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    Academy Makes Great Strides Toward Museum’s New Home

    During AAO 2018, the 15th annual Or­bital Gala was held at the Chicago Cul­tural Center under the famous Tiffany Dome. More than 350 guests attended the ’60s-themed party and auction. All proceeds benefited the Foundation’s newest fundraising project: building a permanent home for the Museum of Vision at the Academy headquarters, located in the heart of the tourist-rich San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf. For over 30 years, the Museum of Vision committee has dreamed of permanently and publicly displaying the Museum’s artifacts.

    David W. Parke II, MD, Academy CEO, introduced the Museum of Vision project by honoring recent Museum donors Stanley M. Truhlsen, MD, and Michael F. Marmor, MD, as well as Museum Director Jenny Benjamin and Museum Committee members Norman B. Medow, MD, FACS, Jay M. Galst, MD, Andrzej Grzybowski, MD, Jacqueline A. Leavitt, MD, James G. Ravin, MD, and Richard B. Rosen, MD. All received a standing ovation.

    Museum donors. Dr. Parke said, “Most people don’t know what oph­thalmology is or how ophthalmologists protect sight. Thanks in large part to generous donations from Dr. Truhlsen and Dr. Marmor, the new Museum of Vision will be the first of its kind where the public can go to learn about sight, to see it, to touch it.”

    Dr. Truhlsen, an Acad­emy Past President, kicked off major donations to the Museum in early 2018 and began to pave the way for this project’s realization. Lat­er in the year, Dr. Marmor, professor of ophthalmology at Byers Eye Institute at Stanford, made an additional sizeable contribution, push­ing fundraising efforts to­ward their $12 million goal. To show appreciation for the generosity and dedication of Drs. Truhlsen and Marmor, the Museum will be named in their honor.

    Stressing the importance of a Muse­um, Dr. Truhlsen said, “For thousands of years, ophthalmology has pushed the envelope, discovering breakthrough innovations to protect sight. The Muse­um is the vehicle by which our heritage remains both relevant and inspiring, promoting continued discovery and advancement.”

    Dr. Marmor added, “By making the eye fascinating and our management of disease accessible, people will indeed understand our profession better—and by bringing our history into view, the evolution of knowledge and technology that makes modern ophthalmology so powerful will become evident.”

    Gala donations. Gala attendees also donated to the Museum in two ways. First, attendees participated in a silent auction. Second, Christie L. Morse, MD, the Foundation Advisory Board Chair, took the stage and provided step-by-step instructions for using the Donate Now button accessible through attendees’ smartphones. Overall, proceeds from the gala brought in $130,000 in net revenue to benefit the museum. The Museum is expected to open during AAO 2019.


    Don’t Miss the Jan. 15 Deadline for MIPS 

    If you are using the IRIS Registry (Intelligent Research in Sight) to report the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), Jan. 15 is a key date on two counts. 

    1. Finish manually entering your MIPS information. This deadline applies if you are using the IRIS Registry web portal to manually report quality mea­sures, promoting interoperability (PI) measures, or improvement activities. If you successfully integrated your elec­tronic health record (EHR) system with the IRIS Registry, your MIPS quality data are automatically extracted from your EHRs, but you must report PI measures and improvement activities manually. 

    2. Submit a signed data-release consent form. The IRIS Registry won’t submit your MIPS data to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services unless it has received the signed consent form. If you are reporting as an individual, you should sign your own consent form; if you are reporting as part of a group, you can submit a single con­sent form, which can be signed by the administrator. You must submit a new consent form each year, and you can do so via the IRIS Registry dashboard. For instructions, see

    New for 2018. If you are manually reporting patients for a quality mea­sure, you must submit to the IRIS Registry the total number of patients eligible, excluded, and excepted from that measure.

    To learn more about the IRIS Reg­istry and MIPS, see and

    Honor Your Colleagues

    To recognize the achievements of ophthalmologists who have made incred­ible contributions to ophthalmology, the Academy would like your help in nominating recipients for the following awards.

    Laureate Recognition Award. This award honors an outstanding ophthal­mologist whose significant scientific contribution to the field has shaped modern ophthalmology. The Academy is accepting nominations through Jan. 31, 2019, for the 2019 award, with nomination forms available at

    2020 International Blindness Pre­vention Award. Established in 1992, this award is presented at the Academy’s annual meeting to honor an individual who has made significant contributions to the prevention of blindness or restoration of sight. Nominate a colleague for the 2020 award by Jan. 30, 2019, by visiting

    Outstanding Humanitarian Service Award. 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. All nominations for the 2019 award must be received by March 8, 2019. To submit a nomination, visit

    Follow @AAOjournal for the Latest Articles

    Stay up-to-date on research from Ophthalmology, Ophthalmology Retina, and Ophthalmology Glaucoma via the @AAOjournal Twitter handle. New content is posted every day, including articles in press, fascinating “Pictures and Perspectives,” thought-provoking editorials, and new issue alerts.


    Leadership Development Program Welcomes Its 21st Class 

    The Academy’s Leadership Development Program (LDP) XX held its graduation session during AAO 2018 in Chicago. Concurrently, the Academy’s 21st LDP (LDP XXI) class met in an orientation session along with partici­pants in the complementary Curso de Liderazgo class of the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology. The joint session was led by LDP Direc­tor Linda M. Tsai, MD, and Curso Director Zélia M. Corrêa, MD, PhD. 

    The Academy’s 21st LDP class in­cludes its first participant from Africa, Feyi Grace Adepoju, MD. Dr. Adepoju is from Nigeria and was nominated by the African Ophthalmology Council. She joins 18 other ophthalmologists nominated by state, subspecialty, and specialized interest societies and chosen in a competitive selection process for the yearlong program.

    To learn more, visit

    Academy Hall of Fame Award Recipient Announced

    During the Oct. 28 Fall Council meeting in Chicago, Basil S. Morgan, MD, of Maryland was recog­nized by the Academy’s Secretariat for State Affairs as the 2018 Hall of Fame Award recipient. The Hall of Fame Award annually recognizes an ophthalmologist for a long-term com­mitment to state advocacy efforts.

    Heed-Gutman Award

    Carol L. Shields, MD, received the 2018 Heed-Gutman Award during the Society of Heed Fellows Luncheon in Chicago during AAO 2018. Dr. Shields is currently director of the Oncology Service at Wills Eye Hospital and professor of ophthalmology at Thomas Jefferson University in Phila­delphia. Dr. Shields was a Heed Fellow from 1987-1988.


    New Research to Benefit Your Patients 

    Focal Points curates the most crucial advances so you can focus on findings that make a significant difference for your patients. Each issue of Focal Points features quick tips to help you apply new research. In addition to reading on paper or digitally, you can download the new monthly audio version. 

    Subscribe to Focal Points Digital to get a new issue every month, plus access to the digital archive. Print subscribers get 12 print issues, plus all the benefits of Focal Points Digital. 

    Subscribe at

    Code Confidently With 2019 Coding Tools

    Sharpen your coding skills with the Academy and AAOE’s new comprehen­sive coding tools:  

    • Coding Audit Success Toolkit
    • 2019 Ophthalmology Updates Webinar
    • Coding for Anterior Segment Surgi­cal Complications recorded webinar. 

    Also, check out the newly updated suite of 2019 coding reference and training books for comprehensive and subspecialty practices.

    For more information, visit

    Ophthalmology Business Summit

    Creating value for your practice while effectively serving patients is more challenging than ever. Join the Acad­emy’s business-focused “boot camp” and uncover actionable strategies that can immediately impact your practice’s revenue and growth. Physician leaders and senior administrators can attend the Ophthalmology Business Summit individually or as a team to benefit from an intensive two-track program developed by notable business experts and Academy leaders. Attend March 23-24, 2019, in Chicago and position your practice for success.

    Find the complete curriculum at


    CMS Changes for 2019

    On Nov. 1, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) final­ized several important Medicare policies affecting physicians. The agency issued a combined final rule that includes the 2019 Medicare physician fee schedule, along with changes to the Quality Payment Program. This includes changes to the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). 

    Here are the key changes that are most likely to impact your practice:

    Evaluation and Management (E&M) services. CMS will change how E&M is reimbursed, collapsing the payment levels from five to three. The changes won’t take place until 2021. This delay is a major Academy win, as are the significant improvements over the earlier proposals. These improvements resulted from a major Academy campaign to educate the Trump administration and key members of Congress about the impact the earlier proposal would have had on patient care. By delaying the policy un­til 2021, CMS is acknowledging that significant transition time is needed.

    The E&M change also rejected the proposed multiple procedure pay­ment reduction that drew Academy objections because it would have resulted in a significant payment cut to our profession’s subspecialists, especially those who bill intravitreal injections with the —25 modifier. 

    One significant E&M change is effective as of Jan. 1, 2019: documen­tation reductions. CMS will only require patient-history documentation to be focused on the interval history since the previous visit. The agency also eliminated the requirement that physicians redocument information that has already been entered into the record by practice staff or that has been entered into a form by the patient. 

    Valuation of CPT codes. In the initial proposed rule, CMS had valued eight ophthalmic codes at less than the level recommended by the RVS Update Committee (RUC). The Academy presented CMS with compelling evidence in support of the RUC’s valuations, and CMS did adopt the RUC’s valuation for one code—67505 Retrobulbar injection; alcohol—but not for the other seven codes, which cover foreign body removal, anterior seg­ment or subconjunctival injections, pachymetry, and electroretinography.

    CMS had initiated an ongoing, targeted survey of global surgical pay­ments. It won’t be making any payment adjustments based on that survey for 2019, but it is continuing to evaluate the data that are being collected.

    For changes to the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), see “MIPS—What’s New for 2019.”


    AAO 2019 in San Francisco

    Attend AAO 2019, Oct. 12-15, preced­ed by Subspecialty Day, Oct. 11-12, at Moscone Center in San Francisco. Be inspired in the City by the Bay as you experience the world’s most compre­hensive ophthalmic meeting. AAO 2019 will feature hundreds of courses and sessions on topics ranging from cataract complications to ophthalmic applications of artificial intelligence.

    For more information, visit

    Be Part of AAO 2019

    The AAO 2019 online abstract submit­ter for instruction courses or new Skills Transfer labs is closed as of Tuesday, Jan. 8. However, there is still time to prepare your paper, poster, or video abstract for AAO 2019. The online abstract submitter opens March 7 and closes April 9, 2019.

    For more information, visit

    AAO 2018 Meeting Archives

    Missing a handout from AAO 2018? Want to view scientific posters or a video? Go to Meeting Archives to find these resources and more, including Subspecialty Day syllabi, the Meeting Program, and exhibition information.

    Visit the Meeting Archives at


    Election Results 

    On Oct. 29, 2018, voting opened for three positions on the 2019 Board of Trustees. 

    The results are as follows: 

    • President-Elect: Anne L. Coleman, MD, PhD 
    • Senior Secretary for Clinical Educa­tion: Christopher J. Rapuano, MD 
    • Trustee-at-Large: Judy E. Kim, MD

    For more information about the elections, visit

    Nominations for the Academy Board

    By Keith D. Carter, MD

    As Past President of the Academy, it is my privilege to serve as Chairman of the Academy’s Nominating Committee in 2019. This committee represents a variety of interests within the Academy and is charged with identifying appro­priate candidates for the open positions on the 2020 Board of Trustees. 

    The committee is interested in iden­tifying leaders in our profession with experience in confronting the critical issues facing organized medicine and who reflect the strength and diversity of our members. The Academy’s leaders should be knowledgeable, experienced, and prepared to devote the time and energy required by a large organization in these challenging times. This work is both demanding and rewarding for those interested in helping to assure the Academy’s success and responsiveness to members. With these character­istics in mind, I ask you to assist the committee by suggesting appropriate candidates for the following positions in 2020: 

    President-Elect (to serve as Presi­dent in 2021). Nominees should have leadership experience within the Acad­emy as well as demonstrated leadership qualities in clinical practice, in their own ophthalmic communities, and in other medical or ophthalmological organizations. 

    Senior Secretary for Ophthalmic Practice (three-year term). This senior secretary coordinates the programs and activities relating to the management and practice of ophthalmology. 

    Secretary for Annual Meeting (three-year term). This secretary is responsible for all Academy programs at the annual meeting and Subspecialty Day. Maria Aaron, MD, is currently serving the third year of her term and is eligible for a second term. 

    Two Trustees-at-Large (four-year term). These individuals should be Academy Fellows who demonstrate strong leadership potential and would be able to represent and articulate the needs and concerns of the membership to the Academy board. 

    Public Trustee (a renewable three-year appointment). The Bylaws allow the board to appoint up to three public trustees. A public trustee is an advisor to and member of the Board of Trust­ees. Public trustees provide insight on how ophthalmology can better work with the rest of medicine, the public, government, and industry. The nom­inating committee will be pleased to receive suggestions for individuals who may be physicians from other medical specialties or leaders in industry, government, public policy, or advocacy. Currently Paul B. Ginsburg, PhD, is completing his fifth term in 2019 and is eligible for a sixth term.

    Thank you for your interest and participation in this process. Member­ship participation is vital, not only for the Academy, but also for our collective goals of being able to provide appropri­ate, accessible, and affordable eye care to the public. On behalf of the Nom­inating Committee, I look forward to receiving your suggestions as we seek to identify our profession’s future leaders. 

    Send your confidential suggestions by Jan. 31, 2019, to Keith D. Carter, MD; Nominating Committee Chair, American Academy of Ophthalmolo­gy, P.O. Box 7424, San Francisco, CA 94120-7424. Suggestions can also be emailed to or faxed to 415-561-8526. 

    For more information, visit

    About the Nominating Committee

    The Academy nominating process has been carefully crafted to be inclu­sive, fair, and efficient. This process encourages a broad base of nomina­tions from the entire Academy membership. The Nominating Committee composition is delineated by the Bylaws, and it considers a number of factors when screening potential candidates. These include integrity, ophthalmology leadership ability, special expertise, past committee and leadership experience and performance, and knowledge and interest in the multitude of issues currently facing ophthalmology. In addition to considering nominations from the current year, the committee reviews prior-year nominations to ensure a wide range of potential candidates for each position. Following months of confidential deliberations, the committee presents final recommendations to the Board of Trustees for approval. This single-candidate method avoids the loss of valuable future leaders, as there are no public “losers” in the election. Often, those considered but not selected for an open position one year become the nominees of choice in a future year.