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Yo info

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January 2010

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).

YO Info's new editor, Robert F. Melendez, MD, MBA
Dr. Melendez

Editor's Note: YO Info Leadership Change
Effective this month, Aaron Miller, MD, becomes a former editor of YO Info, in order to helm another Academy project. We are sad to see him go but excited for him about the new opportunities he is pursuing. YO Committee member Rob Melendez, MD, takes over in Dr. Miller’s stead. You’ll be hearing more from Dr. Melendez in the coming months.

Practice Management
The Federal Stimulus Package and the HITECH Act: Taking Stock of What We Know To Date
The passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) has left many of us seeking details on the federal plan to accelerate adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) in medical practices, as set forth in that portion of the ARRA known as the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act). At the risk of redundancy, this article attempts to outline what we do, in fact, know about the HITECH Act thus far, and what we will likely learn in the months to come. It also discusses some of the practical first steps for ophthalmologists to consider.

Medicare Update: Reporting Simplified for 2010 E-Prescribing Incentive
For successful reporting under the 2010 e-prescribing incentive program, a single quality-data code (e-prescribing G-code) should be reported, according to the following coding and reporting principle.

Improving Connections with Peers: One Resolution Made Easy
If one of your resolutions for this year was to do a better job of connecting with colleagues, you’re in luck. As we told you in the November/December issue of YO Info, the Academy has launched a new set of tools to help you do that – and come this February, the means of sharing cases, problems, solutions and more get even better.

Seven Clinical Pearls for Diagnosing and Managing Challenging Corneal Ulcers
All of us have been there in residency: You get the phone call Friday afternoon for referral in of a “great teaching case” — i.e., a corneal ulcer. Come to find out, it’s not just limited to residency training. All kidding aside, corneal ulcers are one of the most common diseases referred to ophthalmology practices and can present some significant diagnostic challenges. The very first patient I examined in private practice had a contact lens-related central corneal ulcer that already had been treated for three weeks without improvement and with progressive thinning. I had to use almost all the “tricks” I learned in residency and fellowship to successfully treat this ulcer.

One to One: Randy Johnston, MD
One in a long line of physicians, he had no problem with the medicine part but had no plans to continue the family tradition of being an Eye M.D. In this interview, the Academy's 2010 president Randy Johnston, MD, tells YO Info how he changed his mind and offers three ways you can get more involved with the Academy this year.

Events and Resources

Haiti Earthquake Relief
Learn about the Academy's relief effort, and how you can help support recovery efforts responding to the recent devastation. We are also posting periodic, first-person reports from members who volunteer there. Read the report of Bascom-Palmer’s James Banta, MD, who spent two days assisting. If you are an ophthalmologist working in Haiti, e-mail with recommendations for supplies and assistance. We will do our best to help.

Get Free Joint Meeting Course Downloads, Audio Captures from AAOE
Miss the YO-oriented courses during the AAOE Program of the 2009 Joint Meeting? Free course downloads and audio captures are available for several courses from the program.

Health Reform: CEO David Parke on Where We’ve Been, Where We’re Headed
The fight ahead is long and the ultimate result unpredictable, but as we move into 2010, the Academy’s CEO/EVP David W. Parke II, MD, wanted to share with you some perspectives on the national “health care reform” experience as it pertains to medicine, ophthalmology and the Academy. His letter offers personal ruminations, not Academy position or policy.

Preferred Practice Pattern: Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma
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 will regularly include a link to a PPP to help familiarize young ophthalmologists with this important resource.