Dr. Lum to Receive the 2023 Distinguished Service Award
The Academy Board of Trustees voted to award the 2023 Distinguished Service Award to Flora Lum, MD, Academy vice president of Quality & Data Science. Dr. Lum was nominated by Academy President Daniel J. Briceland, MD.
The Distinguished Service Award is among the Academy’s highest awards. It honors an individual or organization for ongoing notable service to ophthalmology and the Academy. The president names a prospective recipient, and the nominee is then put to the Board of Trustees for a vote.
Dr. Lum has made fundamental contributions to ophthalmology. In 2013, Dr. Lum played a major role in establishing the Academy’s IRIS Registry (Intelligent Research in Sight)—the nation’s first comprehensive eye disease clinical registry. Under her guidance, the IRIS Registry has collected data from 483.6 million patient visits on 78.6 million patients as of Jan. 1, 2023, and reported on quality measures for several thousand ophthalmologists each year since 2014.
In addition, Dr. Lum oversees the quality of care and evidence-based activities of the Hoskins Center, including the development of Preferred Practice Patterns and Ophthalmic Technology Assessments and the creation, stewardship, and revision of performance measures incorporated into CMS’ Merit-Based Incentive Payment System. She also serves as the program manager of the Premium IOL Patient-Reported Outcome Measure and directs the Academy health information technology activities.
Attend the award ceremony at AAO 2023. Dr. Lum will be honored at the AAO 2023 Opening Session in San Francisco on Saturday, Nov. 4 (9:00-10:30 a.m.).
Academy Names Sixth Copeland Fellow: Dr. Sopeyin
At Mid-Year Forum 2023, the Academy, joined by the National Medical Association (NMA)–Ophthalmology Section, recognized Anuoluwapo (Anu) Sopeyin, MD, as the sixth annual Copeland Fellow. Dr. Sopeyin is a PGY2 ophthalmology resident at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins.
Dr. Sopeyin moved to the United States from Nigeria more than a decade ago to pursue her undergraduate education at Vassar College. She subsequently worked as a research assistant at Rockefeller University in New York City. She continued to gain exposure to translational research as a medical student in the Paintsil Lab at the Yale School of Medicine. While at Yale, Dr. Sopeyin led a mentorship program that served underprivileged middle and high school students.
The award. The Robert A. Copeland Jr., MD, Advocacy Education Fund was established by the Academy in 2018 to honor the late founding chairman of ophthalmology at Howard University, who had a history of engaging Academy members-in-training in advocacy and who desired greater engagement in advocacy by all ophthalmologists. The fund covers the annual expenses for one resident to attend the Academy Mid-Year Forum and Congressional Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C., as an Advocacy Ambassador. (Learn more about the Advocacy Ambassador Program at aao.org/advocacy-ambassador.)
Copeland Fellows are selected with the help of the NMA-Ophthalmology Section.
Read more at aao.org/2023-copeland-fellow.
2023 MIPS: June Deadlines for EHR-Based Reporting
For those who participate in the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), the least burdensome way to report quality measures is by integrating their EHR system with the IRIS Registry.
The move to Verana Health from FIGmd. This year, Verana Health completes its takeover of the EHR integration process from FIGmd, making it the Academy’s exclusive end-to-end data partner for the IRIS Registry. Support for manual reporting MIPS via the IRIS Registry also has transitioned from FIGmd to Verana Health.
June 15 deadline for getting started on EHR integration. If you haven’t yet integrated your EHR system with the IRIS Registry but want to do so this year (or if you signed up last year but did not integrate), notify Verana Health by June 15. To see which EHR systems are eligible for IRIS Registry integration, visit aao.org/iris-registry/ehr-systems.
Report changes to your EHR or practice management systems by June 15. If you have integrated your EHR system with the IRIS Registry, but have made changes to your practice management system or EHR system—such as a system upgrade, a move to cloud-based storage, or a move to another EHR system—notify your Verana Health Practice Experience Manager or email email@example.com by June 15. You may need to repeat the data mapping process.
Download the IRIS Registry Preparation Kit at aao.org/iris-registry.
Not Getting IRIS Registry Communications?
Are you using the IRIS Registry to report MIPS? Your practice should be getting email from Verana Health.
Not getting those emails? Those messages are sent to the contact person that Verana Health has on file. If your practice isn’t receiving those emails (and they’re not in anybody’s spam folders), check that Verana Health is using the correct contact information. Either get in touch with your Verana Health Practice Experience Manager or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enter YO Resident Knowledge Exchange Contest by June 15
Do you have great flash cards, mnemonics, or other helpful study tips that you developed to survive residency? Young ophthalmologists (YOs) are invited to enter the Resident Knowledge Exchange contest by posting educational pearls and study resources to the Resident Knowledge Exchange board with the tag “2023 Contest Entry” by June 15. Submissions will be judged based on their accuracy, creativity, and educational value for residents.
The contest winner will receive a virtual reality headset, a chance to present at a YO event during AAO 2023 in San Francisco, and acknowledgment on Academy social media and in publications such as Academy Express, EyeNet, and YO Info.
Learn more at aao.org/resident-exchange-contest.
June 30 Deadline for Neuroprotection Manuscripts
Ophthalmology Science, the Academy’s Gold Open Access journal, will publish a special issue on neuroprotection. Submissions are being accepted through June 30. All open-access fees will be waived. The issue will feature guest editors Adriana Di Polo, PhD, Thomas V. Johnson III, MD, José-Alain Sahel, MD, and Joel S. Schuman, MD.
Submit at www.editorialmanager.com/xops/default2.aspx.
Don’t Miss This DEI Webinar
On June 20 at 5:00 p.m. PT, join presenter Ambar Faridi, MD, for a free webinar about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), titled “All Eyes on DEI: Positives, Pitfalls, & Priorities.” This program is sponsored by the American Academy of Ophthalmic Executives, the Academy’s practice management affiliate. It will cover DEI’s positive effects on patient care, recent progress in ophthalmology, and strategies for future improvement. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A.
To register, go to aao.org/meetings and search under webinars.
New Course: Breaking Bad News
Review the Academy’s new interactive course, titled “Breaking Bad News for Practicing Ophthalmologists,” to improve your communication skills and earn 1 CME credit. Ophthalmologists completing this workshop will learn to incorporate the SPIKES (setting up, perception, invitation, knowledge, emotions with empathy, and strategy or summary) protocol in conversations, build knowledge around visual rehabilitation services, and construct strategies specifically for discussing surgical complications.
Get started at aao.org/course-bad-news.
Explore Resources for Vision Rehabilitation
The Academy offers a variety of resources to support you and your practice in providing appropriate and needed care to low vision patients. Find out where you can refer patients with visual acuity of less than 20/40 and/or scotomas, field loss, or contrast loss. Appropriate vision rehabilitation services can lessen the impact of patients’ vision loss and improve their independence and quality of life.
Learn more at aao.org/education/low-vision-and-vision-rehab.
New! Neuro-Ophthalmology Rotation Series for Residents
Explore the Academy’s newly published Neuro-Ophthalmology Rotation. Developed by members of the Academy’s Committee for Resident Education, this course provides essential education for residents in their neuro-ophthalmology rotation.
It is the latest curriculum in the Academy’s resident rotation series. Other titles in this series can be found in the resident section of the ONE Network, along with other valuable content for residents.
Get started at aao.org/education/course/neuro-ophthalmology-rotation.
Visit the No. 1 Job Site for Ophthalmology
The Ophthalmology Job Center is an easy way for hiring practices and qualified candidates to connect. Employers can post jobs directly and target the most qualified ophthalmic audience, while candidates can search hundreds of listings by location and subspecialty.
Learn more at aao.org/jobcenter.
International Opportunities to Improve Your Skills
Deliver the best care for patients by practicing your ophthalmic dexterity with the Academy’s Global Directory of Training Opportunities. The directory provides a listing of ophthalmic externships, fellowships, internships, observerships, and preceptorships available around the world.
Search opportunities to train today at aao.org/training-opportunities.
MEMBERS AT LARGE
Watch Dr. Osher’s Latest Video Journal: Vol. 39, Issue 1
The Video Journal of Cataract, Refractive, and Glaucoma Surgery (VJCRGS), created by ophthalmic surgeon and educator Robert H. Osher, MD, has been publishing educational cataract, refractive, and glaucoma videos since 1985. The surgical videos are submitted from ophthalmologists around the world and are handpicked by the VJCRGS editorial board. Out now, the first issue of 2023 demonstrates a variety of routine and novel techniques for IOL explantation.
Watch vol. 39, issue 1 for free at www.vjcrgs.com.
The Academy Keeps a Spotlight on Prior Authorization Reform
In September 2022, the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act, a bipartisan bill with 326 cosponsors, passed the House unanimously. The bill would reform prior authorization under the Medicare Advantage program to help ensure America’s seniors get the care they need when they need it. The day the House debated it, independent legislative analysts at the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said the bill would significantly raise Medicare costs by billions of dollars over 10 years due to greater use of services. As a result, the bill stalled in the Senate.
Contesting the CBO estimate. The Academy and some lawmakers vehemently disagreed with the CBO estimate. In fact, at the Academy’s urging, Rep. Larry Bucshon, MD, R-Ind., one of the bill sponsors, challenged the estimate’s accuracy during a key committee hearing on the legislation.
Lobbying CMS. Lawmakers also began engaging CMS, urging the agency to release a rule that—like the bill—would require Medicare Advantage plans to adopt electronic prior authorization and support the waiver or modification of prior authorization requirements based on provider performance, among other reforms. The Academy and the Regulatory Relief Coalition (RRC) also met with CMS to urge action on the electronic prior authorization rule. A CMS proposed rule to implement such changes would, if adopted, lower the bill’s cost estimate, easing its passage through the Senate.
The 117th Congress ended with a cliffhanger. CMS released its proposal to improve the prior authorization process on Dec. 6, 2022, but CBO did not update their estimated costs for the bill before the 117th Congress adjourned.
The fight for prior authorization reforms is continuing into the 118th Congress. In March, the Academy submitted comments in support of the CMS proposal.
To support these efforts, donate to the Academy’s political action committee, OphthPAC, at aao.org/ophthpac.