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The Academy recently received a major gift to establish the Michael R. Redmond, MD Professionalism and Ethics Education Center. The $500,000 gift from Dr. Allan Jensen and his wife, Claire, creates an endowment fund in honor and memory of Dr. Redmond and his clinical excellence in pediatric ophthalmology, commitment to patients, highest ethical standards, and service to the Academy. In recognition of the Jensens’ generosity, the Academy will establish the Dr. Allan D. and Claire S. Jensen Professionalism and Ethics Lecture, to be held during the Joint Meeting.
In the last 28 years since the Academy’s Ethics Program was established, medical knowledge, therapies, treatments, and the health care environment as a whole have undergone significant changes. As a result, new professional and ethical issues have arisen, requiring the program to evolve and expand its role. The program has also expanded from educating practicing U.S. ophthalmologists to including residents, program directors, and international ophthalmologists. In the future, educational initiatives may extend to practice administrators and allied health professionals. Because of these changes, a cohesive resource to implement these efforts has become necessary. The Michael R. Redmond, MD Professionalism and Ethics Education Center will serve as this resource within the Academy and maintain a dynamic, comprehensive approach to dealing with professional ethics.
“Professionalism and ethics are pivotal components of the practice of medicine. While some of ethics is intuitive, it can be complex and dynamic. Allan and Claire Jensen’s generous gift will help ensure that the Academy remains a strong resource for its members in ethics training,” said David W. Parke II, MD, Academy Executive Vice President and CEO. “Mike Redmond was a fierce force for good in ophthalmology. Whether it was ethics, access to care, patient safety, or defending the profession, Mike was in the vanguard. And Allan Jensen has been there, too. I can think of no greater tribute to Mike’s principles than what Allan and Claire Jensen have done.”
“The medical profession is facing dramatic challenges as our health care delivery and payment systems quickly evolve,” said Dr. Jensen. “Physicians and the profession will be faced with ethical questions regarding the education of providers and patients, the changing scope of practice, the determination of equitable reimbursement for services, and the rationing of care. We are honored to help in the development of an Ethics Education Center at the Academy to address those concerns, and are pleased to have the center named for our friend and past Academy president, the late Michael Redmond, who was also a member of the Ethics Committee. While he and I were able to joke about our foibles, he set a wonderful example of integrity and ethical behavior for all of us.”
For more information or to donate, visit www.faao.org/donate.
Global Ophthalmology Initiative: Preparing to Volunteer Abroad
The Academy’s 2013 Global Education and Outreach Committee, chaired by Linda M. Lawrence, MD, will drive the Academy’s programming and activities in the Global Ophthalmology (GO) arena to educate and prepare ophthalmologists who are volunteering overseas.
These physicians need to be aware that performing eye surgeries and providing treatment in other countries, particularly in the developing world, will inevitably raise ethical issues and involve safety risks. In addition, they must be prepared to find ways to promote the long-term efficacy and sustainability of their aid.
The committee enlisted the help of Alfred Sommer, MD, MHS, and David S. Friedman, MD, MPH, of the Dana Center of the Wilmer Eye Institute and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to develop two lectures delivered as online learning modules. The first, “So You Want to Work Overseas,” is presented in two parts—“Things to Consider Before You Go” and “Identifying and Working With Partners.” Ophthalmologists are eligible for 0.5 CME credit after viewing this presentation. The second lecture, “Major Causes of Blindness,” is presented in four parts—“Cataracts,” “River Blindness,” “Xerophthalmia,” and “Trachoma.” Ophthalmologists are eligible for 1.25 CME credits after viewing this presentation. More modules are coming.
For information and to view these presentations, visit www.aao.org/one and select “Global ONE.”
2012 Donations to the Foundation
The Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology is instrumental to the success of Academy programs. Thanks to the generosity of donors, the past year has been an exciting one for the Foundation. Notable events include:
Read more about these and other achievements in the online edition of the Foundation’s annual report at www.faao.org.
Member Benefits: Improved Journal Access
A key benefit of Academy membership is a subscription to the peer-reviewed studies, research, and reviews in Ophthalmology, plus online access to other notable ophthalmic publications.
Two recent changes improve your access to these journals:
Find the Most Qualified Job Candidates
The Ophthalmology Job Center is the Academy’s online employment resource. This service helps you access the most talented pool of ophthalmologists and ophthalmic professionals quickly and cost-effectively. It is free for job seekers.
To get started, visit www.aao.org/ophthalmologyjobcenter.
Boost the Practice Management Skills of Your Staff
The American Academy of Ophthalmic Executives (AAOE) is the practice management arm of the Academy. It provides ophthalmologists, administrators, office managers, and staff with up-to-date practice management tools and information to help the practice run more effectively and profitably. Encourage your staff to become members of AAOE for the benefit of the practice.
For more information, or to join or renew your membership, visit www.aao.org/ joinaaoe.
Education Materials for Patients Who Are at Risk of or Have Glaucoma
January is Glaucoma Awareness Month. Provide your patients with these ophthalmologist-reviewed materials from the Academy:
View video clips, see samples, and order at www.aao.org/store.
Your Monthly Dose of Clinical Knowledge: 2013 Focal Points
Focal Points is a series that delivers 12 clinical ophthalmic modules annually in either the print or interactive online format. Each module focuses on a topic of current interest and concisely discusses diagnosis, treatment, and the latest research. All modules are written by experts and contain easy-to-reference tables, diagrams, photos, and surgical videos.
Focal Points is a convenient way to keep up to date on clinical knowledge and earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credits. A one-year subscription is $197 for members, $262 for nonmembers. 2013 titles include (subject to change) the following:
For more information, visit www.aao.org/focalpoints.
Claim CME Credits by Jan. 16
CME credits earned at the 2012 Joint Meeting and/or Subspecialty Day must be reported by Jan. 16, 2013. 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 their record is available on a single transcript.
Claim your CME credits online at www.aao.org/cme.
Visit the Meeting Archives to download course handout PDFs, find scientific posters, review Technology Pavilion presentations, view highlights from the Opening Session, and more.
For more information, visit www.aao.org/aao-archives.
Best of Show
The 2012 Joint Meeting Video Program comprised 66 videos. The “Best of Show” winners were the following:
To view the videos, go to http://aao.scientificposters.com and select “AAO Videos on Demand,” then click “Best of Show.” (You also can select “AAO Scientific Posters Online,” then “Best Posters” to view the “Best Posters for 2012.”)
Mark Your Calendar: New Orleans 2013
The 2013 Annual Meeting will take place Nov. 16-19 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, preceded by the Subspecialty Day meetings on Nov. 15 and 16.
Permanent Medicare Pay Fix Faces Obstacles
While lawmakers are seeking a temporary halt to the 27 percent cut in Medicare physician pay scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, the Academy and other physician associations are also focused on finding solutions to the obstacles that impede its permanent repeal. The cut is a result of the faulty sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula that is used to calculate Medicare physician pay.
Because temporary fixes to halt Medicare cuts take a toll on physician practices and increase the cost of doing business, the American Medical Association is leading a campaign for a five-year solution to provide stability. This would give physicians time to modify their practices, purchase electronic health record systems, and refine quality program measurements.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates the cost to permanently repeal the SGR formula is $249 billion, which is considerably less than its previous $321 billion estimate. However, lawmakers so far have been unable to agree on funding sources that must be found elsewhere in the federal budget to cover the cost of the permanent repeal.
Legislation introduced earlier this year in the House of Representatives to repeal the SGR formula would dramatically cut payments to physicians who do not transition to a new model (such as accountable care organizations and bundled payments with the hospital) in 2018. The Academy opposed this legislation because the effectiveness of these new models is still unproven, and it is too early to see how ophthalmology will fit in.
The Academy continues to work with the American College of Surgeons on a plan that would provide multiple options for surgical specialties to receive positive pay increases. Details are still being worked out, but credit would be given for participation in current Medicare quality reporting programs as well as in a national quality registry sponsored by the relevant specialty.
One of the toughest obstacles to overcome is the cost containment mechanism to hold Medicare costs down. The current SGR and past volume-performance targets have proved ineffective and problematic. The health care reform law included creation of an Independent Payment Advisory Board to control Medicare costs, but with a broader spending target. The board is widely opposed by the Academy and other providers, including hospitals. Some Republican congressional leaders advocate for marketplace competition to contain costs. They believe patients, including Medicare beneficiaries, shopping for coverage will keep costs down. The Republicans point to the success of the Medicare Part D drug coverage program, in which health plans negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies on prices, and plan premiums have been stable.
Members at Large
State Society Executive Directors Recognized for Outstanding Contributions
Each year in conjunction with the Academy’s Annual Meeting, the Academy Secretariat for State Affairs publicly acknowledges state ophthalmology society executive directors for their contributions to their state societies and for their partnership and collaboration with the Academy on its national efforts. During the 2012 Joint Meeting in Chicago, the Secretariat recognized two state ophthalmology society executive directors for their outstanding work.
The Academy Secretary for State Affairs, Daniel J. Briceland, MD, applauded the dedication and professionalism of all executive directors on behalf of state societies and Eye M.D.s across the country. “It is their ongoing, day-to-day efforts that contribute to successful and efficient state society operations.”
2012 Outstanding Executive Director: Organizational Development
Jennifer A. Keeler, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Academy of Ophthalmology (PAO)
Ms. Keeler was recognized for her efforts to provide a wide variety of resources and activities to PAO members, including educational programs, public information programs, and member communications. Ms. Keeler works with society leadership to publish an engaging quarterly member newsletter, Focus; partners with the Academy to offer three annual CODEquest Coding College sessions throughout the state; and organizes an annual seminar focusing on issues pertaining to electronic health records. Ms. Keeler was recognized, as well, for her support of the society’s substantial advocacy agenda.
She also was recognized for her participation in the secretariat’s Workgroup for State Society Membership— in which she provided invaluable perspective as a state society executive director—and for her continued efforts to provide input/feedback during the implementation phases of the Pilot Combined Dues Billing project and the state society Grant Program.
2012 Outstanding Executive Director: Political Action
Craig H. Kliger, MD, Executive Vice President, California Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons (CAEPS)
Dr. Kliger was recognized for his diligent work in bringing attention to the CMS demonstration project in California that integrates care for dual-eligible Medicare and Medicaid
Dr. Kliger was also recognized for his ongoing advocacy efforts on behalf of CAEPS members and their patients. These efforts include limiting optometric scope expansion and promoting participation in advocacy by all Eye M.D.s. in his state, particularly ophthalmologists in training.
The Cornea Society awarded Kaevalin Lekhanont, MD, with the 2012 Cornea Society/Richard C. Troutman, MD, DSc (HON) Prize during the Cornea Society/Eye Bank Association of America Fall Educational Symposium on November 9.
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 “Randomized Controlled Trial of Subconjunctival Bevacizumab Injection in Impending Recurrent Pterygium: A Pilot Study.”
Dr. Lekhanont said, “I feel greatly honored to have been selected as the winner of the Cornea Society Troutman prize. I would really like to thank Professor Richard Troutman and the Cornea Society for recognizing my academic research. The fact that my research has benefited patients is already rewarding. I am truly humbled and grateful for this prestigious award.”
Ruth D. Williams, MD, was selected to receive the 2012 Women in Ophthalmology/ Suzanne Veronneau-Troutman Award. The award was presented to Dr. Williams during the Academy’s Joint Meeting in Chicago.
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. Dr. Williams said, “The Suzanne Veronneau-Troutman award reminds us of several generations of remarkable women in ophthalmology, including Dr. Veronneau-Troutman, who have made vibrant contributions to our profession.” She added, “My husband’s grandmother was a physician. I dedicate this award to Dr. Harriet Skemp and the courageous women physicians of her generation who prepared the path for me. Thank you, Dr. Veronneau-Troutman and my colleagues of Women in Ophthalmology, for this honor—I share it with each of you.”
The International Society of Refractive Surgery (ISRS) awarded Marcony R. Santhiago, MD, PhD, of Brazil with the 21st Annual Richard C. Troutman, MD, DSc (HON) Prize during the ISRS Awards on Nov. 9. This prize recognizes the scientific merit of a young author publishing in the Journal of Refractive Surgery and includes a $5,000 honorarium from the Troutman Endowment. Dr. Santhiago said, “To me, it is a great honor to receive the Troutman award this year. I really know the history and the importance of this prestigious prize. It’s the greatest achievement of my career, and I hope it helps aspiring young ophthalmologists to keep working on research and producing quality papers.”
The Lions Eye Institute for Transplant & Research honored Lewis R. Groden, MD, and Henry F. Edelhauser, MD, at its 2012 Eye Ball Gala on Oct. 6. Dr. Groden was honored with the Light of Sight Award for his assistance in the organization’s growth, and Dr. Edelhauser with the Innovation and Research Award for his microneedle invention.
Richard K. Forster, MD, Helen L. Kohen, and Andrew A. Moshfeghi, MD, MBA, wrote the medical text for An Artist’s Perspective on the Eye—Paintings by J. McGuinness Myers, published by the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute (BPEI) as part of its 50th anniversary celebration this fall. The book of artwork—all from paintings and drawings Mr. Myers created on site at BPEI at the University of Miami from 1966-1968—depicts numerous eye conditions, including those of the cornea, lens, vitreous, and retina. “We wanted to make these images, treasured at the BPEI for their intricacy and artistry as well as their medical value, available to a broader audience,” said Dr. Forster. More information is available at www.fineartspress.com/?p=447.
Who’s in the News
V.K. Raju, MD, and Peter J. McDonnell, MD, were featured by The Dominion Post in Morgantown, W. Va., Aug. 19 in an article about Dr. Raju’s Eye Foundation of America (EFA) and its annual fundraiser. The EFA provides eye treatment to people in developing countries, especially children.
At the event, Dr. McDonnell, director of the Wilmer Eye Institute, received the first Robert L. Murphy Visionary award.