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HELP PATIENTS KEEP SAFE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON.
The holidays are typically a time of celebration, but they also can be a time for eye injuries. Accidents caused by champagne corks, as well as many toys, can disrupt holiday festivities and necessitate a trip to the emergency room.
Help your patients protect their sight this season by directing them to the EyeSmart website, where they will find a video on how to safely open champagne bottles and tips on toy safety, including what type of eye protection is needed when using different sports equipment.
To access these resources, patients can visit www.geteyesmart.org. To learn more about the EyeSmart campaign, including how you can get free eye health resources for your practice, visit www.aao.org/eyesmartcampaign.
Seeking Outstanding Ophthalmologists
Would you like to nominate a colleague for next year’s Outstanding Humanitarian Service Award? The Academy must receive your nomination by March 16.
The award recognizes Academy fellows and members for outstanding contributions to humanitarian efforts, such as participation in charitable activities, care of the indigent and community service. It acknowledges those who have performed above and beyond the normal duties of an ophthalmologist.
To obtain a nomination form, please contact Member Services by phone, 866-561-8558 (toll-free) or 415-561-8581; by fax, 415-561-8575; or by e-mail, email@example.com. You can also complete a nomination form online by visiting www.aao.org and selecting “Member Services” and “Learn about awards.”
These Academy Products Help Put Your EHR System to Meaningful Use
Did you know that it’s possible to meet “meaningful use” criteria for your electronic health record (EHR) system using the Academy’s patient education products? Currently, the Academy’s videos and handouts for patients can be integrated into Medflow’s EHR system and Sophrona’s patient portal. Medflow and Sophrona clients can access these Academy products from their systems on demand.
If your EHR provider does not currently have Academy patient education tools in its system, have your sales or customer service representative contact Kierstan Boyd, the Academy’s director of Patient Education, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make Your Hiring and Job Searches Easier
Formerly known as Professional Choices, the Academy’s new online Ophthalmology Job Center offers a targeted, cost-effective resource to search for jobs or fill positions for Eye M.D.s, registered nurses, administrators and technicians. It now has a new look as well as updated features and navigation. For example, instead of a 90-day job posting, hiring practices can choose to post for 30, 60 or 90 days; and job seekers can flag multiple job listings to view at a later time.
To start a new search, visit www.aao.org/ophthalmologyjobcenter.
New Glaucoma OTA
The Ophthalmic Technology Assessment on Laser Trabeculoplasty for Open-Angle Glaucoma, which appears in the November issue of Ophthalmology, reviews the evidence for outcomes and concludes that laser trabeculoplasty is effective for treating open-angle glaucoma, although the mechanism of action remains unclear. There is no evidence for superiority of a particular laser over others. Early evidence for repeatability requires further validation.
To read OTAs, visit www.aao.org/one and select “Practice Guidelines” and “Ophthalmic Technology Assessments.” Full text is free to members and Ophthalmology subscribers.
New Topics Added to Learning System Product
To help keep your ophthalmic knowledge up-to-date, the Academy recently added 158 new topics to the Practicing Ophthalmologists Learning System. This online learning program is designed for ophthalmologists who are interested in lifelong learning or who are preparing for Maintenance of Certification exams. It provides a clinically relevant review of topics across all practice emphasis areas (PEAs) and allows you to study anytime and anywhere with thousands of self-assessment questions, personal study tools and simulations of the MOC test-taking experience.
The Practicing Ophthalmologists Learning System is $495 for members and $645 for nonmembers.
To order, visit www.aao.org/learningsystem or phone the Academy Service Center at 866-561-8558 (toll-free in the United States) or 415-561-8540.
Mark Your Calendar for Chicago 2012
Join us in Chicago for the 2012 Joint Meeting of the Academy and the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology. The meeting will take place Nov. 10 to 13 at McCormick Place. It will be preceded by Subspecialty Day on Nov. 9 and 10.
For meeting updates, visit www.aao.org/2012.
Submit Abstracts for Papers, Posters and Videos
If you are interested in being a presenter at next year’s Joint Meeting, abstracts must be submitted online:
For instruction courses and Skills Transfer courses, submission opens on Dec. 7 and closes on Jan. 10.
For papers, posters and videos, submission opens on March 14 and closes on April 10.
For more information on submitting an abstract, go to www.aao.org/
presentercentral. For further information, e-mail email@example.com .
Check Out AAO Meetings on Demand
Since attending every session at the 2011 Annual Meeting was not possible, the Academy has introduced AAO Meetings on Demand. Now you can watch the six Subspecialty Day meetings and highlights from the Annual Meeting on your own schedule and from your home or office.
Order the Subspecialty Day meetings or the Annual Meeting highlights separately, or get the Premiere Collection containing both. Your order includes both online access and offline access through a USB drive. Although the files contain both slides and synchronized audio, you can also download just the MP3 files.
To order, visit www.cmeoncall.com/aao.
Claim Your 2011 Orlando CME Credits by Jan. 18
Beginning Nov. 16, the CME credits that you earned at the 2011 Annual Meeting and/or Subspecialty Day can be reported online. Credits must be reported by Jan. 18.
As a service to members only, the Academy maintains a transcript of Academy-sponsored CME credits earned, provided the member reports those credits to the Academy. Members may also report credits earned through other CME providers so that a record of all CME credits earned is available on a single transcript.
To report your CME, go to www.aao.org/cme.
MEMBERS AT LARGE
Minnesota Academy Screens Veterans
During the 93rd Annual American Legion National Convention this August, members of the Minnesota Academy of Ophthalmology (MAO) were on hand at the Academy’s exhibit booth to provide glaucoma screenings to veterans and their families. “The MAO was honored to participate with the Academy to provide care to our nation’s veterans,” said MAO President Richard H. Johnston, MD. “This also provided a wonderful opportunity to further educate veterans about eye diseases and conditions.”
The national convention is the American Legion’s largest meeting of the year, with each of its 55 departments— including the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, France, Mexico and the Philippines—sending delegates. “We screened approximately 300 individuals over the course of the convention and found serious pathologies, including a detached retina and new glaucoma cases,” said Dr. Johnston.
A number of MAO volunteers joined Dr. Johnston to provide the screenings, including Sandra R. Montezuma, MD, Alla Kelly, MD, Edwin Hurlbut Ryan Jr., MD, Leslie A. Kopietz, MD, Michael Lins, MD, Trond A. Stockenstrom, MD, John A. Dvorak, MD, Martin B. Kaplan, MD, and Jane H. West, MD. Assistance was also provided by the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Student Sight Savers, a student organization committed to providing free vision screenings for eye diseases in high-risk groups in the Minneapolis community.
“The Academy’s Secretariat for State Affairs commends the MAO and its leadership for its collaboration with the Academy at the American Legion’s convention,” said Academy Senior Secretary for Advocacy Cynthia A. Bradford, MD. “It is so important to provide this service to our veterans, and we hope many of them came away with increased knowledge about eye diseases and conditions.”
Time for Permanent Medicare Physician Pay Fix
The Academy has increased advocacy efforts this fall for a permanent Medicare physician pay fix at the same time as a federal deficit “super committee” looks at the Medicare program for savings. If Congress does not act by the end of the year, physicians will experience a 30 percent cut in Medicare reimbursement on Jan. 1 caused by the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula. Because temporary pay fixes lead to an increased cost for a permanent fix, implementing a permanent Medicare physician pay fix now by repealing the SGR formula would cost about $300 billion. But the cost increases to $500 billion in just a few years.
As the end of the year approaches, the federal government’s attention, however, remains focused on reducing the nation’s budget deficit. Earlier this year, leaders in Congress appointed 12 members of the U.S. House and Senate to serve on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction; this committee is charged with finding $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction spending over a 10-year period. Savings of this magnitude will employ a number of different approaches, including tax reform, entitlement reforms to Social Security and Medicare, and cuts in defense spending. The committee must report its recommendations by Nov. 23, and Congress must enact them by Dec. 23. An SGR solution could be lost in this broader effort. The Academy is participating in a grassroots campaign with the AMA and other physician organizations to advocate for inclusion of the SGR repeal in the joint committee’s recommendations. The message is simple—implementing a permanent Medicare physician pay fix now by repealing the SGR formula is the “deficit responsible” way to fix a persistent problem and avoid increased future costs.
If the committee cannot reach agreement on the additional cuts or if its recommendations are not enacted, spending cuts will be made through “sequestration,” a process in which the White House Office of Management and Budget makes automatic spending reductions, generally in the form of across-the-board cuts in programs. The sequestration process would be equally applied to defense and nondefense spending. Medicare cuts would be limited to 2 percent and would focus on providers (physicians, hospitals and ASCs) and health plans, rather than beneficiaries. Medicaid would be exempt from such cuts.
For more information on how to become involved in the grassroots campaign for a permanent Medicare physician pay fix, visit www.aao.org/advocacy.
Implementing a permanent Medicare physician pay fix by repealing the SGR formula is the “deficit responsible” way to fix a persistent problem.
ONE JOURNAL CLUB. TOP PICKS IN CATARACT.
Every month, members of the Ophthalmic News & Education (ONE) Network’s editorial board review over 75 journals. Summaries of their top picks are presented each month as Editors’ Choice selections. Eleven subspecialties are represented on the board, with each subspecialty committee boasting a notable roster of physicians. November’s cataract-focused Editors’ Choices are brought to you by cataract committee chairman John A. Hovanesian, MD, and committee member Liliana Werner, MD, PhD.
Dr. Hovanesian is a clinical instructor at the UCLA Jules Stein Eye Institute in Los Angeles and is in private ophthalmic surgical practice at Harvard Eye Associates in Laguna Hills, Calif. He specializes in and conducts research on cataract and lens implant surgery, LASIK and other refractive procedures, cornea and external disease, and the use of biologic adhesives and amniotic membrane transplantation in ocular surgery.
Dr. Werner is an associate professor of ophthalmology and codirector of the Intermountain Ocular Research Center at the John A. Moran Eye Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City. She has authored more than 250 peer-reviewed articles and chapters on the subject of IOLs and other ocular implantable biodevices.
To read and comment on their selections, visit www.aao.org/one and select “ONE Editors’ Choice” and “Cataract/Anterior Segment.”