members who have demonstrated their commitment to staying current with advances in medicine through their participation in CME and continuing professional development activities.

Tarek A. M. Abdel-Fattah, FRCS (Saudi Arabia)

Ali A. Alrajhi, MD (Saudi Arabia)

Abdul Hamid Awan, MBBS (Pakistan)

Daniel A. Badoza, MD (Argentina)

Anthi Bakouli, MD (Greece)

Hector J. Barros Bermudez, MD (Colombia)

Martin Baumeister, MD (Germany)

Saiful I. Bhuiyan, MBBS (Bangladesh)

Fabrizio I. Camesasca, MD (Italy)

Roberto Murillo Limongi S. Carvalho, MD (Brazil)

Juliano V. Coatti, MD (Brazil)

Carmen N. Demetrio, MD (Argentina)

Philippe M. Desmangles, MD (Switzerland)

Klaus N. Ditzen, MD (Germany)

Emilio M. Dodds, MD (Argentina)

Olivia Early, MBBCh (Northern Ireland)

Roberto Gallego-Pinazo, MD (Spain)

Gian P. Giuliari, MD (Venezuela)

Emmanouil Gkogkos, MD (Greece)

Stefanos F. Glaros, MD (Greece)

Adolfo Guemes, MD (Argentina)

Sajjad Haider, MBBS (United Kingdom)

Nam Soo Han, MD (Republic of Korea)

Sergio Hernandez-Da Mota, MD (Mexico)

Jeong-Min Hwang, MD (Republic of Korea)

Jae Woo Jang, MD, PhD (Republic of Korea)

Eduardo Jorge, MD (Brazil)

Norinobu Kaga, MD (Japan)

Niro Kasahara, MD (Brazil)

Ramesh Kekunnaya, MD, FRCS (India)

Arif Omar Khan, MD (Saudi Arabia)

Andreas Kotoulas, MD (Greece)

Balakrishna V. Kumar, MBBS (England)

Czehong Low, MBBS, FRCS (Singapore)

Rafael A. Macias, MD (Colombia)

Pierre George Mardelli, MD (Lebanon)

Milagros E. Martinez, MD (Dominican Republic)

Emmanouil Mavrikakis, MD, PhD (Greece)

Hugh D. McGowan, MD (Canada) 

Jodhbir S. Mehta, MBBS, BSc (Singapore)

Benjamin F. Mendoza Gonzales, MD (Peru)

Marcus Montello Franca, MD (Brazil)

Shadrokh Nabili, MD (United Kingdom)

Manish Nagpal, MD (India)

Hala Mohammed Nassim, MBBS (Saudi Arabia)

Sawsan R. Nowilaty, MD (Saudi Arabia)

Anita Panda, MD, MRCOphth (India)

Ahmed R. Parkar, MBChB (Kenya)

Marcos D. Parra Orjuela, MD (Colombia)

Gernot Petzold, MD (Germany)

Muhammad S. Raja, MBBS (United Kingdom)

Anupama P. Rao, MBBS, DO (United Arab Emirates)

Armando J. Rivas, MD (Venezuela)

Pavel Rozsival, MD (Czech Republic)

Marc Salle, MD (France)

Sunil Shah, MD (England)

Ashok Sharma, MD (India)

Shivanand J. Sheth, MBBS (India)

Sidney A. Somoza Cienfuegos, MD (El Salvador)

Masako Sugai, MD (Japan)

Rosario Tapia-Ramirez, MD (Mexico)

Paul E. Tesha, MBChB (United Kingdom)

Nicanor F. Tinageros, MD (Peru)

Thi Ha Chau Tran, MD, MBBS (France)

Jorge E. Valdez, MD (Mexico)

Colin J. Vize, MBBS (England)

Chee-Chew Yip, MBBS (Singapore)

The award is open to all international members not currently enrolled in a training program. To receive this award, members must obtain 90 CME credits within three years of applying.

To apply, visit www.aao.org/international and select “Awards.”

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International Scholar Award

The Academy is pleased to announce the following recipients of the International Scholar Award for 2012. This award acknowledges Academy members who have already received the International Ophthalmologist Education Award and have further demonstrated their commitment to lifelong professional learning.

Paul A. Adler, MBBS (Australia)

Francesco P. Bernardini, MD (Italy)

Massimo Busin, MD (Italy)

David Choy, MD (Mexico)

Abali I. Chuku, MBBS (Nigeria)

Javier Cordoba Umana, MD (Costa Rica)

Mohamed L. Daramy, MD (England)

Carlo De Conciliis, MD (Italy)

Luis Héctor de la O Cerna, MD (Mexico)

Hazem A. El-Sabagh, MBBS (Saudi Arabia)

Hosam Ibrahim El Sheha, MD (Saudi Arabia)

Arnaldo Espaillat, MD (Dominican Republic)

Antonio Ferreras, MD, PhD (Spain)

Bruno M. Fontes, MD (Brazil)

Graciela Garcia-Briones, MD (Mexico)

Jose A. Gegundez Fernandez, MD, PhD (Spain)

Hosam A. Ibrahim Elzembely, MD (Egypt)

Hadi Kjaerbo, MD (Denmark)

Salvador Gerardo A. Lopez, MD (El Salvador)

Miguel J. Maldonado, MD, PhD (Spain)

Eduardo F. Marques, MD (Portugal)

Marcia C. Martins, MD (Brazil)

Prakash Mathew, MBBS (England)

Mehdi Modarres, MD (Iran)

Alejandro Navas, MD (Mexico)

Andres Perez Casas, MD (Spain)

Emeterio Pina-Hurtado, MD, PhD (Spain)

Prasan M. Rao, MBBS, MS (United Arab Emirates)

Karen Salcedo, MD (Venezuela)

Juan Salinas, MD (United Kingdom)

Daniel Horacio Scorsetti, MD, PhD (Argentina)

Tarun Sharma, MBBS (India)

Gopal Lal Verma, MD (India)

Ernesto S. Yapur, MD (Argentina)

Yoram Zevnovaty-Braun, MD (Mexico)

The award is open to all international members not currently enrolled in a training program.

To receive this award, members must obtain 60 CME credits within two years of applying, complete a timed, online self-assessment test, and be a past recipient of the International Ophthalmologist Education Award.

To apply, visit www.aao.org/international and select “Awards.” 

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Academy Store

Test Your Knowledge With ProVision, Series 5

January 2013 Notebook 2Pinpoint your knowledge gaps and study for exams with the new ProVision Series 5, an Academy self-assessment program. Series 5 comes stocked with 550 new multiple-choice questions—along with explanation of the preferred responses—and discussions that cover all subspecialty areas. Photos, diagnostic images, and references for further study are also included. Choose from the print format or online version, which has tools for bookmarking, note-taking, and building custom exams.

The print version (#0265043) is $195 for members, $265 for nonmembers. The online format (#0265044V) is $169 for members, $229 for nonmembers.

To purchase, visit the Academy Store at www.aao.org/store.

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Use the Academy’s Ophthalmic Coding Coach to Code With Precision

The revised 2013 Ophthalmic Coding Coach book (#0120333) and online subscription (CODNGCOACH) provide references for obtaining proper payment when coding minor and major surgeries and special testing. Both products provide details associated with each ophthalmic-specific CPT code to increase coding accuracy: descriptors, diagnosis code links, modifier usage, correct coding initiatives, RVUs, and more. Ophthalmologists, administrators, coders, and billers depend on it to ensure correct reimbursement for every service.

The book and yearly online subscription combined is $235 for members, $390 for nonmembers.

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The Academy’s Coding Seminar

CODEquest Ophthalmic Coding College is an interactive and state-specific coding seminar. It teaches ophthalmologists, administrators, technicians, coders, and billers how to code and which codes to use in specific situations. This six-hour intermediate course prepares attendees for all types of audits and helps them get ready for ICD-10.

For locations and dates, visit www.aao.org/codequest.

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Meeting Matters

Experience “The Big Easy” in 2013

The Academy returns to the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans for the 2013 Annual Meeting from Nov. 16 to 19. Subspecialty Day meetings will take place Nov. 15 and 16.

For more information, visit www.aao.org/2013

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2013 Abstract Submission Deadlines

January 2013 Notebook 3If you are interested in being a presenter at the 2013 Annual Meeting, you must submit abstracts online.

For instruction courses and Skills Transfer courses, the online submitter closes on Jan. 8.

For papers, posters, and videos, the online submitter opens on March 13 and closes on April 9.

For more information on submitting an abstract, go to www.aao.org/presentercentral. For further information, e-mail meetings@aao.org.

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2012 Meetings on Demand

See the symposia and courses that you weren’t able to attend during the 2012 Joint Meeting with AAO Meetings on Demand. More than 200 hours of content are available for viewing at your convenience.

Order the Subspecialty Day meetings or the AAO-APAO Joint Meeting highlights separately, or get the Premier Collection, which contains both. Your order will include online access and a USB drive for offline access on select products. Although the files contain slides and synchronized audio, you can also download just the MP3 files.

To order, visit www.aao.org/ondemand.

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2012 Joint Meeting Archives

Visit the Meeting Archives to download course handout PDFs, see scientific posters, review Technology Pavilion presentations, view highlights from the Opening Session, and more.

For more information, visit www.aao.org/aao-archives.

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2012 Best Original Papers

Congratulations to the authors of the Best Original Papers at the 2012 Joint Meeting in Chicago. The winning papers were selected by the panels in each of the paper sessions.

Sunday’s Best Papers

  • Cataract Femtosecond Laser Original Paper Session. High-resolution Confocal Structured Images Guide Phacoemulsification Technique Selection During Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery, presented by Harvey S. Uy, MD (Event Code PA003).
  • Glaucoma Original Paper Session. Topical Microdroplet Administration vs. Eyedropper for Delivering Eye Medication, presented by Tsontcho Ianchulev, MD (PA011).
  • Ocular Tumors and Pathology Original Paper Session. Long-term Follow-up of Patients Treated With Intra-arterial Cytoreductive Chemotherapy for Lacrimal Gland Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma, presented by Andrea N. Kossler, MD (PA024).
  • Orbit, Lacrimal, Plastic Surgery Original Paper Session. Long-term Success Rate of Endoscopic Laser-Assisted Dacryocystorhinostomy for Treatment of Nasolacrimal Duct Obstruction, presented by Jorge G. Camara, MD (PA029).
  • Refractive Surgery Original Paper Session. Screening for Ectasia Risk Using Placido and Tomographic Indices: Validation of an Artificial Intelligence Scoring System, presented by Alain Saad, MD (PA018).

Monday’s Best Papers

  • Cornea External Disease Original Paper Session Part I. Theoretical, Experimental, and OCT Study of Factors Affecting Graft Apposition and Adhesion Strength in Descemet-Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty, presented by Romesh I. Angunawela, MBBS (Maninder Bhogal was unable to attend) (PA035).
  • Cornea External Disease Original Paper Session Part II. A Randomized Double-Masked Placebo-Controlled Evaluation of Subconjunctival Bevacizumab for Recent Onset Corneal Neovascularization, presented by Kamaljit S. Balaggan, MBBS (PA044).
  • Intraocular Inflammation, Uveitis Original Paper Session. Intravitreal and Subconjunctival Sirolimus in Patients With Noninfectious Uveitis: One-Year Outcome of the Sirolimus as Therapeutic Approach to Uveitis (SAVE) Study, presented by Mohamed A. Ibrahim Ahmed, MBBCh (PA072).
  • Neuro-Ophthalmology Original Paper Session. Five- to 7-Year Longitudinal Data for Vision and OCT Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Thickness in MS, presented by Stephen Moster (PA067).
  • Retina, Vitreous Original Paper Session Part I. Effects of Intravitreal Ranibizumab on Diabetic Retinopathy Severity: 36-Month Data from RISE and RIDE Trials, presented by Michael S. Ip, MD (PA054).
  • Retina, Vitreous Original Paper Session Part II. Antibiotic Resistance of Ocular Surface Flora After Continued Use of Topical Antibiotics Following Intravitreal Injection, presented by Vivian T. Yin, MD (PA061).

Tuesday’s Best Papers

  • Cataract Original Papers. Risk Factors for Toxic Anterior Segment Syndrome, presented by Nick Mamalis, MD (PA082).
  • Glaucoma Original Paper Session. Safe Glaucoma Filtering Surgery Combined With Small-Incision Cataract Surgery in Primary Glaucoma With Hard Cataracts: Need of the Hour in Developing Countries, presented by Rekha R. Khandelwal, MBBS, FRCS (PA096).
  • Pediatric Ophthalmology, Strabismus Original Papers. Safety, Efficacy, and Adverse Events of Intravitreal Bevacizumab Injection Without Laser for ROP: Six-year Follow-up Results With Anatomical, Functional, OCT, and Neurodevelopmental Analysis, presented by Alay S. Banker, MD (PA084).

To view the Best Original Papers abstracts, go to www.aao.org/aao-archives. Click on the Online Program Search link, then use the drop down menus to choose “Paper” and “Best of.”

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D.C. Report

Physician Payment for Ancillary Testing Under Attack

As of Jan. 1, Medicare reimbursement has been reduced to ophthalmologists who bill more than one diagnostic service on the same day for the same patient. As part of its campaign to rein in growth in the use of and spending for diagnostic services, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is cutting the technical component part of the payment for the second and any subsequent testing procedures with a Multiple Procedure Payment Reduction (MPPR) by 20 percent.

CMS asserts that when multiple diagnostic procedures are performed on the same day, efficiencies are created that decrease the total amount of time spent performing those services; therefore, payments should be reduced. The Academy contends, however, that any duplication of performance time was accounted for when the American Medical Association/Specialty Society Relative Value Scale Update Committee reduced the staff time built into several of the diagnostic codes when they are billed in conjunction with an office-visit code. CMS initially proposed a 25 percent reduction, but it lowered the cut to 20 percent following lobbying efforts by the Academy and other ophthalmic associations. At our request, 60 members of Congress weighed in on the issue.

The government’s scrutiny—especially of imaging and other ancillary testing costs and use—is not new. As early as 2007, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC )—an independent congressional agency that advises Congress on issues affecting the Medicare program—began looking at whether physician investment in ancillary equipment was contributing to the increase in diagnostic testing. The cut in payment for concurrent services is a result of MedPAC’s review.

Diagnostic testing is also being scrutinized by legislators searching for savings to fund a permanent Medicare physician pay solution to replace the faulty sustainable growth rate formula currently in use. Several members of Congress support limiting in-office services as a way to control costs. Legislation introduced by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) would prohibit a physician from referring a patient to a facility for certain advanced diagnostic imaging or physical therapy services under Medicare if the physician has an ownership or investment relationship with the facility. Although the legislation has gained little support in Congress, the U.S. Government Accountability Office believes such limits, if imposed on CT and MRI services, could save Medicare $100 million annually.

January 2013 Notebook 4

a Medicare National Average based on 2012 conversion factor and 2013 RVUs without MPPR.
b
Medicare National Average based on 2012 conversion factor and 2013 RVUs with MPPR applied to second lesser-valued code.
c
This scenario results in a 6 percent reduction.

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Members at Large

January 2013 Notebook 4State Societies Recognized as Stars 

On Nov. 12, the State Presidents’ Breakfast and Recognition Awards session was held in conjunction with the Academy’s 2012 Joint Meeting. During the awards ceremony, physician-leaders and executive directors of three state societies—the New Jersey Academy of Ophthalmology (NJAO), the Utah Ophthalmology Society (UOS), and the Virginia Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons (VSEPS)—were lauded for their exemplary programs and presented with the secretariat’s 2012 State Affairs Star Award. “It is important that the Academy honors state ophthalmology societies that have made outstanding efforts and served as role models to their counterparts around the country,” said Daniel J. Briceland, MD, the Academy Secretary for State Affairs.

The winning programs are as follows.

  • New Jersey. The NJAO’s Advocacy Ambassadors program focused on building grassroots involvement of its members with New Jersey legislators. The organization ultimately matched 30 members with state legislators in their home/office districts.
  • Utah. In an effort to solidify a positive working relationship with Utah legislators, the UOS hosted a successful meeting at the John A. Moran Eye Center with the Utah Health and Human Services Interim Committee, comprising legislators from both the Utah House of Representatives and Utah State Senate. UOS President, David B. Petersen, MD, and UOS Leadership Development Program participant, Jeff Pettey, MD, presented an overview of the profession of ophthalmology, highlighting the extensive training required of eye physicians and surgeons, ophthalmology’s leading role in the eye care team, and safety concerns regarding nonsurgeons attempting to do surgery. Following the meeting, legislators were given a tour of surgical suites at Moran Eye Center.
  • Virginia. The VSEPS was recognized for its Safe Surgery Initiative. One key goal of the initiative was passage of the Definition of Surgery bill (HB 266). The 2012 Virginia General Assembly voted unanimously for it, and it became law in July 2012. The VSEPS effort involved consensus and collaboration with the “house of medicine,” rather than action by a single medical specialty group.

“The secretariat applauds each of these three state societies and hopes that their efforts motivate continued good works by other state societies across the country,” said Dr. Briceland.

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