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February 2009

YO Info™ is the American Academy of Ophthalmology's newsletter for young ophthalmologists (YOs) — those in training as well as in their first few years in practice.

This newsletter provides YOs with information about practice management, coding and insurance questions, balancing work and family, and many other issues relevant to YOs. You'll also learn more about resources and services that are already available to you from the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Academy of Ophthalmic Executives (AAOE).

Practice Management
Getting Medicare-Secondary-Payer Claims Right the First Time
When is Medicare not responsible for primary payment for beneficiaries’ medical claim? CMS has detailed this issue in a fact sheet for physicians and administrators. Medicare secondary payer (MSP) is the term used by Medicare when Medicare is not responsible for paying a claim as primary.

Three Ways to Foster an Inviting Office Culture
Every organization has a culture unique to that organization and a doctor’s office is no exception. The culture determines how patients, staff and doctors feel when they walk in the office. The ophthalmologist plays the key role in determining the culture of his/her office. If we want our office culture to be one of excellence, competence and friendliness, we must work to set that tone. Various aspects contribute to the culture we might find in our own office.

Advocacy Day: Change You Can Be a Part Of
What exciting times we are living in! While our country is facing serious financial and international uncertainty, we are seeing a renewed optimism in our government. And, for the first time in years, there is a growing interest in politics and political involvement. But your involvement doesn’t have to be over just because the election is. In fact, in many ways, involvement is more important than ever. The perfect way to jump in is by attending the Mid-Year Forum and Congressional Advocacy Day.

Seven Clinical Pearls for Examination of the Retina
Examination of the retina can offer a spectrum of difficulties. It can be straightforward and easy in the young, cooperative patient without coexisting ocular disease, and it can be extremely challenging in some patients who are less cooperative and/or have coexisting eye diseases that preclude optimal examination. The following are seven clinical pearls for examination of the retina that I have learned during my fellowship and continued to refine and teach during my last four years in practice.

Events and Resources

Thinking About a Fellowship? Ask Us Your Pressing Questions
Starting with the March issue, YO Info will be launching a new series on decisions faced by residents, such as what type of practice to work in. The first story looks at whether to get a fellowship or not. If you have fellowship-related questions you’d like us to consider when planning the story, e-mail them to We cannot promise to cover all questions submitted, but will do our best to address the concerns you share with us.

Help Your Patients and Their Families Protect Their Sight
February is Save Your Vision Month, a great chance to remind your patients about sight-preserving measures they can take, such as getting a baseline eye-disease screening at age 40. Free resources from the Academy’s EyeSmart™ campaign can help you explain disease risks such as family history. Get materials.

Preferred Practice Patterns: Age-Related Macular Degeneration
As a service to its members and the public, the Academy has developed a series of guidelines called Preferred Practice Patterns™ (PPP) that identify characteristics and components of quality eye care. The YO Info newsletter provides a link to a PPP to help familiarize young ophthalmologists with this important resource.