New: Ophthalmologists Business Summit
The Academy is launching its first physician-oriented business summit, designed exclusively for Academy members. It takes place March 24-25 in Dallas and will address the key financial and operational challenges your practice is facing right now. The summit was created to address a need consistently raised by members for practice management training to help cope with the evolving practice management environment, especially relating to health care reform, reimbursement issues, electronic health records, and planning for/prospering in the future. Topics include:
- improving profitability by identifying cost-cutting opportunities;
- increasing patient referrals through social media and other marketing tools;
- protecting your practice from cyber threats like ransomware that could cost thousands of dollars;
- leveraging available tools like the Academy’s IRIS Registry; and
- incorporating process improvement strategies to build a healthy and sustainable practice.
“Don’t miss this rare opportunity to gain valuable insights and exchange knowledge with your peers in an intimate and focused setting,” said Ravi D. Goel, MD, Ophthalmologists Business Summit Program Director. “I look forward to seeing you in a couple of months in Texas.”
For details and to register, visit aao.org/business-summit.
Ophthalmology Retina: Now Monthly
The Academy’s new retina journal was published bimonthly in 2017. In January 2018, Ophthalmology Retina will move to publishing monthly. As always, the journal will continue to feature high-impact articles in the retina field. Academy members receive a discounted rate of $299 for 12 issues.
To subscribe, visit aao.org/store. To submit a paper, visit aao.org/retinajournal.
Need a Holiday Gift Idea? Donate to the Foundation
This is the perfect time of year to make a gift to the Academy Foundation in honor or memory of a mentor, colleague, or family member. Your tax-deductible donation—particularly at the Partners for Sight level ($1,000–$2,499)—will be used to support the Academy programs that are important to you, including the ONE Network, the IRIS Registry, EyeCare America, and more. Be sure to make your gift by Dec. 31 to receive the tax deduction for 2017.
Get Hands-On Guidance With 2018 Focal Points
Each issue of Focal Points presents a different clinical topic, providing concise information you can apply to practice immediately. Each issue tackles a specific topic and discusses diagnosis, treatment, and the latest standards of care. Topics for 2018 include Micro-Invasive Glaucoma Surgery and Cataract Surgery Synergy; Masquerades of Age-Related Macular Degeneration; and Optical Coherence Tomography for the Management of Glaucoma. Subscribe to the digital version of Focal Points for a new topic every month plus access to the digital archive of more than 100 topics—all Focal Points issues are downloadable, printable, and searchable. Print subscribers get all the benefits of the digital version, plus 12 print issues from January to December of 2018.
2018 Abstract Deadlines
To present at AAO 2018, you must submit an abstract online. The abstract submitter for instruction courses and new Skills Transfer labs opens Dec. 14, 2017, and closes Jan. 9, 2018.
AAO 2018 in Chicago
AAO 2018 will take place Oct. 27-30 and will be preceded by Subspecialty Day, Oct. 26-27. Join your colleagues and the Academy at Chicago’s McCormick Place for the world’s most comprehensive ophthalmic meeting, featuring game-changing research, techniques, and technologies.
Claim CME for AAO 2017
Registrants whose attendance was verified at AAO 2017 and/or Subspecialty Day can claim CME credits online. CME transcripts that include AAO 2017 credits entered at the Academy’s annual meeting are available to Academy members at aao.org/cme-central beginning Dec. 7.
For more information, visit aao.org/annual-meeting/cme.
Enjoy Archived Virtual Meeting Sessions
The Virtual Meeting is a free online component of AAO 2017. View 16 archived sessions from New Orleans (approximately 20 hours of educational content) online through Feb. 14, 2018, using your Academy login and password. The 2017 AAO Virtual Meeting is not eligible for CME credit.
MEMBERS AT LARGE
Khoa D. Tran, PhD
The Cornea Society awarded Khoa D. Tran, PhD, the 2017 Cornea Society/ Richard C. Troutman, MD, DSc (HON) Prize during the Cornea and Eye Banking Forum on Nov. 10. The award includes a $5,000 honorarium from the Troutman Endowment. It is bestowed annually by the society for the paper published in Cornea during the previous year that was judged to be most outstanding and innovative and was authored by an investigator 40 years of age or younger. This year’s winning paper is titled “Rapid Warming of Donor Corneas Is Safe and Improves Specular Image Quality.” Dr. Tran said, “I am excited and honored to have been selected for the Troutman Prize. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our team for being recognized for their tireless dedication to restore sight and advance corneal research, and to thank the eye donors and their families for their generous gifts, which make it all possible.”
Emily Y. Chew, MD
Emily Y. Chew, MD, was selected to receive the 2017 Women in Ophthalmology (WIO)/Suzanne Véronneau-Troutman Award. The award was presented to Dr. Chew during AAO 2017 in New Orleans. It recognizes the ophthalmologist who has done the most in the preceding year to promote the role of women in ophthalmology, and it includes a $1,000 honorarium from the Troutman Endowment. Dr. Chew said, “It is indeed a great honor to be awarded the Suzanne Véronneau-Troutman Award, as I join a group of stellar women leaders in ophthalmology. Suzanne is a terrific role model and a pioneer in areas where very few women ventured. I love the fact that we are both Canadians whose careers took us to the United States. Suzanne had an incredible career and was a mentor to many. Her vision in promoting women has been extraordinary, and her generosity not only to WIO but also to institutions both in Canada and the United States continues to carry on her legacy. I am very humbled by this award, and I hope we can continue to carry out the mission of nurturing future generations to believe in the power of women.”
Riccardo Vinciguerra, MD
The International Society of Refractive Surgery (ISRS) awarded Riccardo Vinciguerra, MD, the 26th Annual Richard C. Troutman, MD, DSc (HON) Prize during the ISRS Awards ceremony on Nov. 10. This prize recognizes the scientific merit of a young author publishing in the Journal of Refractive Surgery and includes a $5,000 honorarium from the Troutman Endowment. Dr. Vinciguerra said, “I am sincerely honored and grateful to have been selected by ISRS and the Academy as the recipient of the 2017 Troutman award, particularly this year when the ophthalmology community mourns the passing of Dr. Troutman—a giant in the field of anterior segment. My father, Paolo Vinciguerra, MD, and I had the great pleasure of meeting him personally. I hope that this article will adequately honor his memory. The study, done in collaboration with Renato Ambrósio Jr., MD, PhD, Cynthia Roberts, PhD, Ahmed Elsheikh, PhD, and my father, aimed to create a new biomechanical index to separate healthy from keratoconic patients. I hope that the introduction of the Corvis Biomechanical Index in clinical practice will increase the accuracy of ectasia screening.”
Academy Monitors Suggested Repeal and Replacement of MIPS
In October, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), a congressional Medicare advisory body, suggested that lawmakers scrap the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). The MedPAC commissioners believe that MIPS is an ineffective program with no real ability to drive quality in health care and that it creates too many burdens for most physicians. As an alternative, MedPAC wants to use a 2% penalty to encourage participation in alternative payment models; however, ophthalmology has no alternative payment models. MedPAC is expected to formalize this recommendation when it meets in January, but Congress has no obligation to adopt MedPAC’s recommendations.
The Academy’s take. While the Academy shares the commission’s perspective on the burdens and complexities of MIPS, it remains skeptical of such a monumental change to this federal health program. The Academy has worked hard to preserve a fee-for-service pathway for ophthalmologists and has given the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and Congress a list of changes that would make MIPS a more effective, less burdensome experience for physicians. This list includes giving more credit for participation in the Academy’s IRIS Registry, which is uniquely designed to serve as a mechanism for impacting quality of care and patient outcomes.
MIPS is the result of an overwhelming bipartisan effort, making both parties invested in its success. In conversations the Academy has had with leaders in the House of Representatives and Senate, it is clear that Congress wants to give MIPS time to evolve and improve.