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  • Academy Leadership Sets 2023 Advocacy Priorities

    Academy leaders have identified military veterans’ eye care, physician payment and practice burdens as some of our top advocacy priorities for 2023.

    Prioritization was the result of separate meetings last week involving the Academy’s Secretariat for Federal Affairs and the Ophthalmic Leadership Advocacy Group, a group of ophthalmology subspecialty leaders.

    Our leadership, with the help of Academy staff in the Washington, D.C., office, evaluated the opportunities and risks inherent in the new political environment on Capitol Hill and how those issues affect you.

    Here’s the Academy’s plans in these areas:

    Military Veterans’ Eye Care

    • Working with medicine to ensure that the Department of Veteran Affairs’ Federal Supremacy Project does not result in scope of practice expansions for optometrists and other nonphysician providers.

    Medicare Physician Payment

    • With organized medicine, press Congress to address long-term Medicare physician payment reform with solutions that preserve fee for service and traditional Merit-Based Incentive Payment System and reward qualified clinical data registry participation.
    • Advance the equity for post operative visits in global surgical payments that could potentially increase payments to ophthalmology by more than 4% or nearly $200 million a year.

    Reducing Practice Burdens

    Other Priorities

    • Advocate for policies that advance equitable access to eye and vision care.
    • Address long-standing CMS coverage exclusion for low vision devices
    • Continue engagement with FDA to change corneal tissue donation policy
    • Support efforts to increase vision research funding.

    Academy President Daniel J. Briceland, MD, recently called 2023 the year for engagement and “an ‘all-hands-on-deck' moment for ophthalmology.”

    Members looking to get involved in these issues can start by investing in the Academy’s OPHTHPAC, ophthalmology's voice on Capitol Hill, and the Academy’s Surgical Scope Fund.

    You should also register for Mid-Year Forum 2023, where you will have an opportunity to discuss these issues directly with members of Congress and urge your representative and senators to act in the interest of ophthalmology's patients and profession.