NOTE: This article has been updated since print publication. In the original article, EyeNet incorrectly stated that Sarwat Salim, MD, FACS, was elected to the Board of Trustees in 2020. However, when Dr. Salim was elected Council Chair in 2020, she had already been on the Board of Trustees as Council Vice Chair since 2018. The article below corrects this mistake.
Rebecca Hyder Is the New Academy Vice President of Governmental Affairs
Following a national search, Rebecca Hyder was named Academy vice presi-dent of Governmental Affairs. On Dec. 5, she replaced Cathy Grealy Cohen, who retired after 25 years.
In this critical position, Ms. Hyder leads Academy advocacy efforts and oversees federal affairs, health policy, and state governmental affairs.
“The Academy is incredibly fortunate to have someone with Rebecca’s rich legislative experience and relationships step into this vitally important role,” said Stephen D. McLeod, MD, Academy chief executive officer. “Her deep knowledge, strategic acumen, and dedication to the profession will make a difference for our members and patients.”
Since 2011, Ms. Hyder has served as Academy director of federal affairs and has advanced the organization’s federal legislative and regulatory priorities. She is responsible for many significant accomplishments, including leading successful legislative campaigns to mitigate Medicare payment cuts in 2021, 2022, and 2023, and ensuring that ophthalmology practices were eligible for COVID-19 relief measures.
GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS. Ms. Hyder became the new Academy vice president of Governmental Affairs in December 2022, taking over for Ms. Cohen, who retired after 25 years in the position
Academy Earns ACCME’s Top Ranking
The Academy has once again earned Accreditation With Commendation—the highest ranking—from the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). To achieve this special accreditation, which lasts for six years, the Academy fulfilled all core requirements for educational design, independence and balance, and program evaluation, as well as additional requirements that demonstrate the Academy’s innovation and engagement with the current health care environment.
The FDA Grants the Academy $400,000
The FDA recently granted nearly $400,000 to the Academy to support research into pediatric cataract surgery using real-world data from the Academy’s IRIS Registry. Verana Health, the Academy’s data curation and analytics partner for the IRIS Registry, will lead the data analysis with clinical expertise and input from the Academy.
Learn more at aao.org/fda-news.
Academy Leaders Take Implicit Bias Training
The Board of Trustees approved a recommendation by the Academy Task Force on Organizational Diversity and Inclusion, chaired by Terri Young, MD, MBA, to require Academy leaders to complete a course on implicit bias, such as Stanford University School of Medicine’s “Unconscious Bias in Medicine.” Secretaries and members of the Board of Trustees took the training in 2022, and committee chairs and mentors for the Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring program will complete a course this year. Academy members are also welcome to watch Stanford’s free, one-hour CME course at aao.org/stanford-bias.
Other online courses you may wish to consider include:
- Ohio State University Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity’s “Implicit Bias Module Series” at aao.org/ohio-state-race;
- Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education’s “Equity Matters CME Learning Path” at aao.org/gme-learning-path;
- American Medical Association Center for Health Equity’s variety of CME activities at aao.org/ama-health-equity;
- University of California, San Francisco, Office of Diversity and Outreach’s “Unconscious Bias Training” at aao.org/ucsf-diversity; and
- University of California, Los Angeles, Office of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion’s “Implicit Bias Video Series” at aao.org/ucla-dei.
Learn more. Interested in implicit bias? Visit aao.org/diversity-equity-and-inclusion.
Ophthalmology Journal Podcast Exceeds 100,000 Downloads
The Academy launched the Ophthalmology Journal podcast in February 2022. By year end, it released 22 episodes and saw more than 100,000 downloads. The podcast dives deep into research articles, editorials, and more from the Academy’s journal family: Ophthalmology, Ophthalmology Retina, Ophthalmology Glaucoma, and Ophthalmology Science.
Join the podcast hosts every other Thursday as they interview authors and editors about their groundbreaking work. For example, in a recent episode on alcohol and glaucoma, Lorraine M. Provencher, MD, and Andrew R. Carey, MD, interviewed Akiko Hanyuda, MD, Louis R. Pasquale, MD, and Jae Hee Kang, MD, about their Ophthalmology article, “Long-Term Alcohol Consumption and Risk of Exfoliation Glaucoma or Glaucoma Suspect Status Among United States Health Professionals.”
Listen now at aao.org/audio/ophthalmology-journal or wherever you get your podcasts.
MIPS 2022—EUC Deadline Extended to March 3
The deadline to apply for an extreme and uncontrollable circumstances (EUC) exception for the 2022 MIPS performance year was extended to March 3 at 8:00 p.m. ET. However, this extension is meant only for those who are citing the COVID-19 public health emergency as the triggering event. CMS noted that any applications that it receives between Jan. 3 and March 3 won’t override any MIPS data that have been submitted.
For more info, see https://qpp.cms.gov/mips/exception-applications.
Discounted Registration for Mid-Year Forum Ends March 13
Mid-Year Forum 2023 takes place April 19-22 in Washington, D.C., and is an opportunity to directly advocate for your profession, learn about health care policy changes impacting your practice, and develop strategies to implement new patient care programs. Join Academy leadership and hundreds of your colleagues in D.C. The registration fee is $225 through March 13. After that, it is $325 until April 2.
Congressional Advocacy Day is included as a part of Mid-Year Forum, but there is also an option to register to participate only in Congressional Advocacy Day for free.
Learn more and register at aao.org/myf.
Attend the 2nd Global Ophthalmology Summit in September
Building on the success of the inaugural Global Ophthalmology Summit last August, the Academy is proud to announce the second summit in Atlanta, Sept. 8-10. This event is hosted in collaboration with Emory University and other academic ophthalmology programs from around the world.
Designed for those interested or involved in global eye care, this summit will cover a broad spectrum of topics, including public advocacy and the World Health Organization’s global eye health targets for 2030.
Deadlines are April 17 for abstract submission and May 15 for early registration.
Register today at www.globalophthalmologysummit.org.
Museum of the Eye Tours Now in Spanish, Mandarin, and Tagalog
The Truhlsen-Marmor Museum of the Eye in San Francisco has translated its tour guide into three languages. In addition to English, you can now read the gallery guide in Spanish, Mandarin, and Tagalog through the free Museum of the Eye mobile app.
Learn more about the museum at aao.org/museum.
EyeWiki Contest: Winning Articles Announced
EyeWiki is the Academy’s collaborative online encyclopedia, where physicians, patients, and the public can view content written by ophthalmologists that covers the spectrum of eye disease and management. EyeWiki is one of the most popular medical wikis, with more than 15 million page views in 2022. Each year the site hosts two writing contests: one for U.S. residents and fellows, and a second for ophthalmologists outside the United States. Eligible entries include original articles as well as revised articles.
Winners of the 2022 U.S. Residents & Fellows Contest were recently announced:
- Abdelrahman Elhusseiny, MD, MSc, University of Arkansas College of Medicine: Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery in Childhood Glaucoma (original article)
- Jeremy Kudrna, MD, Pennsylvania State University: Compilation of IOL Power Calculation Formulas and When to Utilize (original article)
- Cris Martin Jacoba, MD, Joslin Diabetes Center: Diabetic Macular Edema (revised 2010 article)
- Anthony Wong, MD, MS, Cook County Hospital: Orbital Decompression (revised 2015 article)
Next contest deadlines. Submit an article at aao.org/eyewiki for the International Ophthalmologists Contest through May 31, or for the U.S. Residents & Fellows Contest through Nov. 30.
Volunteer Opportunity: Attend Congressional Advocacy Day
The Academy’s Congressional Advocacy Day is a unique opportunity to lobby members of the U.S. Congress on the issues that affect ophthalmology practices and patients. The Academy coordinates congressional appointments, prepares participants with talking points on the key issues, and provides tips on effective lobbying.
Congressional Advocacy Day takes place April 19-20, in conjunction with the Academy’s annual Mid-Year Forum in Washington, D.C.—but you do not have to attend Mid-Year Forum to participate in Congressional Advocacy Day.
Learn more at aao.org/cad and watch for other advocacy opportunities at aao.org/volunteering. (This is just one of many Academy volunteer opportunities.)
Kantar Notice: A Request From EyeNet
Back in December, you may have received an email invitation to participate in a magazine readership survey conducted by Kantar. If you are a fan of EyeNet, please participate. Being ranked among the most widely and thoroughly read ophthalmic publications enables the magazine to secure funding for projects that help you in the clinical realm and in your practice.
Submit an Article to Ophthalmology Science’s Neuroprotection Issue
Ophthalmology Science, the Academy’s Gold Open Access journal, will publish a special issue on neuroprotection. Submissions are being accepted through June 30. All open-access fees will be waived. The special issue will feature guest editors Adriana Di Polo, PhD, Thomas V. Johnson III, MD, José-Alain Sahel, MD, and Joel S. Schuman, MD.
Submit at www.editorialmanager.com/xops/default1.aspx.
Ask the Ethicist: Overutilization of a Routine Procedure
Q: A colleague, a high-volume cataract surgeon, performs posterior capsulotomies with the Nd:YAG laser within the first year of cataract surgery in almost all patients for whom she places a lens implant in the capsular bag. She uses 10-20 laser bursts in each eye at each session and has the patient return for a repeat session every three or four months. She has a Saturday clinic when she performs these procedures, and she charges patients on a per-visit basis. I don’t believe all these procedures are legitimate; she disagrees. Is this practice ethical or even legal?
A: Although YAG laser treatment of posterior capsule opacification is often necessary, your colleague is providing it in a manner that is inefficient, costly, and inconvenient for the patient. Typically, such laser treatments are completed in a single session to open an opacified posterior capsule. In addition, the fact that she performs YAG laser treatments on almost all of her postoperative cataract patients suggests an excessive use of the procedure, exploiting patients and payers. Since these treatments are not medically justifiable and do not serve the patient’s interests, they likely violate three rules of the Code of Ethics: Rules 2, Informed Consent; 9, Medical and Surgical Procedures; and 10, Procedures and Materials.
For more information, visit aao.org/redmond-ethics-center.
To submit a question, contact the Ethics Committee at email@example.com.
OMIC Tip: Refractive Surgery Recommendations
The Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Company (OMIC) updated its Refractive Surgery Recommendations in late 2022. Intraocular refractive surgery poses a higher risk for patients than refractive procedures performed on the corneal surface. Furthermore, patients undergoing the former type of procedure tend to have high expectations and pay for these procedures out of pocket, which can heighten the likelihood of dissatisfaction and professional liability lawsuits. Implementing OMIC’s refractive surgery recommendations can be beneficial.
Download the Refractive Surgery Recommendations at www.omic.com/refractive-surgery-recommendations-2022.
OMIC offers professional liability insurance exclusively to Academy members, their employees, and their practices.
Register for Codequest Virtual 2023
The Academy’s annual Codequest course provides four hours of professional coding instruction from the most knowledgeable experts in ophthalmology. Join Ankoor R. Shah, MD, AAOE medical director for coding products, and Joy Woodke, COE, OCS, OCSR, Academy coding and practice management director, as they map out critical 2023 updates, provide billing and reimbursement insights, and demystify regulatory compliance. Attend live on March 28 at 2:00 p.m. ET via Zoom or order the recording to watch on demand.
Learn more at aao.org/cqvirtual.
Become an Ophthalmic Coding Specialist
Test your coding competency and earn important credentials. Take either the Ophthalmic Coding Specialist Exam, which covers all aspects of coding for ophthalmology, or the Ophthalmic Coding Specialist Retina (OCSR) Exam, which provides a unique testing opportunity for retina physicians and staff. When you pass one of these 100-question, multiple-choice exams, you can use the applicable credential (OCS and/ or OCSR) after your name for professional recognition of your skills.
Learn more at aao.org/ocs-specialist-exam.
Submit AAO 2023 Abstracts Starting March 9
Be part of the AAO 2023 meeting by submitting a paper/poster or video abstract. The online abstract submitter for papers/posters and videos opens March 9 and closes April 1.
Find more information at aao.org/presentercentral.
International Attendees May Need a Visa for AAO 2023
To attend AAO 2023 in San Francisco, international attendees will likely need a visitor visa. There are several steps to apply for a visa, so it is important to get started early. To help you obtain travel documents, the Academy provides an online tool that will create a personalized letter of invitation. Enter your information into the form and print the letter or save it to your computer.
Learn more at aao.org/visa.
MEMBERS AT LARGE
ACS Elects First Woman Ophthalmologist to Board of Regents
Sarwat Salim, MD, FACS, has been elected to the Board of Regents of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). Her election is record-breaking in more ways than one: she is the first woman surgeon from the state of Massachusetts, first woman ophthalmologist, and first surgeon of Indian and Pakistani heritage to serve as an ACS Regent in the 110-year history of the organization. Dr. Salim has held numerous leadership positions within the ACS, including service on the Board of Governors and on the Advisory Council for Ophthalmic Surgery. She also represented the ACS on the Academy Council for a decade before she was elected to the Academy Board of Trustees in 2018 and Council Chair in 2020.
Watch Dr. Osher’s Latest Video Journal: Vol. 38, Issue 4
The Video Journal of Cataract, Refractive, and Glaucoma Surgery (VJCRGS), created by ophthalmic surgeon and educator Robert H. Osher, MD, has been publishing educational cataract, refractive, and glaucoma videos since 1985. The surgical videos are submitted from ophthalmologists around the world and are hand-picked by the VJCRGS editorial board. The final issue of 2022, entitled “Double Flanged Polypropylene Technique,” was developed by Sergio Canabrava, MD, from Brazil.
Watch vol. 38 for free at www.vjcrgs.com.
Dr. McPherson Dies at 96
Alice R. McPherson, MD, the first full-time female vitreoretinal specialist in the world, died Jan. 16. She was 96.
Dr. McPherson was trained by Charles L. Schepens, MD, as one of his first fellows at Harvard. She became one of the top retina surgeons in the United States and pioneered many procedures including scleral buckling, cryotherapy, xenon arc photocoagulation, and vitrectomy.
In 1960, Dr. McPherson founded the retina service at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and trained more than 100 fellows during her career—some as recently as 2022. In 1969, she also founded the Retina Research Foundation, which has provided $38 million in grants and educational opportunities to support retina research across the globe. In 2002, Dr. McPherson established the McPherson Eye Research Institute at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Dr. McPherson received many honors and held several leadership positions across various organizations throughout her career. She was the inaugural recipient of the Retina Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019.
“Dr. McPherson contributed greatly to the advance of ophthalmology and care of patients with retinal disease throughout the world,” said Bradley R. Straatsma, MD, JD, professor and chairman emeritus of ophthalmology at UCLA School of Medicine.
The Academy Helps Secure Federal Funding for Innovations in Eye Care
Ophthalmology scored an advocacy win late last year when Congress funded 2023 eye health research at levels equal to or higher than in 2022.
Funding. Thanks to advocacy efforts by the Academy and the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR), of which the Academy
is a founding member, the federal government will provide $47.5 billion for the NIH and $896.5 million to the NEI. This is a $2.5 billion increase and a $32.6 million increase over 2022 funding levels, respectively. At the Academy and NAEVR’s urging, Congress again this year provided $20 million to the Vision Research Program (VRP), which is the only dedicated funding source for extramural research into military deployment-related vision trauma.
VRP. “By lobbying successfully to fund the VRP, the Academy and NAEVR support eye care for our nation’s veterans and protect the vision of activity duty military personnel,” said Rebecca Hyder, Academy vice president of Governmental Affairs.
The VRP’s directive to fund research that improves health care for service members and veterans aligns with the Academy’s efforts to make eye care accessible to U.S. veterans. Furthermore, many of the discoveries made through the program’s research on active-duty military personnel have broader applications for eye care for the general public.
“We look forward to working with our partners at NAEVR to increase funding for this essential program in future years,” Ms. Hyder added.
NAEVR. NAEVR aims to achieve the best eye and vision care for all Americans through advocacy for and public education about research sponsored by the NIH, NEI, the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, and other federal agencies.
The Academy helped found NAEVR with the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology. Academy CEO Stephen D. McLeod, MD, said, “We helped to establish the alliance because we recognize the importance of a unified voice in advocating for investment in vision research.”