• 3 Ways to Bone Up on Practice Management at AAO 2015

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    AAO 2015 in Las Vegas is the place for ophthalmology residents and new-to-practice doctors to learn the latest and greatest innovations and connect with colleagues. It’s also a great place to get expert advice on the business, legal and coding issues that will define your future. 

    Here are three ways to get the career-boosting practice advice you need from the experts at the American Academy of Ophthalmic Executives.

    1. Just-for-YO Instruction Courses

    AAO 2015 offers several coding and business courses designed specifically to help YOs build skills their training didn’t cover. Here’s a sampling:

    • Top 20 Tips for Optimal Billing (Course # 627; Tuesday, Nov. 17, 10:15 to 11:15 a.m., in Room Casanova 606) — Get tips for improving performance in the billing and collections process and learn how to implement them in your practice.
    • A Practical Guide to Understanding and Negotiating Your First Employment Agreement (Course # 601; Tuesday, Nov. 17, from 9 to 11:15 a.m., in Room Casanova 507) — Here, you’ll gain an understanding of the entire employment and contracting process so that you approach your first contract experience with knowledge and confidence.
    • Negotiating Your Buy-In (Course # 257; Sunday, Nov. 15, from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. in room CASANOVA 607) — This course takes a young physician’s perspective to address the business and legal aspects of the buy-in to a solo or group practice as well as other practice entities.

    For an entire list of AAOE sessions designed with YOs in mind, search the online program by “AAOE Instruction Course” and “Endorsed by Young Ophthalmologist Committee.” All you need is an Academy Plus course pass to get unlimited access to these courses and more than 250 non–practice management sessions.

    2. Practice Management Master Classes and Half-Day Coding Sessions

    For a more intensive guide to the latest tools and solutions to running a practice you can also take one of AAOE in-depth courses on Saturday, Nov. 14.

    • The Power of “Lean Thinking:” Improving Practice Efficiency, Profitability and Quality of Care (Saturday, Nov. 14, from 12:30 to 4:30, in Room Casanova 601). This master class will focus on “lean thinking,” a methodology long used in the manufacturing industry, and how it can help decrease costs, improve quality of care, reduce wait times and increase patient satisfaction.
    • Build Your Own Audit Tool Kit (Saturday, Nov. 14, from 8 to 11 a.m., in Lido 3001). Most physicians will be audited by a payer at some time during their career. This three-hour intensive course covers proactive preparation, plus a step-by-step process of what to do when you get the request for records.
    • Coding Camp (Saturday, Nov. 14, from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., in Lido 3001). Accurate documentation and claim submission is the lifeblood of the practice. This session covers all aspects of ophthalmic coding, including answers to the most challenging coding scenarios and the top reasons claims are denied.

    Note: These courses are not included in the Academy Plus course pass and require a separate ticket.

    3. Additional Resources

    While you’re checking out the AAO 2015 exhibition, be sure to take advantage of a free, 20-minute consultation at the AAOE Practice Management Center in the Academy Resource Center (Hall B, Booth 2632). “Conversations With the Experts” features more than 25 consultants from the AAOE Consultant Directory ready to give you customized advice on topics ranging from electronic health records to billing issues.

    Pop in to make a free appointment with the consultant of your choice. The AAOE Practice Management Center is open Saturday, Nov. 14, through Monday, Nov. 16, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Tuesday, Nov. 17, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

    And when you stop by the YO Lounge (Sands Expo, Room 102) for a break from your busy meeting schedule, be sure to check out “Managing YO Practice: AAOE Discussions” (Monday, Nov. 16, from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m.). Get tips and guidance from practice management experts on the most crucial business topics.

    The lounge is open throughout the meeting — show your “YO” ribbon to enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi and gain access to a number of free networking events sponsored by the YO Committee.

    Set Your Future on the Right Track 

    Maintaining a practice is complex. Financial, regulatory and technical issues are more challenging than ever before. So, wherever your annual meeting takes you, be sure to keep all of these resources in mind and discover how AAO 2015 can help you master the world of practice management!

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    About the authors: Sue Vicchrilli, COT, OCS, is the Academy’s director of coding and reimbursement and the author of EyeNet’s “Savvy Coder” column and AAOE’s Coding Bulletin, Ophthalmic Coding Coach and Ophthalmic Coding series. Jenny Edgar, CPC, CPCO, OCS, is the Academy’s coding specialist. She oversees the Academy’s Chart Auditing Service and is also a contributing author to the Ophthalmic Coding Coach and Ophthalmic Coding series.