• Academy Notebook

    News, Tips, Resources

    Download PDF


    Jane Aguirre to Receive the 2021 Distinguished Service Award

    The Academy Board of Trustees voted unanimously to award the 2021 Distin­guished Service Award to Jane Aguirre,

    the Academy’s Vice President of Mem­bership and Alliances. Ms. Aguirre was nominated by Academy President Tamara R. Fountain, 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.

    Ms. Aguirre celebrates four decades of service. Since joining the Academy in 1981, Ms. Aguirre has been an inte­gral part of many important initiatives, including the development of the Oph­thalmic Mutual Insurance Company, the Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring program, and, most recently, the Truhlsen-Marmor Museum of the Eye.

    Ms. Aguirre has held a variety of positions at the Academy and currently leads the Membership and Alliances Division, which includes the Academy’s membership and customer service functions, international initiatives to advance ophthalmic education world­wide, the administration of the Code of Ethics and its related educational pro­grams, the EyeCare America program, and the Museum of the Eye.

    Attend the award ceremony at AAO 2021. Ms. Aguirre will be honored at the AAO 2021 Opening Session in New Orleans on Friday, Nov. 12 (5:00-6:30 p.m.).

    @AAOjournal Surpasses 10,000 Followers on Twitter

    @AAOjournal, the official Twitter account of Ophthalmology, Ophthal­mology Retina, Ophthalmology Glau­coma, and Ophthalmology Science, has surpassed the 10,000-follower mark. The account was launched in March 2016 to engage ophthalmologists in the Academy’s family of peer-reviewed journals.

    New content daily. The account features articles from all four jour­nals. Content includes new issue alerts, cutting-edge research articles, thought-provoking editorials, and Pictures & Perspectives.

    Social media editors. In 2018, Ste­phen D. McLeod, MD, editor-in-chief of Ophthalmology, invited members of the Academy Young Ophthalmologist Committee to help grow the journal’s social media presence.

    “Social media has the power to expand the footprint of Ophthalmol­ogy beyond what any print resource would be able to achieve,” Senior Social Media Editor Lorraine Provencher, MD, said. “@AAOJournal accelerates the dissemination of high-quality research, promotes engagement, and inspires collaboration. All of this leads to improved patient care, which is our ultimate goal.”

    The social media editors—Dr. Provencher (@DrLorraineEyeMD), Andrew R. Carey, MD (@DrewCareyMD), Matt Feng, MD (@iDrFeng), Rajesh C. Rao, MD (@surgeonretina), and Edmund Tsui, MD (@EdmundTsuiMD)—represent various subspecialties and were selected for their well-established presence on Twitter and other social media outlets.

    Don’t miss a tweet! Follow the @AAOjournal account at twitter.com/AAOjournal.


    2021 MIPS: June Deadlines for EHR-Based Reporting

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

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

    June 1 deadline for getting started and selecting measures for data map­ping. If you haven’t yet integrated your EHR system with the IRIS Registry (or if you signed up last year but did not integrate), you must notify the IRIS Registry staff of your intention by June 1. June 1 is also the deadline for select­ing quality measures for data mapping.

    June 15 deadline if you have EHR changes. You may need to repeat the data mapping process if you have made changes to your EHR system, such as a system upgrade, a move to cloud-based storage, or a move to another EHR system. You will need to notify the IRIS Registry vendor via a help desk ticket (aao.org/iris-registry/user-guide/submit-help-desk-ticket) by June 15.

    For more information on using the Academy’s IRIS Registry for MIPS, go to aao.org/iris-registry/medicare-reporting.

    Two IRIS Registry Research Grant Applications Due May 31

    Don’t miss the May 31 application deadline for two private practice re­search funds: The Knights Templar Eye Foundation (KTEF) Pediatric Oph­thalmology Fund and The H. Dunbar Hoskins Jr., MD, Center for Quality Eye Care IRIS Registry Research Fund.

    The KTEF fund supports big data analyses that investigate pediatric eye diseases in order to uncover optimal, real-world approaches to prevention and treatment.

    The H. Dunbar Hoskins Jr., MD, fund supports clinicians who seek to answer questions that can help improve patient care. Both funds aim to support Academy members in private practice who want to harness the power of the Academy’s IRIS Registry to improve their practices and their patients’ lives.

    Learn more and apply at aao.org/iris-registry/research.

    Volunteer: Write an EyeNet Ophthalmic Pearls Article

    Want to be featured in a future issue of EyeNet? Each 1,500-word Pearls article reviews a medical or surgical entity or procedure. Many of the articles offer step-by-step overviews of etiology, diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up. See this month’s article, titled “Diabetic Macular Edema: Diagnosis and Man­agement.” EyeNet is also accepting Blink submissions.

    Learn how to submit your topic idea at aao.org/volunteering, then choose “Write.” (This is just one of many Acad­emy volunteer opportunities.)

    Ask the Ethicist: Abrupt Termination of Treatment

    Q: A new patient recently scheduled an examination following an auto accident. The patient was worked up by our technician and told that an ophthalmol­ogist would examine her after her eyes were dilated. At that point, my partner entered the room and sat down to begin the exam; he was then abruptly called into the hall by our office manager, and the patient’s lack of insurance coverage was discussed within the patient’s hear­ing. My partner did not re-enter the exam room, and the patient was told to leave and seek care in a nearby emergency room with her eyes dilated. This situation clearly should have been handled differently. What is the risk to our practice from my part­ner’s actions?

    A: Your partner’s action potentially put the patient and your practice at risk. Starting a patient’s treatment and then refusing to continue that treat­ment because of inability to pay for services or fees could be interpreted as patient abandonment (depending on the nature of the patient’s injuries and the course of her recovery) and is a vio­lation of Academy Code of Ethics Rule 2 (Informed Consent). Had the patient been fully informed that she would not be examined unless her financials were in order, it is doubtful that she would have agreed to this diagnostic medical procedure.

    Ophthalmologists deserve to be compensated for services rendered. However, patients’ insurance coverage or ability to pay should be assessed prior to the patient entering the exam­ination room. Furthermore, there exists a liability risk of patients being injured after dilation. Dilating drops are an essential aid to diagnosis; yet they are known to cause temporary vision prob­lems related to glare, light, and contrast sensitivity.

    To read the Code of Ethics in full, visit aao.org/ethics-detail/code-of-ethics.

    To submit a question, email ethics@aao.org.


    2021-2022 BCSC: Important Updates 

    The 2021-2022 edition of the Basic and Clinical Science Course (BCSC) is avail­able for advance order starting mid-May and will ship by mid-June (eBooks are available for download starting mid-June). Practicing ophthalmologists and residents worldwide use the BCSC to ensure the highest-quality patient care. 

     The new 2021-2022 edition includes major revisions to the following: 

    • Section 5: Neuro-Ophthalmology 
    • Section 8: External Disease and Cornea 
    • Section 13: Refractive Surgery 

    Whether you opt for the print or the eBook format, you may purchase an individual section, or save when you buy a complete set of all 13 sections of the BCSC.  

     For pricing and more information, visit aao.org/bcsc

    Don’t Miss the Academy/AAPOS May Journal Club

    Join moderator Emily McCourt, MD, for the next Academy/American Asso­ciation for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS) journal club focusing on important pediatric topics, including the evaluation of artificial in­telligence–based telemedicine screening for retinopathy of prematurity; racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in retinoblastoma enucleation; and the risk of a serious etiology in pediatric Horner syndrome.

    Dr. McCourt will discuss the papers with authors J. Peter Campbell, MD, MPH; Darius M. Moshfegi, MD; and Michael J. Wan, MD, FRCSC, on May 20 at 8:30 p.m. EST.

    Register today at aao.org/clinical-webinars.


    Join the Ophthalmology Business Summit (Live Online) Saturday, May 22

    Meet with business experts, Academy leaders, and your colleagues at the only business boot camp for ophthalmolo­gy. The 2021 Ophthalmology Business Summit is live online on May 22.

    Developed by program director Robert Melendez, MD, MBA, and the American Academy of Ophthalmic Executives (AAOE), the virtual four-hour summit will provide an engag­ing, interactive program for physician leaders and practice administrators that focuses on overcoming today’s most pressing business challenges and resetting your practice for success. Phy­sicians and administrators who attend as a team will realize the most benefit. Registration closes May 20.

    Register today at aao.org/business-summit.

    Get Ready to Register and Reserve Hotel Rooms for AAO 2021

    On June 16, Academy and AAOE members can register and reserve hotel rooms for AAO 2021. Nonmembers may do so starting July 7. Online reg­istration will remain open through the meeting.

    Registration includes access to:

    • Opening and Closing Sessions;
    • the annual meeting’s named lectures;
    • Original Paper sessions;
    • poster theater presentations and small group discussions;
    • videos;
    • informal and interactive learning formats; and
    • unique networking opportunities with colleagues, mentors, and industry.

    Remember to purchase tickets early. Seats for the following ticketed sessions are limited:

    • AAOE Practice Management Master Classes;
    • AAOE Coding Sessions;
    • Skills Transfer labs;
    • Subspecialty Day meetings; and
    • specific special meetings and events.

    In the meantime, avoid scams. Fraudulent companies, pretending to be associated with the Academy and AAO 2021, may appear in web searches or may have even contacted you via email. These companies claim that they can book hotel rooms and/or register you for the Academy’s annual meeting, but they are unaffiliated with the Academy.

    Make sure that you are booking your hotel rooms and registration through the Academy’s website, aao.org. The Academy does not use an additional or special website for AAO 2021. The official hotel reservation provider for AAO 2021 is Expovision. If you are ever in doubt about the legitimacy of a booking or registration service, email meetings@aao.org or call 415-561-8500 to ask about it. You can also contact Expovision directly at aaohotels@expovision.com or toll free at 866-774-0487.

    For more information, visit aao.org/hotels.

    Subspecialty Day 2021

    Subspecialty Day meetings feature world-renowned ophthalmologists presenting the latest developments and pearls in the field of ophthalmology. When you register for a one-day meet­ing, you can float among the Subspec-ialty Day meetings taking place that day; two-day registrants are free to attend any Subspecialty Day meeting presenta­tion taking place on Friday or Saturday.

    One-day meetings on Friday, Nov. 12:

    • Glaucoma 2021
    • Neuro-Ophthalmology 2021
    • Ocular Oncology and Pathology 2021
    • Pediatric Ophthalmology 2021
    • Refractive Surgery 2021

    One-day meetings on Saturday, Nov. 13:

    • Cornea 2021
    • Oculofacial Plastic Surgery 2021

    Two-day meeting on Friday, Nov. 12, and Saturday, Nov. 13:

    • Retina 2021

    Registration. The online registration for Subspecialty Day meetings opens June 16 for Academy and AAOE mem­bers. Nonmembers can register starting July 7.

    For more information, visit aao.org/subspecialty-day.

    Full AAO 2021 Program Information Available in June

    Program Search will be launched as part of online meeting registration on June 16. You will be able to look up in­formation by day, topic, type of event/course, special interest, or presenter. You don’t have to log in or be a mem­ber to view program information. You will need to log in to build a personal calendar and to register.


    Physician Lawmakers Bring Much-Needed Health Care Expertise to the 117th Congress

    With support from OphthPAC, the Academy’s political action com­mittee, 17 physicians are now serving in Congress.

    More physician lawmakers than ever—12 of them along with two other health care providers—received key committee assignments that are critical to addressing ophthalmology’s priorities over the next two years. They’ll be a strong voice for patients’ access to high-quality eye care.

    Senate appointments:

    Finance Committee: Sen. John Barrasso, MD, R-Wyo., an orthopedic surgeon, joins Sen. Bill Cassidy, MD, R-La., a gastroenterologist.

    Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee: Sen. Roger Marshall, MD, R-Kan., an obstetric-gynecologist, joins Dr. Cassidy and Sen. Rand Paul, MD, R-Ky., an ophthalmologist.

    Veterans’ Affairs Committee: Dr. Cassidy was reappointed.

    House appointments:

    Ways and Means Committee: Drew Ferguson, DMD, R-Ga., a den­tist, joins Brad Wenstrup, DPM, R-Ohio, a podia­trist, who’s also on the Health Subcommittee and is a cochair for the Doctors Caucus.

    Veterans’ Affairs Committee: Rep. Raul Ruiz, MD, D-Calif., an emergency physician, joins Mariannette Mill­er-Meeks, MD, R-Iowa, an ophthalmologist, and Greg Murphy, MD, R-N.C., a urologist.

    House Energy and Commerce Committee and Subcommittee: Members include Larry Bucshon, MD, R-Ind., thoracic surgery; Michael Burgess, MD, R-Texas, obstetrics-gynecology; Neal Dunn, MD, R-Fla., urology; John Joyce, MD, R-Pa., dermatology; Raul Ruiz, MD, D-Calif., emergency medicine; and Kim Schrier, MD, D-Wash., pediatrics.

    For more details, visit aao.org/physicians-congress.