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Yo Info

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August 2013

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).

Recent CCI Edits Significantly Impact Ophthalmology
Effective July 1, Correct Coding Initiative (CCI) edits version 19.2 bundled all established patient exam codes (both E&M and Eye codes) with all major and minor surgeries. Unfortunately, CMS has not given Medicare administrative contractors clear direction on how to implement these new edits or contractors have not adopted the corrections. As a result, exams are being denied. Also, several sources have provided erroneous information about the edits.

Practice Management
Getting the Last 10 Percent: Fixing Billing and Collection Performance, Part 1
The billing and collection process closely resembles the clinical processes used to evaluate and manage a patient’s medical eye problems. During a medical examination, all components of the history and/or exam must be completed. If even one is omitted, an incorrect diagnosis could be made and improper treatment could be initiated, usually with suboptimal results. In this article, we’ll look at the difference between mediocre and outstanding billing and collection results. We’ll also identify where applying extra attention can increase your practice’s collection of receivables from around 90 percent to 100 percent.

Making People Care: Caverns and Coffee at the Academy’s Secretariat for State Affairs Meeting

I have often wondered what it takes to make people care. I try to convince my patients with diabetic retinopathy to control their blood sugars and my AMD patients to stop smoking, but it’s difficult to make people do something they don’t want to do. That was the challenge facing state and national leaders at the recent meeting of the Academy Secretariat for State Affairs, where I was the young ophthalmologist representative. Much of the discussion echoed questions I ask in my own practice: How do you make them care?

Annual Meeting
Residents’ Guide to the Annual Meeting: ‘Take Charge of Your Career’ in New Orleans
From contract negotiation and coding to marketing and selection of practice types, the Academy’s newly designed “It’s YO World, Jumpstart YOur Career” allows YOs of all stripes to learn about the key issues central to their young professional careers. This month, YO Info takes a look at what the Annual Meeting has to offer residents and how the experience can propel your career forward.

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.

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

News in Brief

Featured Academy Resources
 • Latest Focal Points: Masquerade Syndromes
 • Featured resource: Refractive Errors and Refractive Surgery Preferred Practice Pattern
New on EyeWiki
 • Uveal melanoma
 • Femtosecond lasers and laser assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK)
 • Brown syndrome
 • West Nile retinopathy
 • Möbius syndrome

YO Elected as Delegate to PAAO Board
Earlier this month, R. V. Paul Chan, MD, was elected by overwhelming majority to serve as a delegate on the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology’s board of directors. Dr. Chan already serves on the Academy’s YO international subcommittee. His two-year PAAO term commenced Aug. 11 at the 30th Pan-American Congress of Ophthalmology in Rio de Janeiro. Dr. Chan’s appointment should further strengthen collaborations between the Academy and PAAO’s YO committees and other joint efforts.

Miss the IRIS Registry webinar? Watch the recording
Last week, more than 350 ophthalmologists joined the webinar to learn more about the latest “game changer” in ophthalmology, the IRIS™ Registry. It is the first nationwide electronic health record-based eye disease clinical registry. The webinar details how the IRIS Registry will:

  • Improve outcomes and achieve clinical excellence by enabling ophthalmologists to easily compare their performance and outcomes data against that of other practices nationwide.
  • Help practices avoid scheduled Medicare penalties (4-8 percent) associated with value-based purchasing over the next several years.
  • Help physicians submit Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) electronic health record (EHR) data and meet Meaningful Use requirements

Watch the recording. Questions? Email

Help Us Help You Tackle the Business Side of Ophthalmology
The editorial board and staff of YO Info are developing a new series on business and practice management for residents and young ophthalmologists. By answering a few questions, you can help ensure the series meets your needs. Take the business-needs survey.

New Financial Disclosure Begins Aug. 1; Residents Excluded
Beginning Aug. 1, manufacturers and certain other entities must begin collecting information about their payments to and other financial relationships with physicians and teaching hospitals. Residents are excluded from the reporting. CMS will begin an annual, public release of the data in September 2014, a program known as Open Payments. The program was stipulated by a physician “sunshine law” passed as part of the health care reform law. Physicians and hospitals have no data-collection responsibility. However, providers will be able to review and, as needed, correct their information before its public release. Learn more about the law’s implications on the Academy website.