The Academy is proud to honor Gregory P. Kwasny, MD, with the 2017 Outstanding Advocate Award. This award recognizes Dr. Kwasny for his leadership with legislative and regulatory advocacy efforts on the state and national levels for over two decades.
The Wisconsin Academy of Ophthalmology nominated Dr. Kwasny, who was instrumental in leading his state ophthalmic society’s efforts during a 2001 scope-of-practice battle with the optometrists. As then-president of the Wisconsin Academy of Ophthalmology, Dr. Kwasny successfully unified and led colleagues from across the state to defend the profession. The impact of his work remains today, as Wisconsin’s laws and regulations continue to serve the best interest of patients.
Dr. Kwasny has also been an active leader for ophthalmology at the national level. His knowledge and expertise have been key to numerous negotiations with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services to improve the reimbursement for ophthalmologists throughout the United States. He has advocated for ophthalmologists nationally by his work on the Federal Economic Policy Committee, as chair of the Academy’s Health Policy Committee.
His time at RUC involved countless hours spent reviewing detailed analyses to ensure ophthalmologists received an appropriate upward adjustment in practice expense allocations that conservatively resulted in over $500 million in additional payments annually for eye care. Michael X. Repka, MD, the Academy’s medical director for Governmental Affairs, said, “Dr. Kwasny’s dedication to understanding the economic valuation of the costs to provide clinical care was without peer.”
For many years Dr. Kwasny also served as a volunteer dedicated to the American Medical Association’s Relative Value-Scale Update Committee properly valued ophthalmic services. Dr. Kwasny’s expertise in this area maintained the practice expense and physician work values for nearly all ophthalmologic procedures over many years. His ability to communicate in a quiet yet effective manner reflected the best in ophthalmology.
As Health Policy Committee chair and Academy secretary for federal affairs, Dr. Kwasny responded to countless regulatory and legislative issues involving physician payment, patient access to treatment and the increasing regulatory burden. He performed this service while also serving in roles of increasing responsibility on the RUC: as the Academy’s alternate, then delegate and finally as advisor to the RUC Practice Expense Advisory Committee.
Dr. Kwasny practices general ophthalmology at West County Ophthalmology, Inc., in Chesterfield, Mo. He went to medical school at Indiana University School of Medicine and completed his residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin.