American Academy of Ophthalmology Web Site: www.aao.org
Trends in Obtaining CME Credits
From online podcasts and downloads, to DVDs and CD-ROMs—CME opportunities are increasingly diverse. Still, attending meetings and seminars continues to be the most popular means of staying current. A recent survey of the Academy membership found that 98 percent of U.S. ophthalmologists attend educational meetings to obtain CME credits.1
“Ophthalmologists increasingly use the Internet and technology for medical education, but they also continue to use the traditional methods of attending meetings and reading books and journals,” said Academy Secretary for Member Services Ruth D. Williams, MD. Sixty percent of U.S. ophthalmologists read journals to stay current and 28 percent read ophthalmology textbooks. “Ophthalmologists attend meetings and use printed materials at about the same rate as they have in years past, even as the use of newer education platforms increases,” said Dr. Williams.
U.S. young ophthalmologists, in practice five years or less, are less likely to utilize journals and CD-ROMs for continuing education. However, 22 percent of young ophthalmologists report viewing DVDs for educational purposes, as compared with 8 percent of ophthalmologists overall. “This probably reflects an interest in learning surgical techniques, as well as a comfort with multiple means of gathering information,” suggested Dr. Williams. Young ophthalmologists are also more likely to use the Internet for ongoing education.
International members utilize many methods to obtain ongoing education. Like their U.S. counterparts, nearly all international members attend meetings. They are, however, much more likely to read journals and books for CME purposes. Sixty percent of U.S. members read journals, while 96 percent of international members do. Also, more international members use Web sites for CME than U.S. members (75 percent vs. 36 percent).
“International members approach continuing medical education in a similar way as U.S. young ophthalmologists,” said Dr. Williams. “Both groups embrace a variety of methods to acquire additional education, but the commitment to attending medical meetings remains strong.”
Self-Assessment on the O.N.E. Network
Academy members can take advantage of free self-assessment tests on the O.N.E. Network. Test yourself in the following nine subspecialty areas: cataract/anterior segment, cornea/external disease, glaucoma, neuro-ophthalmology/orbit, oculoplastics/orbit, pediatric ophthalmology/strabismus, refractive management/ intervention, retina/vitreous and uveitis.
You can take each multiple-choice test as many times as you wish. Immediate score analysis allows you to compare your performance to that of your peers.
Access to the self-assessment feature is free for Academy members.
For more information, visit www.aao.org/one and click on “Learning Plan.”
EyeSmart Campaign Rolls On
The Academy’s EyeSmart campaign is taking on the topic of eye injuries. The goal is to increase the public’s knowledge about the most common activities that lead to eye injuries and how people can improve eye safety around their home, at work and during sports and recreation. Plus, the Academy will emphasize the valuable role ophthalmologists play, not only in treating eye injuries but also in helping prevent them through patient education.
To learn more about the eye injury effort and the Academy’s annual Eye Injury Snapshot project, visit www.aao.org/eyesmartcampaign.
Learn From AAOE Practice Management Consultants
More and more ophthalmic practices are turning to medical practice management consultants to sort out the complexities of practice administration. An AAOE consultant is an expert in medical administration, experienced in the field of ophthalmology and well-versed in political and economic influences on the practice of medicine.
The AAOE’s Consultant Directory is an online searchable database of prescreened practice management consultants. As an Academy or AAOE member, you can search for consultants by any combination of criteria: key competency, state, consultant name and/or agency name.
For more information, visit www.aao.org/aaoesite/consultant. Consultant fees vary by geographic area and the type of service required.
EyeCare America Web Site Wins Awards
Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeCare America won the eHealthcare Leadership Awards’ Gold Award for Best Web Site Design and Silver Award for Best Interactive Site (www.eyecareamerica.org). These wins were in the category of consumer disease focused Web site.
The site was designed with low vision patients in mind. Visitors to the Web site can increase the type size up to three sizes, contrast the content into both light-on-dark and dark-on-light, and change the layout of the Web pages to single-column viewing to accommodate low vision reading aids.
EyeCare America launched the Web site as part of its educational mission to empower consumers with reliable educational information. As the number of Americans seeking health care information on the Internet grows, EyeCare America has worked to match that trend by providing visitors to the EyeCare America Web site with a centralized repository of health information written in language that is clear and easy for them to understand.
Need Coding Advice? Codequest Experts Are on the Road
AAOE’s Codequest Ophthalmic Coding College is a one-day seminar designed to get you up to speed on state- and specialty-specific coding information. Learn about CPT, ICD-9, OIG investigations and more.
For a complete schedule and registration instructions, visit www.aao.org/codequest.
Stay on Top of Coding Challenging Cases
Code This Case (#012180) features examples of usual and unusual surgical cases for all subspecialties in ophthalmology and provides appropriate CPT, ICD-9 and HCPCS codes for surgeons, as well as coding for ambulatory surgical centers. This book also provides examples of operative reports for young ophthalmologists.
Code This Case costs $145 for members and $175 for nonmembers.
For more information or to place an order, visit www.aao.org/store or phone the Academy Service Center at 866-561-8558 (toll-free in the United States) or 415-561-8540.
Get Savvy to the Latest Coding Changes
Use the AAOE’s newest coding resources to get up to speed in 2008. The 2008 Ophthalmic Coding Coach (#012266) and Ophthalmic Coding Coach CD-ROM (#012267) are comprehensive coding references with detailed content on each CPT code affecting ophthalmology. Each is priced separately at $195 for members and $263 for nonmembers.
Buy the book and CD-ROM together and save 30 percent. This Ophthalmic Coding Coach Kit (#012268) is priced at $275 for members and $368 for nonmembers.
To order, visit www.aao.org/store or phone the Academy Service Center at 866- 561-8558 (toll free in the United States) or 415-561-8540.
Get Ready for Atlanta
The Academy’s third Joint Meeting with the European Society of Ophthalmology will take place Nov. 8 to 11 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. It will be preceded by the Academy’s Subspecialty Day, Nov. 7 and 8.
Submit Abstracts for Papers, Posters and Videos
If you are interested in being a presenter at this year’s Joint Meeting, abstracts must be submitted online:
2007 Best of Show Videos
Congratulations to the recipients of the Best of Show video awards at the Annual Meeting in New Orleans. The seven winning videos were selected by the Annual Meeting Program Committee based on educational value, originality and expert use of medium.
The Best of Show videos were:
Registration Now Open for the ISRS/AAO Cancún 2008 Meeting
Join ISRS/AAO for the 2008 meeting, Refractive and Cataract Surgery: Today and Tomorrow, at Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach in Cancún, Mexico, May 29 to 31.
This fourth annual regional meeting is in partnership with the Asociación Latina de Cirugía de Catarata Refractiva y Segmento Anterior (ALCRS) and the Centro Mexicano de Cornea y Cirugía Refractiva (CMCCR). Program directors Ramon Naranjo-Tackman, MD, José Manuel Vargas, MD, and Steven E. Wilson, MD, are planning a program on the latest innovations in refractive and cataract surgery.
The deadline to submit abstracts for e-papers is Jan. 31. Preregistration is open until April 16.
For more information, visit www.isrs.org/cancun.
The Heed Ophthalmic Foundation has selected Philip J. Rosenfeld, MD, PhD, as the recipient of the Heed Award in recognition of his leadership and contributions in the field of ophthalmology. The award was bestowed at the Academy’s 2007 Annual Meeting in New Orleans. Dr. Rosenfeld is a professor of ophthalmology at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. Since joining the faculty in 1996, Dr. Rosenfeld’s primary clinical research interest has been age-related macular degeneration.
The American Society of Retina Specialists conferred its first Lifetime Achievement Award upon W. Sanderson Grizzard, MD, of Retina Associates of Florida. Dr. Grizzard has helped manage Retina Associates of Florida since 1983. He is well-known for his pioneering of the pneumatic retinopexy procedure. Dr. Grizzard has also conducted a range of research on macular degeneration drugs.
Who’s in the News
CNN Headline News interviewed Robert P. Tucker III, MD, FACS, early last year about the topic of visually significant cataracts in young patients and their surgical improvement after suture-free extraction by phacoemulsification with IOL implantation. In the segment, Dr. Tucker emphasized the Academy’s Surgery by Surgeons campaign to stop expansion of optometric scope of practice and highlighted how both pre- and postoperative care should be provided by the Eye M.D. who performs the cataract surgery.
A Chance to Lobby Congress
Ophthalmologists eager for an acceptable long-term solution to Medicare reimbursement and other issues will have a chance to make the case for change to their legislators during the Academy’s 2008 Congressional Advocacy Day. Conducted in conjunction with the Academy’s spring Mid-Year Forum in Washington, D.C., this year’s Advocacy Day will be held April 9 and 10.
Congressional Advocacy Day is a unique opportunity to lobby members of Congress on the issues that affect ophthalmologists and their patients. In 2008, physicians face two scheduled cuts in Medicare physician payments—the first on July 1 and the second on January 1, 2009. In addition, ophthalmology must defend against an effort by optometry to pass H.R. 1983, a bill that would provide Medicaid reimbursement to ODs for medical and surgical services.
There is no registration fee to participate in Advocacy Day, and no prior lobbying experience is necessary. The Academy’s Federal Affairs staff handles all scheduling of meetings with members of Congress and their staff.
Preparation for Advocacy Day meetings includes a briefing on the issues and tips on effective lobbying. Those who are new to advocacy can opt to be paired with a mentor for their appointments on Capitol Hill. Participants earn up to two CME credits for attending the issue-briefing portion of Advocacy Day.
While participation in this annual event has grown substantially over the years (increasing from more than 240 Academy members in 2006 to more than 300 in 2007), this year should be an exceptional one. Hoping to increase on last year’s member participation, the Academy is partnering for the first time with 15 subspecialty and specialized interest societies.
For more information about Congressional Advocacy Day and the Mid-Year Forum, go to www.aao.org/meetings and click “Mid-Year Forum.”
For their vital help in this effort, the Academy thanks: the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, the American Association of Ophthalmic Pathologists, the American Glaucoma Society, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, the American Society of Ocula12:40 AM 1/24/2008r Trauma, the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the American Society of Retina Specialists, the American Uveitis Society, the Cornea Society, the Macula Society, the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society, the Ocular Microbiology and Immunology Group, the Outpatient Ophthalmic Surgery Society, the Retina Society and Women in Ophthalmology.
There is no fee to participate in Advocacy Day and no prior lobbying experience is necessary.