American Academy of Ophthalmology Web Site: www.aao.org
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The AMA’s New CME Rule Takes Effect This Summer
Beginning July 1, the AMA will require that all users of Academy “enduring” materials involving CME activity (i.e., books, DVDs and ONE Network courses) complete a formal assessment demonstrating that the activity’s objectives have been met. This will not affect live meetings, such as the Academy’s Annual Meeting in October.
The Academy has elected to meet the new rule by providing post-testing through CME Central. Upon claiming content accredited in 2011 or later, participants will be required to demonstrate proficiency by scoring 80 percent or above in a test.
Academy past president Michael Redmond, MD, died on June 20. He was 68.
A pediatric ophthalmologist and pioneering advocate for the profession, Dr. Redmond served on the Academy’s board of trustees from 1993 to 1999, first as chairman and vice chairman of the Council and then as trustee-at-large. He was elected by the Academy’s more than 25,000 members to serve as the organization’s president in 2003.
“Mike Redmond’s passing is a loss for our entire profession,” Academy CEO and EVP David W. Parke II, MD, said. “He was a national leader for decades in the areas of professionalism, ethics, quality of care, advocacy and practice management. One moment Mike was a busy practicing pediatric ophthalmologist; the next he was the physician-in-chief of a large multispecialty group; and the next he was an articulate and passionate member of the Academy’s Ethics Committee. But above all, he was a compassionate, principled and thoroughly decent man. The profession of ophthalmology and all his family and friends will miss him deeply.”
Dr. Redmond received his medical degree from St. Louis University in 1968. He served in the U.S. Army from 1969 to 1971, earning two Bronze Stars during his time in Vietnam as a medical company commander and ER physician. He completed his residency at St. Louis University in 1974 and then did a fellowship in pediatric ophthalmology at the University of Iowa.
Academy Journal Looking for New Editor-in-Chief
The Academy has announced its search for a new editor-in-chief of Ophthalmology. Dr. Andrew P. Schachat, MD, comes to the end of his term on Dec. 31, 2012, and the Academy would like to have the new editor-in-chief in place by August 2012 to ensure a smooth transition.
Interested parties should send a letter of application and CV to Ryan Plumb at email@example.com.
By the Ethics Committee
Q: My new advertising agency refuses to include patient testimonials in their revision of my website. They say it is against state law. How can that be?
A: Testimonials may be defined as a personal statement given by patients, colleagues, family members, friends, actors, celebrities and other real people. In some states, including New York, Illinois and West Virginia, it is a violation of state law to use testimonials in physician advertising. Other state laws vary, and for the most part, testimonials can be used only if they include disclaimers, identify the patient and offer only information about which the average patient might reasonably have knowledge. For example, patients cannot testify to the physician’s skill or the quality of professional services, but can testify to their own personal experience, comfort and pleasantness of staff.
As with all advertising, patient testimonials, where permitted, must convey typical results, must disclaim that not all patients get the same results, must disclose possible complications and must include alternatives.
The reason patient testimonials are singled out as prohibited or restricted types of advertising is that members of the public, who may already have misconceptions or unrealistic expectations, are susceptible to a personal testimonial as opposed to a traditional advertisement in which the physician notes routine information about the practice. Personal testimonials have a greater risk of appealing to individuals’ anxieties and creating unrealistic expectations of results.
All states and the Federal Trade Commission ban advertising that contains false, fraudulent, deceptive or misleading material, or advertising that guarantees success.
The Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Company offers the following advice for physician advertisers: “Ophthalmologists who advertise also must consider how their ad will sound to a jury. Any good plaintiff’s attorney will subpoena ads generated from a doctor’s office and exploit their impact at trial. Plaintiffs often will claim they were seduced or influenced by representations made in the doctor’s advertising. Such claims have tremendous jury appeal and can, in fact, be the decisive factor between a verdict for the defense and a jury award.”
For comprehensive information on advertising your professional services, read the Ethics Committee’s advertising guidelines by visiting www.aao.org/about and clicking “Ethics” and “Compendium: Advertising.” OMIC also offers guidelines on its website (www.omic.com).
Always be sure to research your own applicable state laws to ensure compliance.
New Glaucoma OTA
The Ophthalmic Technology Assessment on Novel Glaucoma Procedures, published in July’s Ophthalmology, reviews the literature for novel, or emerging, glaucoma surgical procedures. Based on studies reviewed in the assessment, it is not possible to conclude whether novel, or emerging, glaucoma surgical procedures are superior to, equal to or inferior to surgery such as trabeculectomy or to one another.
To read OTAs, visit www.aao.org/one and click “Practice Guidelines” and “Ophthalmic Technology Assessments.” Full text is free to members and Ophthalmology subscribers.
Listen to What the Coding Experts Have to Say
Learn about the latest topics in ophthalmic coding and documentation by attending a Codequest seminar. Designed specifically for the ophthalmology practice, the seminars are scheduled to take place throughout the United States and offer a comprehensive review of the most clinically relevant information in all practice emphasis areas. These state-specific coding seminars are sponsored by the AAOE and your state or subspecialty society.
For more information on topics and requirements and to see when Codequest is coming to your state, visit www.aao.org/codequest.
Learn Surgical Concepts in Revised Training Textbook
Surgery is a complex core competency, and surgical training can be daunting for ophthalmology residents. The second edition of the Basic Principles of Ophthalmic Surgery (#0283003) textbook aids both the instructor and the trainee by presenting many of the key elements of the surgical process.
Topics include patient selection, preparations for both the surgeon and patient, surgical instruments and materials, postoperative considerations and more. Two new chapters explain the principles of lasers and ergonomics. Self-assessment tests and suggested reading are also included at the end of each chapter.
Basic Principles of Ophthalmic Surgery is $83 for members and $115 for nonmembers.
Annual Business Meeting
Notice is hereby given that the Annual Business Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology will be held Sunday, Oct. 23, in Valencia Room A at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, from 10 to 10:30 a.m.
In accordance with Academy bylaws, notice is hereby given of the following nominations for board positions on the 2012 board. These nominations were made by the Academy board of trustees in June.
Please note that senior secretary for Advocacy is a three-year term, two trustee-at-large positions are available in 2012, and the Council nominated the candidates for its chairman and vice chairwoman positions during the Mid-Year Forum.
President-Elect: Paul Sternberg Jr., MD
Nomination Procedures for the Academy Board
On Jan. 1, 2012, six board of trustee positions will become vacant. Elections to fill those positions will take place by mail ballot after the Oct. 23, 2011, Annual Business Meeting in Orlando.
To nominate a candidate by petition for the 2012 board, submit a written petition to the Academy’s executive vice president/CEO no later than Aug. 24. The petition must be signed by at least 50 voting Academy members and fellows.
To suggest a nominee for the 2013 board, watch for the call for nominations that will be published in the January issue of EyeNet Magazine.
To read the rules in full, visit www.aao.org/bylaws and see Article V of the Academy bylaws.
Announcing the 2011 Academy Awards
It is with great pleasure and pride that the board of trustees and the awards committee announce this year’s award recipients.
Individuals who are honored with the Special Awards will be invited to attend the 2011 Annual Meeting in Orlando as guests of the Academy’s president, Richard L. Abbott, MD.
GUEST OF HONOR AWARD
This award honors individuals for their importance to ophthalmology.
Richard K. Forster, MD
DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD
This award honors individuals or organizations for ongoing notable service to both ophthalmology and the Academy.
The Council (Jean E. Ramsey, MD, and Russell N. Van Gelder, MD, PhD, will accept the award.)
SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD
This award recognizes individuals for their lifetime commitment to and support of ophthalmology. The award may also be presented to an organization for outstanding service in a specific effort or cause that has improved the quality of eye care.
Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Company (John W. Shore, MD, will accept the award.)
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 ophthalmological care performed above and beyond the typical duties of an ophthalmologist.
Steven O. Anderson, MD
OUTSTANDING ADVOCATE AWARD
This award recognizes Academy members for their participation in advocacy-related efforts at either the state or federal level.
Michael R. Redmond, MD
INTERNATIONAL BLINDNESS PREVENTION AWARD
This award honors individuals who have made a significant contribution to the prevention of blindness or the restoration of sight around the world.
Clare E. Gilbert, MD
ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS PROGRAM
The Achievement Awards program recognizes individuals 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 Achievement Award points and have made significant contributions to ophthalmology as determined by the awards committee are nominated to receive this award.
Richard L. Anderson, MD
SENIOR ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Individuals who have cumulatively earned 30 Achievement Award points are nominated to receive this award.
Wallace L. M. Alward, MD
Individuals who have cumulatively earned 10 points are nominated to receive this award.
Nisha Acharya, MD
SECRETARIAT AWARDS PROGRAM
The Secretariat Awards program recognizes individuals for contributions outside the scope of the Achievement Awards program. Each member of the Academy’s committee of secretaries can submit nominees to the Academy’s awards committee.
Nominated by the secretaries for Quality of Care, Knowledge Base Development, Ophthalmic Knowledge and Online Education/eLearning; the editor of the ONE Network; and the senior secretary for Clinical Education:
William S. Clifford, MD
Nominated by the secretary for the Annual Meeting:
Edward J. Holland, MD
Nominated by the secretaries for State Affairs and Federal Affairs, and the senior secretary for Advocacy:
S. William Clark III, MD
Nominated by the senior secretary for Ophthalmic Practice:
Traci Fritz, COE, OCS
Nominated by the secretary for Communications:
Anne Louise Coleman, MD
Nominated by the editor of Ophthalmology:
Donald L. Budenz, MD
Nominated by the secretary for Member Services:
W. Banks Anderson Jr., MD
Nominated by the chief medical editor of EyeNet:
Sheri L. De Martelaere, MD
Nominated by the secretary for Global Alliances:
Daniel Laroche, MD
D.C. REPORT : How Will ACOs Affect Your Practice?
Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are integrated groups of physicians, hospitals and other providers who will work together with the goal of improving quality and lowering cost growth in Medicare. As part of a broad effort by the Obama administration to improve care, CMS recently announced a voluntary three-year test of ACOs to be supported by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation’s shared savings program.
How various ophthalmology practices will relate to this new, integrated model remains to be seen, but quite possibly, private practices could be asked to contract on a fee-for-service basis, as the need to integrate eye care may not be one of the primary concerns. The Academy is concerned that ACOs may not be the appropriate payment and delivery model for all physicians or all patients, and it is reviewing ACO implementation regulations proposed by CMS. Of primary importance to ophthalmology is the regulation on ACO governance, quality and payment structure.
Recognizing that smaller, physician-led ACOs would not be able to bear the same level of risk as larger, highly integrated ACOs, CMS proposed to implement two ACO models with different levels of risk sharing.
Participation in an ACO is voluntary for patients and physicians, and patients can seek care outside the ACO at any time. Further, all payments for providers within an ACO will be based on Medicare fee-for-service rates.
Because of the collaborative nature of ACOs, some public and physician organizations have expressed concerns about monopolization. In response, CMS has brought in the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice to deal with the anti-trust implications.
The Academy is reviewing three ACO implementation regulations to ensure fairness to ophthalmologists and their patients.