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EyeSmart: The Winning Link Contest

The Academy’s EyeSmart education program informs the public about the importance of eye health and empowers individuals to preserve their healthy vision by providing trustworthy and medically accurate information about eye diseases and injuries.

Help spread awareness of the EyeSmart program for a chance to win one of three iPads preloaded with a one-year subscription to the Academy’s Digital-Eyes Ophthalmic Animations for Patients. (See “EyeSmart: The Winning Link,” depicted above.)

To enter the drawing, place a banner (see two samples above), a prominent text link or an informational page on your practice website that directs people to the EyeSmart website (www.geteyesmart.org). The link must be active for 30 consecutive days. Once the link is created, e-mail eyesmart@aao.org with the website address where Academy staff can verify the link. Entries must be received by Feb. 17.

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



Election Results

On Oct. 24, voting opened for six positions on the 2012 board of trustees. One month later, voting closed and the results are as follows:

  • President-Elect: Paul Sternberg Jr., MD 
  • Senior Secretary for Advocacy: Cynthia A. Bradford, MD
  • Trustee-at-Large: Linda M. Tsai, MD 
  • Trustee-at-Large: Charles M. Zacks, MD
  • Chair of the Council: Russell N. Van Gelder, MD, PhD
  • Vice Chair of the Council: Ann A. Warn, MD, MBA

For more information on the Academy’s board of trustees, visit www.aao.org/bot.


Nominations for the Academy Board in 2013

By Richard L. Abbott, MD

As past president of the Academy, it is my privilege to serve as chairman of the Academy’s Nominating Committee in 2012. This committee represents a variety of interests within the Academy and is charged with identifying appropriate candidates for the open positions on the 2013 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 2013:

  • President-elect (to serve as president in 2014). 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 Clinical Education (three-year term). This senior secretary coordinates the programs and activities of the Academy’s clinical education, quality of care, and knowledge base development group.
  • Two trustees-at-large (four-year term). These individuals should be Academy fellows or life fellows who are especially attuned to the needs and expectations of our members. In addition to demonstrating strong leadership potential, they should be able to represent and articulate to the Academy board the needs and concerns of members.
  • One international trustee-at-large (three-year term). This individual should be an Academy international fellow or member who practices exclusively outside of the United States. He or she should have a strong affinity for the Academy and broad experience and understanding of his or her region. This individual should be able to represent and articulate to the Academy board the perspective of international 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 first year of his seventh term. Dr. Ginsburg is president of the Center for Studying Health System Change and is serving the second 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 Academy’s 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 Richard L. Abbott, MD, Nominating Committee Chairman, 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/bot and select “Elections.”


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.

Robert Abel Jr., MD
David H. Abramson, MD
Ronald C. Agresta, MD
Leonard B. Alenick, MD
Arthur W. Allen Jr., MD
David R. Anderson, MD
Louis V. Angioletti Jr., MD
M. Wasim Ansari, MD
Philip M. Aries, MD
Jon N. Astle, MD
Mg S. Aye, MBBS
Ann E. Barker-Griffith, MD
Marilyn K. Belamaric, MD
Priscilla M. Berry, MD
Don C. Bienfang, MD
Ronald C. Bilchik, MD
Perry S. Binder, MD
Lawrence A. Birndorf, MD
Richard J. Blocker, MD
Barry A. Bohn, MD
James D. Branch, MD
Don A. Bravin, MD
Brooks G. Brown III, MD
Arnold N. Brownstein, MD
J. Raymond Buncic, MD
Delmar R. Caldwell, MD
Charles H. Campbell, MD
David G. Campbell, MD
John A. Carolan, MD
Richard P. Carroll, MD
Thomas M. Carter, MD
David T. Casey, MD
Carol W. Chappell, MD
Thomas C. Church, MD
Douglas H. Clements, MD
Armando J. Coello, MD
Thomas J. Coghlin, MD
Stuart M. Cohen, MD
Talmadge D. Cooper III, MD
F. David Cox, MD
Franklin A. Crystal, MD
Walter S. Cukrowski II, MD
Lawrence M. Davidson, MD
Albert I. Davis, MD
John L. Davis III, MD
Robert C. Della Rocca, MD
Frank N. Derr, MD
John S. Dunn, MD
Bruce S. Eich, MD
Daniel M. Eichenbaum, MD
Frederick J. Elsas, MD
Ralph J. Falkenstein, MD
Robert M. Feibel, MD
Fredrick Feldman, MD
Sheldon H. Feldman, MD
Eugene A. Fernandes, MD
Daniel Finkelstein, MD
C. Kenneth Fischer, MD
Gerald A. Fishman, MD
Richard P. Floyd, MD
Robert J. Foerster, MD
R. Scott Foster, MD
Kay Ellen Frank, MD
Roger D. Friedman, MD
Theodore L. Fritsche, MD
Charles S. Gannon, MD
Charles A. Garcia, MD
George Marshall Gibbins, MD
Marshall I. Gladnick, MD
Morris I. Glassman, MD
Evangelos S. Gragoudas, MD
John F. Griffin, MD
Marc A. Grinberg, MD
G. S. Guggino, MD
Gary A. Gustason, MD
Arlene E. Gwon, MD
Roy T. Hager, MD
N. Patrick Hale, MD
John R. Hamill Jr., MD
Winfried H. Hansen, MD
R. Lowell Hardcastle, MD
Stephen M. Harrison, MD
David L. Hartzell, MD
John G. Hatchett, MD
Robert J. Heidenry, MD
Paul E. Hepner Jr., MD
David A. Hill, MD
Lloyd M. Hughes, MD
David S. Hull, MD
John D. Hunkeler, MD
Anthony J. Inverno, MD
Richard R. Jamison, MD
Lee M. Jampol, MD
Alan Jarrett, MD
Larry P. Jenkins, MD
Maurice E. John, MD
John C. Johnson, MD
Robert M. Johnston, MD
Larry W. Jones, MD
Jonathan M. Kagan, MD
Sheldon J. Kaplan, MD
Jerome F. Kasle, MD
John R. Kearney, MD
John L. Keltner, MD
Norman A. Kempler, MD
Russell G. Knapp Jr., MD
Richard S. Koplin, MD
Bertram Kraft, MD
Oscar J. Kranz, MD
Stephen M. Kronenberg, MD
Theodore Krupin, MD
Burton J. Kushner, MD
Gregory J. Ladas, MD
Elizabeth H. Landa, MD
Jeffrey D. Lanier, MD
Thomas P. Larkin, MD
Harold W. Ledoux, MD
Worldster S. M. Lee, MD
Robert L. Lesser, MD
David C. Lewis, MD
Robert S. Lewis, MD
Jorn-Hon Liu, MD
Leo W. Mack Jr., MD
Richard J. Mackool, MD
Tom S. Maddox Jr., MD
Joseph Majstoravich, MD
Charles A. Mango, MD
Joel U. Mann, MD
Frederick A. Mausolf, MD
Ronald C. May, MD
George W. McGinley, MD
Fred L. McMillan, MD
James D. McNabb, MD
James R. Meador Jr., MD
Norman B. Medow, MD
Luis A. Mendoza, MD
Milorad M. Milic, MD
Kenneth J. Miller, MD
Thomas I. Millman, MD
Donald S. Minckler, MD
Helen A. Mintz-Hittner, MD
David Mittelman, MD
William E. Mock, MD
Charles R. Moore, MD
Timothy F. Moran Jr., MD
Richard S. Muchnick, MD
O. Lee Mullis, MD
Anthony Musto, MD
Thomas C. Naugle Jr., MD
Lawrence P. Newman, MD
R. Michael Nisbet, MD
Hugo M. Nue, MD
Hanna Obertynski, MD
Kevin D. O’Brien, MD
Bruce B. Ochsner, MD
Andrew S. Ogawa, MD
J. Justin Older, MD
Luis J. Oms, MD
David H. Orth, MD
Neil Pastel, MD
T. Otis Paul, MD
Martin E. Pearlman, MD
J. Louis Pecora, MD
David S. Pfoff, MD
James R. Pitts, MD
Zane F. Pollard, MD
Donald W. Putnoi, MD
Dundoo Raghunandan, MD
Kenneth L. Raulston Jr., MD
Lawrence S. Rice, MD
Willard G. Rice Jr., MD
Alan M. Rich, MD
Charles N. Robbins, MD
Michael C. Roberson, MD
Julio R. Rojas, MD
Michael A. Rosenberg, MD
Stanley M. Rous, MD
Saul M. Rubenstein, MD
E. Ronald Salvitti, MD
Robert A. Santora, MD
Frederick A. Scelzo, MD
Don E. Schwartz, MD
William J. Schwartz, MD
Timothy V. Scott, MD
Kanaklal Sen, MD
Morris A. Shamah, MD
M. Bruce Shields, MD
John P. Simses Jr., MD
Kanwar A. Singh, MD
Sara R. Sirkin, MD
Carolyn M. B. Skov, MD
Stanley F. Sliwinski Jr., MD
Stephen M. Solomon, MD
Franklin H. Spirn, MD
Daniel H. Spitzberg, MD
J. Bruce Steigner, MD
Thomas R. Stevens, MD
Larry D. Stewart, MD
Robert Dudley Stone, MD
Alan Sugar, MD
Joel Sugar, MD
Sindhu H. Thota, MD
John R. Trittschuh, MD
Jonathan D. Trobe, MD
Ronald H. Ullman, MD
M. Zafer Wafai, MD
Jila S. Waikhom, MD
George G. Walker, MD
Wilson K. Wallace, MD
Roland A. Walters, MD
Arden H. Wander, MD
George O. Waring III, MD
David M. Way, MD
Ted Chau-Po Wei, MD, PhD
Tay J. Weinman, MD
S. Joseph Weinstock, MD
Stephen M. Weinstock, MD
John P. Whitcher, MD
Lloyd M. Wilcox Jr., MD
Robert A. Wiznia, MD
Kenneth P. Wolf, MD
John A. Wolfe, MD
Ira G. Wong, MD
Edward J. Zobian, MD


International Ophthalmologist Education Award

The Academy is pleased to announce the recipients of the International Ophthalmologist Education Award for 2011. 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.

Walid Abdelghaffar, MD (Egypt)
Babiker H. Abukheir, MBBS (Sudan)
Luciano Berretta, MD (Argentina)
Saiful I. Bhuiyan, MBBS (Bangladesh)
Konstadinos Chatzinikolas, MD (Greece)
Dileep Kumar Chennamshetty, MBBS, MS (India)
Carmen N. Demetrio, MD (Argentina)
Emma Teresa Villasenor Fierro, MD (Mexico)
Fabio Fiormonte, MD (Italy)
Vinod Gauba, MD (United Arab Emirates)
Konstantinos Giannopoulos, MD (Greece)
Sergio Hernandez-Da Mota, MD (Mexico)
Jia-xu Hong, MD (China)
Choun-ki Joo, MD (Republic of Korea)
Norinobu Kaga, MD (Japan)
Henry E. Nkumbe, MD (Madagascar)
Jorge G. Ortega, MD (Colombia)
Kimiya Shimizu, MD (Japan)
Gungor Sobaci, MD (Turkey)
David Ta Li Liu, MD (Hong Kong)
Ivan M. Tavares, MD (Brazil)
Leonard S. Teye-Botchway, MD (Bermuda)
Olsi Topalli, MD (France)

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.”


International Scholar Award

The Academy is pleased to announce the following recipients of the International Scholar Award for 2011. This award acknowledges Academy members who have already received the International Ophthalmologist Education Award and further demonstrated their commitment to lifelong professional learning.

Jerman M. Alqahtani, MD (Saudi Arabia)
J. Fernando Arevalo, MD (Saudi Arabia)
Maria A. Carrasco, MD (Argentina)
David Choy, MD (Mexico)
Carlo de Conciliis, MD (Italy)
Vatche D. Der Garabedian, MD (Greece)
Arnaldo Espaillat, MD (Dominican Republic)
Antonio Ferreras, MD (Spain)
Daniel Justa, MD (Brazil)
Madhav Rao Kenja, MD (United Arab Emirates)
Timothy Y. Lai, MD (Hong Kong)
Joaquin Martinez, MD (Costa Rica)
Laurentino Biccas Neto, MD (Brazil)
Cassius S. Paparelli, MD (Brazil)
Girolamo Petrachi, MD (Italy)
Luis F. Rivero, MD (Venezuela)
Tarun Sharma, MBBS (India)
Sathish Srinivasan, MBBS (Scotland)
Javier Cordoba Umana, MD (Costa Rica)
Mario Robert Ventresca, MD (Canada)
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.”



Ask the Ethicist: Patient’s Request for Specific Medications or Procedures

Q: A 40-year-old patient recently presented with complaints of pain and blepharospasm. She thought that some Botox and a blepharoplasty would correct her spasms. In addition, she requested Percocet to help with the pain until the surgery was accomplished. Specifically, she wanted 50 tablets with five refills. On examination, I noted no real blepharospasm or visually significant dermatochalasis. I am unsure how to handle this difficult and demanding patient. It would be easy to give her what she wants just to get her out of my exam room. Is this ethical?

A: No. Making a recommendation for treatment of a condition that the patient does not have is unethical and might expose you to one or more of the following, depending on the entity responsible for payment: claims of fraudulent billing, the loss of provider status with the insurance carrier, exclusion from Medicare and/or discipline from your state board of medicine.

The overly demanding patient can be difficult to manage well. It is often tempting to simply give the patient what he or she wants just to move on with your day. However, that would clearly not be in the best interest of either the patient or yourself. It is common for patients to diagnose themselves with a condition that they do not actually have. Trying to talk a patient out of that diagnosis can be difficult but must be done. Most insurance carriers have strict criteria to define what is considered necessary surgery or treatment and will not cover services or drugs that do not meet those criteria.

The physician must not misrepresent the service that he or she intends to perform. Once informed of this, most patients will cease to ask for these services or drugs, since they will not be covered by their insurance plan. If the patient refuses to listen, referral to a specialist or trusted colleague for a second opinion may be in order.

For more information or to submit a question, contact the Ethics Committee staff at ethics@aao.org. To read the Code of Ethics, visit www.aao.org/ethics and select “Code of Ethics.”


Check Out the Latest Update to the Eye Handbook App

The Eye Handbook, a free app for eye care professionals, is available on both iPhones and Android smartphones. The app now includes a variety of Academy resources, including Blink clinical quizzes from EyeNet Magazine, patient education videos, young ophthalmologist information and a link to the ONE Network.

To download the app, visit www.eyehandbook.com.


New CODEquest Seminars Now Include an Intro to ICD-10

The American Academy of Ophthalmic Executives has developed a new 2012 CODEquest program to prepare practices for the most significant change to coding in 30 years. The CODEquest program now includes three hours of step-by-step ICD-10 instruction with real-life scenarios followed by three hours of ICD-9 updates highlighting the latest in coding and documentation.

To find out when CODEquest is coming to your state, visit www.aao.org/codequestwww.aao.org/moc.


ONE SPOTLIGHT: NEW SURGICAL VIDEO SERIES. In the Master Class in Cataract Surgery video series, David F. Chang, MD, offers his review of cataract surgery in the presence of weak zonules. These 32 videos review every device, variation and surgical approach that Dr. Chang utilizes in managing the broad spectrum of zonulopathy associated with pseudoexfoliation, trauma and other causes. Each video in the series is a free member benefit. To view the Master Class in Cataract Surgery video series, visit www.aao.org/masterclass.



Earn CME Credits With 2012 Focal Points Modules

The 2012 Focal Points CME program features 12 modules on clinical topics. Each module features concise clinical discussions on diagnosis, surgical procedures and the latest ophthalmic research findings.

This year’s titles include:

  • Postoperative Endophthalmitis
  • Update on the Surgical Treatment of Keratoconus
  • Update on Glaucoma Surgery
  • Pediatric Glaucoma
  • Update on Orbital Tumors
  • Pseudophakic Cystoid Macular Edema
  • Ophthalmic Viscoelastic Devices (OVDs)
  • Biologic Response Modifiers in Uveitis
  • Pediatric Diagnoses You Don’t Want to Miss
  • Management of Orbital Trauma
  • Corneal Biomechanics: Basic Science and Clinical Applications
  • Pupillary Inequality

Print and online subscriptions are both available. Print modules are sent in quarterly mailings of three modules each. One new module is available online every month. Each module provides up to two CME credits.

For more information and pricing, visit www.aao.org/focalpoints.


Learn How to Code Effectively

The 2012 Ophthalmic Coding Series provides comprehensive and up-to-date ophthalmic coding training in a two-part format. The Essential Topics book (#0120301) contains information about compliance, CPT, major and minor surgeries, modifiers and more. The Specialty Topics collection (#0120302) contains eight printed modules and two downloadable PDF modules that address subspecialty- specific coding challenges.

The Essential Topics book is $285 for members and $380 for nonmembers. The Specialty Topics collection is $315 for members and $425 for nonmembers. Each module from this collection is also sold separately and costs $40 for members and $60 for nonmembers.

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


TO ORDER PRODUCTS FROM THE ACADEMY STORE, 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.



Claim Your 2011 Orlando CME Credits by Jan. 18, 2012

The CME credits that you earned at the 2011 Annual Meeting and/or Subspecialty Day must be reported by Jan. 18.

As a service to members only, the Academy maintains a transcript of Academy-sponsored CME credits earned, provided that 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.


Submit Abstracts for Courses, Papers, Posters and Videos

If you are interested in being a presenter at the 2012 Joint Meeting, you must submit abstracts online:

For instruction courses and Skills Transfer courses, the submission portal closes on Jan. 10.

For papers, posters and videos, the submission portal 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 meetings@aao.org .


2011 Best of Show Videos and Posters

Congratulations to the recipients of the Best of Show video and poster awards at the 2011 Annual Meeting in Orlando. To view any of the 2011 videos or posters online, visit http://aao.scientificposters.com, select “AAO Scientific Posters Online” or “AAO Videos on Demand” and then select “Best Posters” or “Best of Show.”


2011 Best Original Papers

Congratulations to the authors of the Best Original Papers at the 2011 Annual Meeting in Orlando. The winning papers were selected by the panels in each of the paper sessions.

Sunday’s Best Papers:

  • Femtosecond Laser Session. Optical Impact and Clinical Significance of Corneal Fold Formation in Laser Cataract Surgery, presented by Jonathan H. Talamo, MD (Event Code PA002).
  • Neuro-Ophthalmology Session. Intravitreal Bevacizumab for Treatment of Nonarteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy: Three-Month Results, presented by Daniel B. Rootman, MD, MSc (PA011).
  • Ocular Tumors and Pathology Session.  A Prospective Study on Correlation Between Clinical Features, MRI, and Histopathology in Advanced Intraocular Retinoblastoma, presented by Bhavna Chawla, MBBS (PA022).
  • Orbit, Lacrimal, Plastic Surgery Session. Proximal Tarsal Attachments of the Levator Aponeurosis: Implications for Blepharoptosis Repair, presented by Marcus M. Marcet, MD (PA025)
  • Refractive Surgery Session. Types of Bacteria and Resistance Patterns Found on Bandage Contact Lenses After Photorefractive Keratectomy, presented by Vasudha A. Panday, MD (PA017).

Monday’s Best Papers:

  • Cornea, External Disease Session 1. Visual Outcomes in Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty Complicated by Descemet Membrane Perforations, presented by Hamed Mofeez Anwar, MD (PA049).
  • Cornea, External Disease Session 2. Clinical Outcomes of Xeno-Free Autologous Cultivated Limbal Epithelial Transplantation: A 10-Year Study, presented by Virender S. Sangwan, MBBS (PA066).
  • Glaucoma Session. Structural Asymmetry Among Diagnostic Groups in the African Descent and Glaucoma Evaluation Study, presented by Grant H. Moore (PA059).
  • Pediatric Ophthalmology, Strabismus Session. Peripheral Nonperfusion and Tractional Retinal Detachment Associated With Congenital Optic Nerve Anomalies, presented by Clement C. Chow, MD (PA075).
  • Retina, Vitreous Session 1. Ranibizumab Suppresses Retinal Nonperfusion in Patients With Retinal Vein Occlusion, presented by Peter A. Campochiaro, MD (PA034).
  • Retina, Vitreous Session 2. Three-Year Results of the READ 2 Study: Ranibizumab for Diabetic Macular Edema, presented by Quan Dong Nguyen, MD (PA042).

Tuesday’s Best Papers:

  • Cataract Session. Novel Technique: Surgical Time for a Closed Chamber Pupilloplasty Utilizing an Injectable Nitinol Suture vs. Prolene Suture, presented by Michael Erlanger, MD (PA083)
  • Glaucoma Session. The Ahmed vs. Baerveldt Study: Two-Year Interim Results, presented by Panos George Christakis (PA091).
  • Intraocular Inflammation, Uveitis Session. Health Care Costs for Treated Chronic Noninfectious Uveitis, presented by David S. Chu, MD (PA081).

To view the Best Original Papers abstracts, go to www.aao.org/2011, select “Scientific Program” and “Annual Meeting Program Search,” and type in the paper’s Event Code.



State Ophthalmology Societies Honored

The Academy’s Secretariat for State Affairs honored three societies and two outstanding state society executive directors during the 2011 Annual Meeting in Orlando.

The State Affairs Star Awards program provides special recognition to state societies for outstanding efforts on programs or projects they have implemented in the past year. The 2011 recipients are:

  • Connecticut Society of Eye Physicians for creating a multispecialty physician advocacy coalition, Medicine United: Special Forces.
  • Florida Society of Ophthalmology for the passage of legislation to improve medical liability fairness in cataract surgery and related collaborative efforts with OMIC to develop a standardized informed consent form for cataract surgery.
  • Ohio Ophthalmological Society for providing free prescription sports goggles through its “Play Hard. Don’t Blink. Prescription Goggle Program.”

The State Society Executive Director Recognition Program was created in 1998 in an effort to publicly acknowledge executive directors for outstanding contributions to their respective state societies and for their partnership and collaboration with the Academy on its national efforts.

The 2011 Outstanding Executive Director recipient for organizational development is Annette Mahler, OCS, executive director of the Utah Ophthalmological Society. The recipient for political action is Tara Gregorio, executive director of the Massachusetts Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons.

To contact your state ophthalmology society, visit www.aao.org/statesocieties.



Byron H. Demorest, MD, who served as the Academy’s president in 1985, passed away on Oct. 14, of multiple myeloma. He was 86.

“Byron was a giant in the gentlest, most humorous way,” said Susan H. Day, MD, a former Academy president.  “He lived what he preached; the last thing he expected was another ribbon or another accolade. He also was not afraid to speak the truth. We will all miss him.served his patients, his profession and his community in an elegant yet home-grown style, with the utmost humility and humor.”

Among his many achievements, Dr. Demorest was instrumental in establishing the University of California, Davis, school of medicine in Sacramento and was founding chairman of its ophthalmology program. “Byron was in so many ways a visionary,” said Mark Mannis, MD, the current chairman of ophthalmology at UC Davis. “He realized that, in addition to a private-practice community, the state capital needed a strong academic program for training young ophthalmologists.”



The Heed Ophthalmic Foundation awarded David H. Abramson, MD, with the Heed Award during the Academy’s Annual Meeting this past October.

He received the award in recognition of his leadership and contributions in the field of ophthalmology.

Dr. Abramson served his Heed Fellowship in 1974 and 1975 at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. He is currently chief of the ophthalmic oncology service and professor of surgery, pediatrics and radiation oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He is also professor of ophthalmology at Weill-Cornell Medical Center.

The Cornea Society awarded Daniel Böhringer, MD, with the 2011 Cornea Society/Richard C. Troutman, MD, DSc (HON) Prize during the Cornea Society/Eye Bank Association of America Fall Educational Symposium this past October.

The award is bestowed annually by the society for the paper published in Cornea during the previous year that was judged to be most outstanding and innovative and was authored by an investigator 40 years of age or younger. The award-winning paper was titled “The Intrastromal Corneal Ring in Penetrating Keratoplasty—Long-Term Results of a Prospective Randomized Study.”

Eydie G. Miller-Ellis, MD, was selected to receive the 2011 Women in Ophthalmology/ Suzanne Veronneau-Troutman Award. The award was presented to Dr. Miller-Ellis during the Academy’s Annual Meeting in Orlando.

The award is given in recognition of the woman who has done the most in the preceding year to promote the role of women in ophthalmology.


Who’s in the News

K. David Epley, MD, was interviewed by The Birmingham News for a Nov. 10 piece on childhood myopia.

Dr. Epley notes that he does not change what he tells parents in light of a new study linking outdoor time with less myopia. “We are already recommending that children limit screen time to no more than one to two hours per day, and none for children less than two years old.”

David G. Hunter, MD, PhD, was interviewed by The New York Times for an Oct. 29 story on the ocular risks associated with the use of 3-D glasses for entertainment purposes.

Most visual development happens before age 7 or 8, said Dr. Hunter. “That’s when something could potentially go wrong if you were wearing these for all of your waking hours.”



D.C. REPORT: Bonuses Available for PQRS and E-Prescribing

At the Academy’s urging, Medicare makes it easier in 2012 for ophthalmologists to both qualify for incentive payments and avoid penalties deriving from the Medicare Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and e-prescribing programs. Participating physicians can earn a bonus equal to 1 percent of their Medicare-allowed charges for e-prescribing and a bonus of 0.5 percent for reporting PQRS quality measures to CMS. Ophthalmology has one of the highest participation rates in the PQRS and e-prescribing programs of any specialty.

PQRS. The Academy advanced new measures and options that will help more ophthalmologists qualify for a PQRS bonus. These new reporting options come at a critical time, as CMS will initiate penalties for nonparticipation in PQRS in 2015 based on reporting history in 2013. Therefore, 2012 is the last year in which physicians can familiarize themselves with the program before their nonparticipation could result in penalties.

The Academy advanced a cataract measure group, which CMS included in PQRS in 2012. Physicians who choose to report on the cataract measure group will only have to report on 30 patients in order to qualify for the PQRS incentive bonus. The new measure group must be reported through an online data registry:

  • Measure 191—Cataracts: 20/40 or Better Visual Acuity Within 90 Days Following Cataract Surgery
  • Measure 192—Cataracts: Complications Within 30 Days Following Cataract Surgery Requiring Additional Surgical Procedures
  • Measure to be determined—Cataracts: Improvement in Patient’s Visual Function Within 90 Days Following Cataract Surgery
  • Measure to be determined—Cataracts: Patient Satisfaction Within 90 Days Following Cataract Surgery

The Academy also worked with the American Academy of Dermatology to ensure that a new measure for biopsy follow-up will be reportable by oculoplastic specialists.

eRx. While penalties for failing to e-prescribe begin in 2012, the Academy has secured changes in the program that allow more ophthalmologists to avoid future penalties. Most significantly, any ophthalmologist who writes fewer than 100 prescriptions in the first six months of the year will be eligible to request a significant hardship exemption from the penalty. CMS will also give credit to surgeons who e-prescribe at times other than the office visit during the first six months of the year. The Academy continues to push for exemptions for senior physicians who are nearing retirement.

For more information about the PQRS and 2012 e-prescribing programs, visit www.aao.org/pqrs and www.aao.org/e-rx.

The Academy has advanced new measures and options that will help more ophthalmologists qualify for a PQRS bonus.


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