• Academy Notebook

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    WHAT’S HAPPENING

    Fostering a Diverse Future: Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring

    The Academy has launched a brand-new initiative called Minority Oph­thalmology Mentoring (MOM). This program is designed to attract under­represented minorities (African Ameri­cans, Hispanics, and Native Americans) to a career in ophthalmology. Through the program, minority students will be encouraged to explore ophthalmology, learn how ophthalmology positively contributes to health care, and discover why ophthalmologists are so passionate about protecting sight and empower­ing patients’ lives. In order to better equip students for medical school and residency, the program offers guidance on students’ studies and residency applications, and provides information on research opportunities.

    Academy members will serve as mentors for prospective ophthalmologists. In partnership with the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology, the MOM program matched 25 students—2 undergraduate seniors, 9 first-year medical students, 11 second-year medical students, 2 third-year medical students, and 1 MD/PhD stu­dent—with ophthalmologists who will guide them through their education and expose them to the exciting world of ophthalmology.

    AAO 2018 will provide an exhilarating window into ophthalmology. Mentor-mentee pairs were matched at the end of August, and they meet for the first time in Chicago during the MOM program’s Student Engagement Weekend. Throughout this 2-day event at AAO 2018, students will be able to tour the exhibit hall floor, spend time with their mentors, and forge bonds with other mentees. Student Engage­ment Weekend supports MOM’s mission by giving students a compre­hensive look at ophthalmology and introducing them to the ophthalmic community fostered by the Academy.

    The individual impact. One mentee is Eve Bowers, a second-year medical student at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, who is being men­tored by Marcia Carney, MD, current chief of ophthalmology at Fayette Veterans Administration Medical Cen­ter (associated with the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill residency training program) and past associate clinical professor of ophthalmology at Virginia Commonwealth University and Eastern Virginia Medical School.

    When asked why she wanted to pursue this opportunity, Ms. Bowers said, “I applied to the MOM program because I didn’t have relationships with ophthalmologists in Pittsburgh who looked like me, yet I wanted a mentor who understood the particular chal­lenges of being both African American and a woman in eye surgery. The MOM program remains crucial in making the journey to ophthalmology tangible for me and my minority peers by fostering mentorship, visibility, and community.”

    Her mentor, Dr. Carney, understands the value of mentorship because she, like Ms. Bowers, was once a mentee. Dr. Carney recounted, “My mentor, an African American retina specialist, Dr. Maurice Rabb, along with Dr. Morton Goldberg at the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary, trained me as the first Afri­can American female vitreoretinal sur­geon. The transfer of their knowledge—and their patience—was amazing. Their mission was obvious. They tutored me throughout my tenured career and challenged me to mentor other African American residents of mine with the same fervor. It is an honor and a privi­lege to emulate their service to teaching and mentoring. We all should be allowed to give back in a way that honors our predecessors and our field.”

    For information on mentoring and being mentored, visit aao.org/minority-mentoring.

    TAKE NOTICE

    MIPS Alert! Don’t Miss These Upcoming Deadlines

    If you are participating in the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), be sure to note 2 impending deadlines.

    By Oct. 3, start your 90-day per­formance period. This year, you must perform improvement activities and promoting interoperability measures for at least 90 consecutive days. (The performance period for quality measures and cost measures is the full calendar year.)

    Make sure you score 100% for im­provement activities. All ophthalmol­ogists should be able to max out their score for the improvement activities performance category. Doing that will contribute 15 points to your MIPS final score, which is enough to avoid the MIPS payment penalty.

    Reading this after Oct. 3? Your practice may have been performing and documenting improvement activities as a matter of course. For example: IA_EPA_1: Provide 24/7 access to eligible clinicians or groups who have real-time access to patient’s medical record.

    By Nov. 7, sign up for the IRIS Registry web portal. You can use the IRIS Registry (Intelligent Research in Sight) web portal to manually report quality measures, promoting interop­erability measures, and improvement activities. This deadline was originally Oct. 31 but has been pushed back to Nov. 7. (Note: If you have already signed up for the IRIS Registry, including for electronic health record integration, you don’t need to sign up again for the web portal.)

    Your MIPS performance in 2018 affects your payments in 2020. If your MIPS final score is less than 15 points, your payments for Medicare Part B services will be reduced by up to 5% in 2020. Score more than 15 points and those payments will get a small in­crease; the higher the score, the higher the increase.

    How to get started on MIPS. Visit aao.org/medicare for detailed descriptions of the promoting interoperability measures and the 24 improvement activities that are most relevant to oph­thalmology. You also can visit aao.org/eyenet/mips-manual-2018 to download EyeNet’s 60-page MIPS manual, which includes at-a-glance lists of the mea­sures and activities that link to those detailed descriptions.

    How to sign up for the IRIS Regis­try web portal. Visit aao.org/iris-registry and click “Sign up.”

    Coming to AAO 2018? If you bring your IRIS Registry login credentials, staff at the Academy Resource Center (Booth 508) can help you report your improvement activities and avoid the MIPS payment penalty.

    Seeking Outstanding Ophthalmologists

    Would you like to nominate a colleague for next year’s Outstanding Humanitar­ian Service Award? The Academy must receive your nomination by March 8, 2019.

    This award recognizes Academy fellows and members for outstanding contributions to humanitarian efforts, such as participation in charitable activities, care for the indigent, and community service. It acknowledges those who have performed above and beyond the normal duties of an oph­thalmologist.

    To obtain a nomination form, con­tact Member Services by phone, 866-561-8558 (toll-free) or 415-561-8581; by fax, 415-561-8575; or by e-mail, member_services@aao.org. You can also complete a nomination form at aao.org/about/awards/humanitarian.

    Submit Your Research to Ophthalmology

    Ophthalmology, the flagship journal of the Academy, serves the field of ophthalmology as well as the public by publishing clinical science research and other manuscripts that relate to the sense of sight. With an 8.20 Impact Factor and a print circulation of 27,000 subscribers, you can reach a larger audience than ever before. Submit your research today at https://www.evise.com/profile/#/ophtha/login.

    Ask the Ethicist: Advertising the “Best” Ophthalmology Practice

    Question. Earlier this year, our city’s annual business survey ranked our group as the “best” ophthalmic practice in our area. Subsequently, our market­ing team printed an advertisement with the quote, “Make your appointment today with the best ophthalmology group in [our area]!” We have received several complaints from colleagues who claim that our ad is unethical and needs to be retracted. Isn’t our wording appropriate and ethical because of the survey results?

    Answer. Your colleagues are justified in their pique because your ad does not reference the source of the claim. Because of this essential omission, your ad may be interpreted as misleading or untrue.

    Your question stimulates a highly relevant discussion: About half of the challenges received by the Academy Ethics Committee focus on ethical advertising. And while the committee does not discourage advertising, we can help guide practices to use it ethically.

    Your specific question wrestles with the ethics of claiming superiority. Every claim in an advertisement must be substantiated; failure to substantiate claims carries both ethical and legal ramifications. Section 12 of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act prohibits unsubstantiated claims of superiority. Rule 13 of the Academy Code of Ethics, which addresses advertising and other communications with the public, states, “Communications … must not convey false, untrue, deceptive, or misleading information … [Ads] must not omit material information without which the communications would be decep­tive. [Ads] must not misrepresent an ophthalmologist’s … experience or ability, and must not contain material claims of superiority that cannot be substantiated.”

    It can be very difficult to substan­tiate a claim of superiority, and many ads resort to the use of puffery, or absurd exaggeration (e.g., “the best in the universe”), to sidestep any serious appearance of superiority. You, however, have substantiation for your claim, but failure to cite the source leaves your advertisement in violation of Rule 13 and the FTC Act.

    To be compliant, you must reference the specific survey/poll used to find your practice superior and include dates of the claim. One way to do this would be through footnoting on the printed ad, as with an asterisk. A more prudent way would be to change the wording completely, to a phrase such as: “Voted best ophthalmology practice in [your area] by the [specific survey, with dates].”

    For more information, visit The Redmond Ethics Center at aao.org/clinical-education/redmond-ethics-center. To submit a question to the Eth­ics Committee, email ethics@aao.org.

    D.C. REPORT

    Advocacy at AAO 2018

    In Chicago, several sessions will showcase the Academy’s relationship with federal agencies and lawmakers. Take advantage of the Academy’s strong advocacy by hearing directly from health policy experts on the issues important to ophthalmology while engaging with your fellow advo­cates.

    “Digital Health & Telemedicine in Ophthalmology” (Spe07). Tele­medicine is here, and it’s going to reshape your practice and expand your ability to reach patients in every community. This forward-looking session will prepare you for a brave new world in which ophthalmologists offer synchronous and asynchronous care, and in which artificial intelligence is a trusted “member” of your practice. When: Saturday, Oct. 27, 12:15-1:45 p.m. Where: Room S103a. Access: Free.

    “Medicare Forum” (Spe20). Every year, Academy experts provide an essential update from Medicare policy’s frontlines. When you leave this session, you’ll have gained up-to-date guidance on current and future quality initiatives. You’ll also understand the Medicare program’s evolu­tion beyond fee-for-service. When: Sunday, Oct. 28, 12:15-1:45 p.m. Where: Grand Ballroom S100c. Access: Free.

    “Q&A With FDA” (Spe22). Leaders from the U.S. Food and Drug Ad­ministration (FDA) will engage directly with you during this popular annu­al session. Get your drug and device questions answered and hear about the latest regulatory breakthroughs that affect our profession. When: Sunday, Oct. 28, 12:45-1:45 p.m. Where: Room S103a. Access: Free.

    “Ocular Trauma Care: The Challenges and Successes in the Contin­uum of Care for Eye-Injured Service Members and Veterans” (Spe28). Our nation’s military are among the first to benefit from breakthroughs in how we treat eye trauma. Hear about the successful efforts to treat our patients in war zones, and consider the challenges we still face as a profession as we continue our care for those who have returned home from service. When: Monday, Oct. 29, 12:45-1:45 p.m. Where: Room S103a. Access: Free.

    FOR THE RECORD

    Academy Election

    The election for open positions on the Board of Trustees begins on Monday, Oct. 29, and closes Tuesday, Nov. 27. Election materials will be sent to all voting Academy fellows and members. Results of the election will be posted on the Academy’s website at aao.org/about/governance/elections by Dec. 6, 2018.

    CANDIDATES’ VIEWS

    Anne L. Coleman, MD, PhD

    President-Elect

    Career. Glaucoma specialist; Fran and Ray Stark Foundation Professor at the Stein Eye Institute at the David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles; Vice-chair of Academic Affairs for the Depart­ment of Ophthalmology; professor of epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health; past President of Women in Ophthalmology; past Council Chair of the American Ophthal­mological Society; past Annual Meeting Program Chair for the American Glaucoma Society; past Chair for the National Eye Institute’s National Eye Health and Education Planning Committee; 72nd Jackson Memorial Lecturer; member of Re­search to Prevent Blindness Scientific Advisory Board; associate editor of the American Journal of Ophthalmology; member of the National Academy of Medicine.

    Academy service. Director of H. Dunbar Hoskins Jr., MD, Center for Quality Eye Care; Cochair of David E.I. Pyott Glaucoma Education Center; past Trustee-at-Large; past Quality of Care Secretary.

    Goal. To help Acade­my members achieve our mutual goals to protect and restore sight and empower lives, and to enhance Academy programs for professional and personal improvement.

    Christopher J. Rapuano, MD

    Senior Secretary for Clinical Education

    Academy education experience. Secretary for Lifelong Learning and Assessment for the past 6 years, over­seeing many of the Academy’s educa­tion committees, including the Basic and Clinical Science Course (BCSC), Resident Education, Ophthalmic Knowledge Assessment Program (OKAP), and Practicing Ophthal­mologists Adviso­ry Committee for Education; Chair, Ophthalmic Tech­nology Assessment Committee Re­fractive Surgery Subcommittee; Chair, Preferred Practice Patterns Panel for Cornea; Chair, entire PPP Commit­tee; Chair, BCSC for Refractive Surgery; Annual Meeting Program Committee for Cornea.

    Career. Cornea and refractive sur­gery specialist at Wills Eye Hospital my entire career; I’m currently the Chief of the Cornea Service. I’ve taught resi­dents and fellows in clinic and the OR since my first day in practice.

    Goal. While the Academy performs a wide variety of extremely valuable functions, I feel strongly that the back­bone of the organization is education. My goal is for the Academy to continue to provide the best ophthalmic educa­tion in the United States and around the world.

    Judy E. Kim, MD

    Trustee-at-Large

    Career. Graduate of the University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of Miami, and the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) vitreoretinal fellowship; several years of private prac­tice followed by an academic career; current professor of ophthalmolo­gy with tenure at MCW; Director of Teleophthal-mology and Research at MCW; leadership experiences include: executive committees of American Society of Retina Specialists and Women in Retina, President of Korean-American Ophthalmology Society and Milwaukee Ophthalmology Society, Commis­sioner to Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology, Vice-chair of DRCR.net, graduate of the Academy Leadership Development Program XV; recipient of Acade­my Achievement Award and Senior Achievement Award, and American Society of Retina Specialists’ Honor Award and Senior Honor Award.

    Academy service. Board Recertifi­cation Committee; Lifelong Education for the Ophthalmologist Committee; Special Interest Topics Committee; Current Insight Committee; Retina Subcommittee for EyeWiki; Academy Councilor for American Society of Retina Specialists; Council Regional Meeting Cochair; Awards Committee; Nominating Committee; Subspecialty Section Council Deputy Leader; Retina Subspecialty Day Planning Group.

    Goal. To be the voice of our mem­bers with integrity and passion and to work with all stakeholders through communication and collaboration. I would be honored to serve you.

    ACADEMY RESOURCES

    Boost Your Practice Management Skills

    The Academy offers a variety of resourc­es to assist you in the business aspects of your practice, such as auditing and patient relations. Check out 2 of the Academy’s best resources for practice management learning.

    Ophthalmology Business Summit. From March 23-24, 2019, in Chicago, the Academy’s second annual business-focused summit will address the key fi­nancial and operational challenges that practices are facing right now. For roughly a day and a half, physicians and their senior administrators will team up to gain key insights and actionable strategies that directly impact the revenue and growth of their practices. Take advantage of this rare opportunity to strengthen your practice and exchange knowledge with respected peers in an intimate setting.

    For more information, and to register for the event, visit aao.org/business-summit.

    The Lean Practice: A Step-By-Step Guide to Running an Efficient and Profitable Ophthalmic Practice. This eBook walks you through a simple yet transformative way to improve your practice efficiency, bottom line, and patient satisfaction. The Lean Practice eBook features clear instructions, case studies, downloadable worksheets, and other tools.

    Order the eBook at aao.org/store. The eBook is accessible from most computers or on your mobile device through the Academy eBooks app.