Skip to main content
  • Academy Notebook

    News, Tips, Resources

    Download PDF


    Academy Creates Volunteering Web Page

    Many Academy members volunteer their time and talent on Academy committees. Many more members would like to volunteer, but committee opportunities are limited.

    In March, the Academy launched a concise volunteering web page in the Member Services area of This guide is designed to increase awareness among members of the many volunteer opportunities available outside the scope of committee work. It describes opportunities to speak, write, review, advocate, connect, and develop interactive content to further the work of various Academy programs. Each opportunity provides instructions and outlines expectations.

    This effort is intended to help members find volunteer opportunities, enhance member engagement, and strengthen Academy programs.

    To get involved, visit

    Support the Museum’s Permanent Location

    Until now, the Academy’s 38,000-piece Museum of Vision collection has been accessible only by appointment or online. With your support, the Acad­emy will build a permanent home on the ground floor of its headquarters with five galleries and state-of-the-art interactive displays. The museum will open to Academy members during AAO 2019, with a grand opening to the pub­lic in 2020. The Academy anticipates welcoming more than 30,000 visitors in the first year alone.

    Explore the collection at and contribute toward the Academy’s $12 million goal to build the Museum of Vision at­campaign.


    2019 MIPS: June 1 Deadline for EHR-Based Reporting

    The IRIS Registry can streamline your reporting for the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) as long as you meet the appropriate deadlines.

    Report quality measures using automated data extraction. The least burdensome way to report MIPS quality measures is to integrate your electronic health record (EHR) system with the IRIS Registry.

    June 1 deadline for getting started with IRIS Registry/EHR integration. If you haven’t yet integrated your EHR system with the IRIS Registry, you must sign up or—if you signed up last year but didn’t integrate—notify the IRIS Registry by June 1 and complete the integration process by Aug. 1.

    The IRIS Registry is a one-stop shop for MIPS reporting. You also can use the IRIS Registry to manually attest to promoting interoperability (PI) measures and improvement activi­ties, and—if you aren’t able to report quality via IRIS Registry/EHR integra­tion—manually enter data for quality measures. If you are new to the IRIS Registry, you will need to sign up for manual reporting by Oct. 31.

    For more information, go to

    In Private Practice? Apply for Research Grant by May 31

    A research fund established last year gives Academy members in private practice an opportunity to harness the power of big data—but those in­terested must submit their applications by May 31. The H. Dunbar Hoskins Jr., MD, Center for Quality Eye Care IRIS Registry Research Fund will support at least four IRIS Registry analytics projects in 2019.

    Learn more about the eligibility re­quirements and the application process at

    Follow @AAOjournal for the Latest Research

    Stay up-to-date on research from Oph­thalmology, Ophthalmology Retina, and Ophthalmology Glaucoma on Twitter. Content is posted every day including articles in press, “Pictures & Perspec­tives,” editorials, and new issue alerts.

    Follow @AAOjournal at

    Submit Your Research to Ophthalmology Glaucoma

    Last summer, the Academy and the American Glaucoma Society collaborated in launching Ophthalmology Glaucoma.

    This journal provides an opportunity to disseminate your glaucoma research directly to those who find it most relevant. Joining the ranks of the Academy’s esteemed Ophthalmology and Ophthalmology Retina, Ophthalmology Glaucoma provides readers with innovative, peer-reviewed works on a bimonthly basis.

    Submit your original research at

    Subscribe at


    Order the Updated 2019-2020 BCSC

    The 2019-2020 edition of the Basic and Clinical Science Course (BCSC), the definitive source of clinical information for ophthalmologists and residents throughout the world, is available for advance order start­ing in mid-May and will ship by mid-June (eBooks are available starting in mid-June).

    The 2019-2020 edition includes major revisions to the following:

    • Section 1: Update on General Medicine;
    • Section 2: Fun­damentals and Principles of Ophthal­mology;
    • Section 7: Oculofacial Plastic and Orbital Surgery; and
    • Section 9: Uveitis and Ocular Inflammation. 

    Choose from the print or eBook format. Purchase an individual section or save when buying a complete set of all 13 sections of the BCSC.

    Find pricing and information at

    Get Updated Fundamental Surgical Texts

    Residents and trainees, build a solid foundation of ophthalmic surgical knowledge with new editions of Basic Principles of Ophthalmic Surgery, fourth edition, and Basic Techniques of Ophthalmic Surgery, third edition. Together, these books provide step-by-step instructions for more than 80 common procedures. Images and videos are used extensively to increase understanding.

    These essential texts are available for advance order starting in mid-May and will ship by mid-June (eBooks are available starting in mid-June). Both texts are available in print or eBook format and are included in 2019-2020 BCSC Residency Sets.

    Find pricing and information at


    Loss of ‘15 Letters of Visual Acuity’: One Medicare Advantage Plan’s Definitions of Step Therapy Failure

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services now permits Medicare Advantage plans to use fail-first policies for Part B drugs. A Medicare Advantage plan that currently serves Idaho, Montana, and Oregon defines an anti-VEGF drug’s failure as resulting in patients’ worsening vision after a minimum three-month trial, “such as losing greater than 15 letters of visual acuity.”

    At least eight other Medicare Advantage plans are implementing step therapy in 2019 to curtail physicians’ choice in treating patients. Many requirements for intravitreal anti-VEGF therapy are similarly egregious. Some require three months of failed treatment before the physician can administer a different drug.

    The Academy, along with Prevent Blindness and American Society of Retina Specialists, is focused on convincing the executive branch that step therapy interferes with the patient-physician relationship. If you have had negative experiences with step therapy, you can support the Academy’s efforts by relaying the following to

    • the condition you treated;
    • the medication that was first recommended and then denied;
    • the reason for the denial; and
    • the case’s outcome.