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Yo Info

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September 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).

Telling a Story with Modifiers: A Primer on Coding
What do you need to know about modifiers? Everything … period. Applying modifiers is like telling a story to the payer — they indicate that the exam, test and/or surgery billed has been altered or modified in some way. And for claims to be paid correctly, they are vital. Their incorrect usage — as well as their absence altogether — are two major reasons payers reject claims. As a result, modifier misuse can severely impact your practice’s bottom line.

Practice Management
Getting the Last 10 Percent: Fixing Billing and Collection Performance, Part 2
Last time, we took a look at the difference between mediocre and outstanding billing and collection results, identifying exactly where you should apply extra attention to increase your practice’s collection of receivables. This month, we continue discussing improvements, beginning with accounts receivable (A/R) follow-up.

The IRIS Registry: Bringing the Power of Big Data to Your Fingertips

For ophthalmologists interested in measuring quality outcomes and identifying gaps in quality of care, it usually takes months, if not longer, to procure and process the necessary data. Now imagine a scenario where those months and years become minutes, a scenario where you can instantly access cataract-complication rates — crossed with prescription drug use — from practices in your region and compare them with others around the country. With more than 20 million patient records soon to be available at the push of a button, the Academy’s IRIS™ Registry (Intelligent Research in Sight) promises to make this a reality.

Annual Meeting
Attend, Listen, Apply: An Annual Meeting Guide for the Practicing YO
One of the most valuable aspects of being a young ophthalmologist (YO) is the shared experience of success and failure, the learning gained from celebrating and commiserating with peers and colleagues as you move from training through practice. As the largest gathering of young ophthalmologists in the world, this year’s Annual Meeting is a can’t-miss event. In particular, the YO Program presents an ideal situation for YOs of all types to learn about and tackle the common issues facing them as they take their first steps out of academia.

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: Implants in Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery
 • Featured resource: Herpes Simplex Virus Epithelial Keratitis PPP clinical question
New on EyeWiki
 • Autosomal dominant optic atrophy
 • Myelinated retinal nerve fiber layer

Contribute to EyeWiki and You Could Win a Trip to the Mid-Year Forum!
Residents or fellows-in-training in the United States are eligible to win an all-expenses-paid trip to the April 2014 Mid-Year Forum in Washington, D.C. Simply write and upload a high-quality EyeWiki article by Dec. 1! Four winners will be chosen in early 2014 and recognized onsite by Academy leaders at the Mid-Year Forum. Contributing to EyeWiki is an easy way for you to provide quality information for other ophthalmologists, physicians, medical students, patients and researchers around the world. The Academy’s EyeWiki is a collaborative online encyclopedia where ophthalmologists, residents and fellows can read, write and edit articles on eye disease and treatment. Visit for complete details and to see past winning articles.

Nebraska Resident Helps Testify Against OD Scope-Expansion Proposal
Resident Anna Stagner, MD, joined several other physician leaders in testifying against a proposal to expand optometrists’ authority to perform surgery, prescribe oral drugs and administer eyelid injections. A citizen review committee was considering the proposal, in keeping with the Nebraska legislative process. Representatives from the Nebraska Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons, the Nebraska Medical Association and the Academy testified about the patient safety issues associated with the optometric proposal. After the citizen-review committee votes on the optometric proposal, the Department of Health and the state medical director will review and comment on it. The Nebraska Senate will use all three parties’ findings and recommendations for its 2014 consideration of the proposed optometric expansion.

Appear on the ONE Network – Enter the Global ONE Video Contest
If you have a surgical or clinical video of international interest, submit it to the Global ONE Video Contest now. You can win an iPad mini or $350 in Academy Store credit, and have your video featured on the Ophthalmic News and Education (ONE®) Network. Judges are looking for quality and depth of content, level of commentary, originality and educational value. Submit videos by Oct. 31 to enter the contest.

Help Develop a New YO Info Business Series - Take Short Survey
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.

Registration Open! Quality Reporting and Financial Benefits of IRIS Registry, Free Webinar
Attend this one-hour webinar to learn how the IRIS™ Registry (Intelligent Research in Sight) will enable you to use clinical data to improve care delivery and patient outcomes. Get details on how participating in the IRIS Registry will automate and streamline quality reporting to Medicare and translate to real financial benefits for your practice. The free webinar will be Oct. 7, at 7 p.m. EDT, and will be hosted by Academy leaders William L. Rich III, MD and Michael F. Chiang, MD. Register for the webinar now. To learn more about the IRIS Registry, visit