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Yo Info

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April 2011

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
Is Your Practice Embracing Wellness Eye Care?
Coping with changes in an extremely dynamic practice environment is the major challenge ophthalmology practices currently face. An important component of running an efficient practice is providing excellent patient-wellness care beyond in-clinic visits. Reimbursement for wellness eye care has created a new model for ophthalmology practices. Practice managers have the unique opportunity to generate new revenue sources for tomorrow’s changing ophthalmology landscape.

Avoiding an Audit: History-Taking and the Components of the Chief Complaint
Simply hearing the word “audit” can cause anxiety in any physician…and with good reason! Yet, there are simple steps you can take to protect yourself. For example, did you know that the number one reason physicians don’t do well in a third-party payer audit is due to an inadequate history to support the level of documentation billed — particularly in a new patient exam? Let’s review the chief complaint and the three components of history-taking in E&M (evaluation and management) coding.

YO Perspective: Why I’m Hopeful About the Future of Health Care
Erin Lichtenstein, MDArriving at Union Station in Washington, D.C., on the evening of April 6 for the welcome dinner of the Academy’s Mid-Year Forum, one could be excused for feeling pessimistic. The whole city anticipated a government shutdown by the end of the week, as Republicans and Democrats plodded through marathon negotiating sessions, seeking to cut billions from the federal budget and taking partisan swipes at each other in newspapers and on news websites. With the mood on Capitol Hill so apprehensive, it did not seem like an auspicious time to begin a lobbying effort arguing against reduced payments to physicians. However, it’s hard to keep a hopeful, young ophthalmologist down, so off I went to begin my first experience on Capitol Hill with a sense of cautious optimism.

YO Perspective: A Chance to Lobby for Loan-Repayment Assistance, Other Changes
Kevin Bowman, MDAt approximately 5:35 p.m., train 84 from Washington, D.C., once again passes the small town of Ashland, Virginia. I am currently on my way home from D.C after attending this year’s Mid-Year Forum on behalf of the American Academy of Ophthalmology as one of the four EyeWiki Resident Contest winners. The event not only met but greatly exceeded my expectations and is certainly something that I am honored and humbled to have been a part of.

Academy Online Community Highlights
YO Info
picks the most relevant recent discussions among your peers.

Events and Resources

YOs a Key Part of Congressional Advocacy Day
Lana Rifkin, MD, participates in Congressional Advocacy Day.More than 100 young ophthalmologists participated in Congressional Advocacy Day earlier this month, comprising nearly a third of the Eye M.D.s who met with legislators and their staffs as part of Mid-Year Forum activities. View (and share!) stories and photos in the Mid-Year Forum group.

Will You Be the Next EyeWiki Contest Winner?
Winners of the first EyeWiki contest, with Academy President Richard Abbott, MD.With a contribution to EyeWiki, you could join the ranks of residents Sujata P. Prabhu, MD; Kevin M. Bowman, MD; Juliette M. Stenz, MD; and Annie K. Lim, MD, who won all-expenses paid trips to this year’s Mid-Year Forum and were recognized during the program. Contest is open to all ophthalmology residents based in North America. Submit a page in one of four content areas to enter; deadline is Dec. 1.

Get Comprehensive, Expert MOC Exam Instruction in One Weekend
The Demonstration of Ophthalmic Cognitive Knowledge (DOCK) exam in September is quickly approaching. Do you know what to study? The Academy’s live Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Exam Review Course provides a comprehensive, in-depth overview of the Practicing Ophthalmologists Curriculum (POC) in one weekend, July 22 to 24. Come to Rosemont, Ill. (near Chicago) and study with a distinguished faculty of instructors who created the POC, which serves as the basis for the MOC exams. Special study sessions are held for each practice emphasis area (PEA) so you can choose sessions based on the PEAs you plan to take for the DOCK exam. Register now.

Help Us Improve YO Info! Take Our Brief Survey
If you haven’t had a chance to respond to our reader survey yet, would you answer seven questions for us? It should only take a couple minutes, but will help us tailor coverage to the needs and interests of our readers. Thanks! Take the survey.

Featured Academy Resource:
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. YO Info will regularly include a link to a PPP, policy statement or other resource to help familiarize young ophthalmologists with these important resources.