• Curriculum

    Saturday Program

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    8:30 - 9:30 am | Opening Session
    Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and The Value of Connecting

     

    Speakers: Maureen Waddle, MBA, Robert F. Melendez, MD, MBA

    Synopsis: Emotional intelligence (EQ) is increasingly recognized as an important factor for successful leadership. While traditional measurements like intelligence (IQ), knowledge mastery and prior experience have been historically used to gauge qualified executive candidates, what about the “natural born” leaders who’ve risen through the ranks without outstanding SAT scores or past experience?

    EQ’s critical non-cognitive skill set (self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy etc.) is essential for effectively meeting challenges, overcoming resistance and adapting to change. Join this session to examine the skills that define transformative leaders; those who push boundaries and inspire enthusiastic support from their peers and staff.  

     Learning Objectives:

    1. Understand how EQ positively impacts management, staff dynamics and your practice performance.
    2. Apply EQ strategies to improve quality of care and the patient experience.
    3. Obtain concrete tools and action steps for incorporating EQ into your practice culture and rallying staff around your leadership vision.

    9:40 -  10:40 am | Session 2
    Prepare for Change: Disruptive Technologies and Trends in Ophthalmic Practice

     

    Speakers: Robert E. Wiggins Jr, MD, MHA, Linda Harrison, PhD.

    Synopsis: From medicine to entertainment and education, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are profoundly and rapidly affecting how we work and live. This session will cover AI trends in ophthalmology and patient care, and identify potential shifts in the skills and knowledge that ophthalmologists of the future will need to know.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Understand the implications of disruptive technologies today and in the future.
    2. Prepare for the impact of disruptive innovation on your practice and staff.
    3. Explore trends that may affect professional liability.

    11 am - 12 pm | Session 3A
    Value Your Practice: Current Investment Trends in Ophthalmology

     

    Speakers: Mark D. Abruzzo, JD, Robert E. Wiggins Jr, MD, MHA, and Kristin Carter, MD

    Synopsis: Private equity’s growing investment in healthcare is changing the practice of medicine. While physicians hope to focus on patient care and leave the complexity of finances and regulatory requirements to business partners, venture capital groups often have no previous relationship with medicine. 

    This session will examine success stories, cautionary tales and the important issues that need to be considered before signing a deal, whether it involves selling your practice to a private equity firm, hospital or multispecialty group; merging with other doctors; or buying into a practice. On the other side of the coin, we will discuss the impact of large practices consolidating on small practices.  How can small or solo practices survive even thrive?

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Understand how practices are valued, both from the perspective of a practice owner and that of an associate seeking to purchase an equity position within a practice.
    2. Know what the current trends are in practice valuation.
    3. Learn what the impacts of private equity investments are in ophthalmology practices.
    4. Learn how small practices are responding to consolidation and thriving.

    11 am - 12 pm | Session 3B
    Understand Financial Statements (or, What Your Accountant Hasn’t Told You)

     

    Speakers: Derek A. Preece, MBA, Ann M. Hulett, CMPE

    Synopsis: Financial statements tell the story of your business and how your practice decisions have—positively or negatively—impacted your bottom line. Two experienced financial experts will walk us step-by-step through the crucial financial statement components you need to know, and how that information can be used to boost profitability.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Understand the purposes of the most commonly used financial statements.
    2. Understand how the income statement can be structured to ease financial management of your practice.
    3. Learn to analyze key data and position your practice to meet financial goals.

    1 - 2 pm | Session 4A
    The Art of Contracting: Employment and Payer

     

    Speaker: Mark D. Abruzzo, JD

    Synopsis: Ophthalmology is big business. As a result, contracting has now become an unavoidable and crucial aspect of modern ophthalmic practices. This session will examine the pearls of pitfalls of employment and payor contracts. We’ll identify the key elements needed to secure the best possible “deal” and avoid fall-out from a hard-fought negotiation.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Examine the essential steps needed to undertake a successful contract negotiation.
    2. Understand the importance of assessing negotiating leverage.
    3. Become familiar with the negotiating process.
    4. Learn strategies for obtaining the best possible result.
    5. Know when to walk away from a deal where you “win the battle” but “lose the war.”

    1 - 3:10 pm | Session 4B
    Make Better Management Decisions Through Financial Data

     

    Speakers: Derek A. Preece, MBA, Ann M. Hulett, CMPE

    Synopsis: We are managing our practices in challenging, rapidly shifting environments. Key choices about staffing, providers, locations and equipment are easier when you know the specific data needed to make an informed decision.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Predict the impact of reimbursement changes on your practice more accurately.
    2. Know which financial indicators will help you assess the viability of opening a new location or hiring another provider.
    3. Assess the incremental contribution of an MD vs. OD.
    4. Understand the financial impact of new equipment—does it really pay for itself over time?
    5. Explore how high performing practices differ in their key performance indicators.

    2:10 - 3:10 pm | Session 5
    Diagram Your Play: Strategic Management of Ophthalmology Practices

     

    Speakers: Maureen Waddle, MBA, Robert E. Wiggins, Jr. MD, MHA

    Synopsis: It is the responsibility of every leader in ophthalmic practice to craft and communicate a vision of your practice’s future; strategic management is how you get there. This session is designed to help practice administrators and physicians prepare and implement a strategic plan that: 1) sets defined goals; 2) gets buy-in from stakeholders; and 3) incorporates a process to accommodate necessary shifts or pivots as changes occur.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Learn how to prepare a strategic plan for your practice.
    2. Understand the steps needed to secure physician and staff support for the strategic planning process.
    3. Examine how data guides plan preparation.

    3:30 - 4:30 pm | Session 6
    Develop a Culture of Excellence in Your Practice

     

    Speakers: Linda Harrison, PhD, Robert F. Melendez, MD, MBA, Kristin Carter, MD

    Synopsis: The successful ophthalmic practice gets rave reviews from patients and its staff is fully engaged. This session will show you how to create a culture that retains a base of loyal patients, and attracts a skilled, dedicated team of physicians, technicians and administrators. It will also delve into the expectations and accommodation of diverse patient populations in busy ophthalmic practice.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Learn the key characteristics of a culture of professional excellence, and how to create it in your practice.
    2. Understand how to effectively serve millennial and aging patients, as both groups have different expectations for the practice and their relationship with the doctor.
    3. Define techniques to create a practice culture designed to engage and retain talented staff.
    4. Formulate a protocol for handling difficult patient encounters.

    Sunday Program

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    Sunday, 8 - 9 am | Session 7A
    Grow Your Practice Through Collaborative Partnerships

    Speakers: Anthony P. Johnson, MD, FACS, Ravi D. Goel, MD

    Synopsis: Practice growth is significantly enhanced when you collaborate with partners who have a broad mix of talent, experience, ideas and a significant stake in the outcome. Today’s thriving practices regularly interface with community businesses, health systems, insurance companies, and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). This session will outline different approaches for leveraging collaborative partnerships that contribute to your practice expansion goals.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Learn to how to build high functioning collaborative partnerships.
    2. Empower a strong team leader to set day-to-day direction with both internal and external partners.
    3. Understand how to develop and leverage external partnerships to grow your practice.
    4. Learn how involvement and leadership in key organizations such as AAO/AAOE, specialty organizations, and state or local ophthalmic societies benefit your practice.

    Sunday, 8 - 9 am | Session 7B
    Why Do You Need an HR Policy and a Manual?

    Speaker: Mark D. Abruzzo, JD

    Synopsis: Most organizations recognize that they should have an employment handbook, and those that have one may not truly appreciate why it matters. This session focuses on the importance of having defined HR policies that are updated routinely and strictly enforced, and the dangers of neglect or non-adherence.          
      
    Learning Objectives:

    1. Understand how strict enforcement of published HR policies reduces exposure to employee-related legal claims.
    2. Know how to monitor changes in state and local law.
    3. Effectively update policies to accomodate current issues.
    4. Understand what happens when handbook policies and employment agreement terms conflict with each other.

    Sunday, 9:10 - 11:30 am | Session 8A
    Unlock Your Clinic’s Full Potential with The Lean Practice

    Speaker: Robert E. Wiggins, Jr., MD, MPH, Aneesh Suneja, MBA

    Synopsis: Ophthalmology practices are constantly being asked to do more with less.  “Lean” thinking, used for years in the manufacturing world, is an easy-to-implement methodology that can improve your practice’s patient experience and increase your bottom line – all without additional staff or resources. This session will introduce lean practice management through ophthalmology-specific case studies.

    Learning Objectives:

    At the conclusion of this session, you will understand how lean thinking can be used in your practice to:

    • Increase practice efficiency and profitability using simple tools.
    • Reduce wait times and improve quality of care.
    • Identify easy process improvement “wins” that inspire staff to make lean part of your practice culture.

    Sunday 9:10 - 10:10 am | Session 8B
    Resolve Conflict through Improved Communication

    Speakers: Maureen Waddle, MBA, Anthony P. Johnson, MD, FACS

    Synopsis: Great leaders are those who possess self-awareness, and use that understanding to communicate effectively. Conflict with patients, staff, physician colleagues, or even vendors, is often a simple, unintended consequence of our communication style. This session offers strategies for improving communication and resolving conflict.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Understand your behavioral style in leadership and how it impacts those around you.
    2. Recognize potential conflict before it happens.
    3. Learn to turn conflict into partnership.
    4. Use specific communication tactics to reduce conflict.

    Sunday, 10:30 - 11:30 am | Session 9
    Use Technology to Cut Costs, Improve Efficiency and Increase Profitability in Small Practice

    Speaker: Ho Sun Choi, MD

    Synopsis: Less is actually more to be successful in a small practice. Implementing new technology can help you monitor and minimize practice overhead to boost profitability. During this session you will learn insider tips on how to grow your small practice through simple and easily accessible technology and increase practice efficiency, clinic flow and patient satisfaction.

    Learning Objectives:

    • Examine key metrics for evaluating profitability and the yield of your practice’s expenses.
    • Learn how useful apps, websites, and programs can reduce overhead and increase your bottom line.
    • Maximize your EMR and PM system features for improved efficiency.
    • Uncover strategies for optimizing the ergonomics of your practice.

    Sunday 11:40 a.m. - 12:40 p.m. | Closing Session
    The Future of Ophthalmic Practice: A Culture of Collaboration

    Speaker: Ravi D. Goel, MD

    Synopsis: Emotional intelligence, practice valuations, financial statements, disruptive technology, process improvements and the art of contracting … our concluding session will highlight the concepts presented at #OBS2019 to foster a culture of collaboration. Ophthalmologists, practice administrators, managers, technicians, call center, receptionists and support staff play a critical role in helping the profession prepare for clinical and regulatory challenges in the years ahead. 

    Key takeaways:

    1. Use the tools you learned to deepen your leadership skills.
    2. Understand how to use technology, data and communication to improve efficiency in your practice.
    3. Effectively meet the multiple challenges your practice will face in the future by fostering a culture of collaboration.
    4. Identify the top two action items that you can implement in your practice on Monday morning.