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Yo Info

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July 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).

Knowledge is for Breakfast in Orlando
As we talked about last month, at this year’s Annual Meeting, you will be able to purchase the Academy Plus course pass, which covers 350 Academy and AAOE instruction courses for one low price. However, there are a few that are NOT covered by the pass, including Skills Transfer labs, AAOE roundtables, Coding Camp and special ticketed events. Additionally, there are several YO-specific events that are not covered, including: The YO Program ($35 and includes lunch); Networking With the Experts: Knowledge and Tips for the YO ($20 and includes lunch); and Breakfasts With the Experts. For all of these events, seating is limited, so be sure to make your reservations early.

Protecting the Future of Ophthalmic Care and How You Can Help
A push by optometrists to perform surgery started in Oklahoma 13 years ago with the passage of laser surgery legislation, and it hasn’t stopped since. Organized optometry began a state-by-state campaign to extend its scope of practice to include surgical as well as prescriptive privileges. While scope of practice affects all ophthalmologists, YOs have the most to lose. These battles dictate a YO’s ability to practice medicine for the next 30 years.

YO Interactions, CATT Results and Advocacy: Highlights of the Abbott Presidency to Date
In February, we talked with Academy President Richard L. Abbott, MD, about his goals for his presidency. At that time, he pointed to communication and education — especially overseas — as topics that were high on his list of priorities. Now, with six months under his belt, a wholly different area of Academy activities has given him some new insights and perspective on the profession and gained a tremendous amount of respect in his eyes.

Clinical Pearls: Corneal Measurements for Premium IOLs
As the baby boomers reach their 60s and begin to get visually significant cataracts, demand for premium IOLs is increasing, and with that comes high expectations. Corneal topography and accurate Ks will help you to better meet those expectations, both in determining the optimum IOL power as well as in the astigmatism correction. Here are eight pearls for getting the corneal measurements you’ll need.

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

Events and Resources

Payment in Peril: Make Sure Your Practice is on Track
To protect your practice’s revenue flow from several looming threats to your financial bottom line, there are three important things to stay on top of. 

  1. HIPAA 5010: By now your practice should be familiar with how the changes will affect your systems and vendors. Hopefully you’ve even begun to install the necessary upgrades. Get more details and resources at
  2. E-prescribing: Whether or not your practice submitted 10 e-prescriptions by June 30, you need to have submitted at least 25 e-prescriptions by Dec. 31 to avoid a penalty on 2013 claims. Use only the G8553 code, being sure to link it to an exam code. More details at
  3. PQRS: Even if your practice hasn’t reported any measures until now, you can still qualify for a partial bonus by reporting for the July 1 to Dec. 31 period (full-year reporting is only available via registry). Learn more at

Visit the Payment in Peril page to get regular updates, and the Academy and the American Academy of Ophthalmic Executives will continue to provide updates and advice as these deadlines approach.

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: K-Card
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.