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Announcing the 2006 Academy Awards
It is with great pleasure and pride that the board of trustees and the awards committee announce the recipients of this year’s Special Awards, Achievement Awards and Secretariat Awards.
Special Awards Program
Individuals who are honored in the Special Awards program will be invited to attend the 2006 Joint Meeting in Las Vegas as guests of the Academy’s president, Harry A. Zink, MD.
Guest of Honor Award
This award honors individuals for their importance to ophthalmology.
Distinguished Service Award
This award honors individuals or organizations for ongoing notable service to ophthalmology and to the Academy.
Special Recognition Award
This award honors individuals for their lifetime commitment to and support of ophthalmology; it may also be presented to an organization for outstanding service in a specific effort or cause that has improved the quality of eye care.
Outstanding Humanitarian Service Award
This award recognizes Academy members for their outstanding contribution to humanitarian efforts, such as participation in charitable activities, care of the indigent, involvement in community service and other forms of ophthalmologic care performed above and beyond the typical duties of an ophthalmologist.
International Blindness Prevention Award
This award honors individuals who have made significant contributions to the prevention of blindness or the restoration of sight around the world.
Achievement Awards Program
The Achievement Awards program recognizes individuals (members and nonmembers) for their time and contribution to the scientific programs of the Annual Meeting and those who serve as Academy committee members, representatives, trustees, councilors, authors, coauthors and reviewers of educational material.
Life Achievement Award
Individuals who have cumulatively earned 60 points and have made significant contributions to ophthalmology as determined by the awards committee are nominated to receive this award.
Senior Achievement Award
Individuals who have cumulatively earned 30 points are nominated to receive this award.
Individuals who have cumulatively earned 10 points are nominated to receive this award.
Secretariat Awards Program
This program recognizes individuals for contributions outside the scope of the Achievement Awards program. Each of the Academy’s secretaries and senior secretaries can submit nominees to the Academy’s awards committee.
Nominated by the secretaries for Quality of Care & Knowledge Base Development, New Ophthalmic Information and Ophthalmic Knowledge, and senior secretary for Clinical Education:
Nominated by the secretary for the Annual Meeting:
Nominated by the secretaries for State Affairs and Federal Affairs, and the senior secretary for Advocacy:
Nominated by the secretary for Communications:
Nominated by the secretary for Practice Management and senior secretary for Ophthalmic Practice:
Nominated by the editor of Ophthalmology:
Nominated by the secretary for Member Services:
Nominated by the chief medical editor of EyeNet:
Eye M.D.s, the Media and Fusarium Keratitis
During the recent outbreak of Fusarium keratitis, Academy members quickly mobilized to assist in the FDA and CDC investigations of reported cases of the rare fungal infection. Many members served as media spokespeople for this issue. Academy President Harry A. Zink, MD, was quoted in USA Today, the Washington Post, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Miami Herald, Baltimore Sun and 85 other outlets. More than 2,200 radio stations ran stories that included Dr. Zink. Corneal specialist Dan B. Jones, MD, from Baylor College of Medicine was featured on 130 television stations. Many other members were included in their local news coverage.
The Academy thanks all members who provided interviews to the media. Together, the efforts of the Academy and its members helped push ophthalmology’s perspective to the forefront of the media’s coverage of this eye health crisis.
Board Reappoints Public Trustee
The board of trustees has approved the reappointment of Paul B. Ginsburg, PhD, to serve as public trustee for an additional three-year term commencing Jan. 1, 2007. Dr. Ginsburg, an economist and health policy expert, has served as public trustee since 2003.
For more on Dr. Ginsburg, go to www.aao.org/bot.
In accordance with Academy bylaws, notice is hereby given of the following nominations for officers to the Academy, made by the Academy board of trustees in June. Please note that senior secretary for clinical education is a three-year term and that one trustee-at-large position is available in 2007.
Senior Secretary for Clinical Education
On Jan. 1, 2007, three board of trustee positions will become vacant. Elections to fill those positions will take place by mail ballot after the Nov. 12, 2006, annual business meeting.
To nominate a candidate by petition for the 2007 board, submit a written petition to the Academy’s executive vice president no later than Sept. 12. The petition must be signed by at least 50 voting Academy members and fellows.
To suggest a nominee for the 2008 board, watch for the call for nominations that will be published in January’s EyeNet Magazine.
To read the rules in full, visit www.aao.org/bylaws and see Article V of the Academy bylaws.
Got a Satellite Office?
You can now list your satellite office(s) online in “Find an Eye M.D” and “Find a Colleague.” Just go to www.aao.org/member and select “Update Your Membership Listing.”
Listings for satellite offices will be available online, but not in the print version of the Member Directory. It is your responsibility to keep these listings up to date.
If you have any questions, please e-mail mailto:email@example.com.
Funding Available for Rosacea Research
Rosacea is a chronic acne- iform disorder of unknown etiology. It can affect both the skin and the eyes. To promote research into this condition, the National Rosacea Society is funding several new research grants. The deadline for submitting applications is Sept. 15.
For more information, visit www.rosacea.org/grants or phone 847-382-8971.
Order Your 2007 Coding Resources
The Academy Store is now taking advance orders for its 2007 ophthalmology-specific coding titles, which include:
You can also place advance orders for the 2007 CPT Professional (#012230) and Standard (#012231) editions, as well as HCPCS (#012232) through the Academy Store. Furthermore, single orders for four or more 2007 coding products will be discounted by 10 percent.
To place your advance order, phone 866-561-8558 or visit www.aao.org/store and choose “AAOE: Coding & Reimbursement” in the “Select a Subject” drop-down menu.
Educate Your Patients About Multifocal and Accommodative IOLs
The new Multifocal and Accommodative IOLs patient education brochure discusses refractive errors and the use of IOLs in refractive and cataract surgery.
The brochure explains the difference between multifocal and accommodative IOLs and their functionality. This explanation features full-color graphics of how the two IOLs work in the eye. Also included are descriptions of patient selection, how the IOL is implanted and possible side effects of the IOL surgical procedure.
The Multifocal and Accommodative IOLs (#051135) brochure costs $30 for members and $38 for nonmembers.
All brochures come in packages of 100.
For more information or to place your order, visit www.aao.org/store.
Visit the Store
To browse the Academy’s full range of products, visit the Academy’s Web site at www.aao.org/store.
You can also order products by phone at 866-561-8558 (toll-free in the United States) or 415-561-8540.
Payment Changes Expected in 2007
Ophthalmology is bracing for a wave of reimbursement events that will impact 2007 physician Medicare payments on three levels.
Five-Year Review. CMS announced the results of the Five-Year Review of Work Values with ophthalmology emerging better than expected—maintaining or increasing the work values for 22 of the 25 codes presented. Ophthalmology will be impacted by a significant increase for E&M codes, even though the main intent of that increase was to help primary care, the main user of those codes, fill its residency slots by boosting reimbursement, which Washington health policy mavens feel is too low. And since postop visits are tied to E&M codes, some ophthalmic surgical codes will see a benefit. But because the Five-Year Review is budget-neutral, those gains may be offset by a change in the conversion factor, which reduces surgical and specialty codes to pay for the E&M increase. (The CMS Five-Year Review had initially targeted a number of key ophthalmic codes as overvalued, including Nd:YAG and cataract with IOL.)
Practice Expenses. The Academy and its coalition partners won a major victory last year when CMS nixed a new methodology that would have caused a $474 million cut over four years to ophthalmologists’ Medicare reimbursement. CMS now proposes a similar approach, which the Academy will fight again. Practice expenses make up 44 percent of physicians’ pay from Medicare, and the Academy has committed substantial resources to ensuring that any changes are fair to ophthalmology.
Sustainable Growth Rate. Eye M.D.s skirted a 4 percent cut in Medicare fees when the Deficit Reduction Act reinstated the 2005 conversion factor, retroactive to Jan. 1. The Academy is working feverishly with the House of Medicine to stop the 2007 cut, which is predicted to be 4.7 percent if Congress does not intervene. The SGR formula remains a huge problem for the entire physician community, and the cost for replacing it with updates based on the Medicare Economic Index is $219 billion over 10 years. “In an effort to move away from an SGR volume control system, the Academy has been a leader in the debate over the role of quality measures in reimbursement methodology,” said William L. Rich III, MD, Academy medical director of health policy and chairman of the AMA/Specialty RVS Update Committee.
For more advocacy news, visit the Academy’s Web site at www.aao.org/advocacy.
How to Promote Eye Safety: Ohio Society Shares Tips With NEI
Use of the appropriate protective eyewear during recreational activities and hazardous household situations would help prevent many eye injuries—but how do you persuade people to protect themselves?
The National Eye Institute suspected that the Ohio Ophthalmological Society’s “Play Hard. Don’t Blink. Always Wear Protective Eyewear.” program might provide some answers. The OOS was invited to join several other professional organizations for a June meeting that had been convened as part of the NEI’s Healthy People 2010 program. “This provided a fantastic opportunity to share with other organizations OOS’ successes,” said Miles J. Burke, MD, chairman of the OOS Play Hard program. “Over a six-year period, this program has allowed OOS to donate 28,162 baseball/softball helmets with face shields to 5,632 teams throughout Ohio, and now other organizations can benefit from our experiences.”
OOS Executive Director Todd Baker also noted that, “The NEI meeting provided OOS with an opportunity to brainstorm with other organizations about tools to evaluate and measure the impact of education and increased use of protective equipment on preventing injuries.”
The OOS initiative combines education for parents and coaches with a variety of protective gear, activities and information designed to make safe playing habits cool to kids. The program works with schools, youth leagues and other organizations to provide protective eyewear in an effort to reduce eye and facial injuries. The program is funded through the Ohio Department of Health’s Save Our Sight program.
Eye M.D.s Serving on State Medical Boards
In Missouri, Gov. Matt Blunt appointed Jean R. Hausheer, MD, to a four-year term on the State Board of Healing Arts. She will help to ensure that the state’s systems of medical licensing and discipline are maintained at a high standard. “There is an incredible volume of time, energy and thought that goes into each and every decision,” said Dr. Hausheer. “Yet it remains an extremely important work of accountability and credibility to our patients and one another.”
Dr. Hausheer joins three other ophthalmologists who serve on their state board of medicine: Robert A. Breffeilh, MD (Alaska), Peter Nussbaum, MD (New Jersey), and Andrew F. Robbins Jr., MD (Ohio). Another two Eye M.D.s serve on state medical committees: Monica M. Dweck, MD (New York’s Auxiliary Board for Medicine), and Tully C. Patrowicz, MD (Florida’s Medicine/ Physiology Special Committee). Dr. Patrowicz is also a director of the Federation of State Medical Boards.
The California Academy of Ophthalmology has awarded Jasmine Hayes, MD, Pulin A. Shah, MD, and Reza M. Vagefi, MD, with Starr E. Shulman, MPA, Fellowships for 2006. Established in 2005 to honor CAO’s Executive Director of 23 years, the program provides grants for the purpose of assisting members-in-training to attend the Academy’s Congressional Advocacy Day and Mid-Year Forum in Washington, D.C.
Keith D. Carter, MD, has taken over as chairman of the University of Iowa’s department of ophthalmology.
Matthew D. Davis, MD, was awarded the Lucien Howe Medal for distinguished service to ophthalmology at the American Ophthalmological Society 2006 Annual Meeting.
James E. Key, MD, was named a Distinguished Alumnus of Baylor College of Medicine.
Who’s in the News
“Who do you know who doesn’t want to be a millionaire?” asked Mark D. Osterloh, MD, as he outlined his proposal to get more Arizona voters to the polls. He is pushing for a state ballot initiative that, if passed, would award $1 million to a randomly selected voter, according to a May 24 report in The New York Times.
M. Pierre Pang, MD, was interviewed by Honolulu’s Star-Bulletin for a May 14 story about medical advice and cataract surgery. “A doctor who says, ‘Don’t get a second opinion, I’m all you need,’ those are the ones you have to worry about,” he said.
In a Feb. 5 article on the benefits of vision training to athletic performance, visual dexterity and spatial orientation, Play: The New York Times Sports Magazine featured Barry L. Seiller, MD. “Maybe you foul off the ball a lot, or you have all the technical skills but somehow just can’t put it together. You go into slumps. You fail in the clutch. All of that, to us, screams ‘visual problems,’” he said.