WASHINGTON, April 19, 2018 ―The American Academy of Ophthalmology is honoring to Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., for his important efforts to advocate for enhancing and preserving access to quality eye care in the United States. Rep. Paulsen is one of nine 2018 recipients of the Visionary Award for exemplary efforts to advocate for enhancing and preserving access to quality eye care for the 50 million Americans who experience significant eye disease.
The Academy presents its Visionary Award each year in conjunction with its annual legislative visit to Capitol Hill.
Rep. Paulsen was instrumental in preserving access to specialty medical eye care for every patient, including retina treatments. He helped lead requests that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services forgo a planned application of quality-program penalties to reimbursements for in-office, physician-administered treatments. Such a policy could have made it too expensive for many retina specialists to practice in their chosen community. This might have forced some ophthalmologists to relocate to more sustainable markets.
“The nation’s ophthalmologists are proud of Rep. Erik Paulsen for working to ensure that patients in every community have timely access to quality eye care,” said Keith D. Carter, M.D., FACS, president of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “Congressional partnerships matter, and we pledge to continue fostering these relationships to improve our nation’s health care system on behalf of the 50 million Americans who experience significant eye disease.”
The Academy is ophthalmology’s leading voice in Washington, D.C., engaging Congress and government agencies to improve the nation’s delivery of medical and surgical eye care.
About the American Academy of Ophthalmology
The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons. A global community of 32,000 medical doctors, we protect sight and empower lives by setting the standards for ophthalmic education and advocating for our patients and the public. We innovate to advance our profession and to ensure the delivery of the highest-quality eye care. Our EyeSmart® program provides the public with the most trusted information about eye health. For more information, visit www.aao.org.