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  • 3 Tips for Boosting Your Practice Management Skills at AAO 2019

    Starting in private or solo practice may be the most challenging task of your career – but at AAO 2019 in San Francisco, you don’t have to learn those skills alone.

    AAO 2019 is the place to get expert advice on the business, legal and coding issues that will define your future. It’s also where ophthalmology residents and new-to-practice doctors can learn about the latest innovations, connect with colleagues and meet with practice management experts in the YO Lounge. 

    Here are three ways to get the career-boosting advice you need from the experts at the American Academy of Ophthalmic Executives® (AAOE®). Many activities are free, but for unlimited access you’ll need an Academy Plus course pass.

    1. Sample Just-for-YOs Instruction Courses

    AAO 2019 offers more than 80 hours of coding and business courses designed to help ophthalmologists hone their practice management skills. The AAOE program also includes two specific courses with YOs in mind to help you build skills your training didn’t cover:

    • Code-a-Palooza (Course 275; Sunday, Oct. 13, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., South 209-210): Join your colleagues in a live coding challenge. Two teams will compete with each other and the audience through an automated response system. You’ll learn how to identify the correct modifiers in exams and tests and put the fundamentals of coding principles into practice.
    • Managing Practice Finances: Practical Advice for Ophthalmologists (Course 425; Monday, Oct. 14, 10:15 to 11:15 a.m., South 212): You’ll learn how to instruct your accountant to give you a one-page monthly report that makes sense. In just a few seconds each month, you’ll be able to read the financial pulse of your practice and track your performance.

    For an entire list of AAOE sessions, search the online program with “AAOE Instruction Course.” 

    2. Take 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’s in-depth master classes and coding sessions on Friday, Oct. 11, and Saturday, Oct. 12. Note: These courses are not included in the Academy Plus course pass and require a separate ticket.

    Here’s a sampling:

    • Optimize Your Patient Experience: Lessons From the Waiting Room (Course SPE21; Friday, Oct. 11, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., South 213): Operational challenges like long wait times and improving patient satisfaction can be successfully overcome through easy-to-implement tools and lean practice optimizations. This master class will provide you with the resources you need to identify the critical touch points in your patient experience, accurately assess waste within your practice and unclog bottlenecks in your clinic flow.
    • HIPAA Compliance: An Insider’s Guide for Avoiding Violations and Breaches (Course #SPE27; Saturday, Oct. 12, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Room South 213): Practices face HIPAA-related compliance challenges on a daily basis, whether they realize it or not. This interactive master class explores the hot-button issues that most practices encounter, including staff participation on social media, physician use of e-mail to discuss patient matters, PHI disclosure to vendors and many others.
    • Fundamentals of Ophthalmic Coding (Course 19CODE1; Saturday, Oct. 12, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., South 206-208): Built both for ophthalmologists new to practice and well-established professionals, this interactive coding session will help you build greater confidence to take on claims and documentation challenges. No matter the subspecialty, this course provides you with details for billing the most common surgeries, testing services and more.

    3. Talk With Practice Management Experts

    While you’re checking out the AAO 2019 exhibition, be sure to take advantage of a free, 20-minute consultation at the Academy Resource Center (West, Booth 7337). “Conversations with the Experts” features consultants from the AAOE Consultant Directory ready to give you customized advice on topics ranging from electronic health records to billing issues. Resource Center hours are Saturday, Oct. 12, through Monday, Oct. 14, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Tuesday, Oct. 15, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

    When you stop by the YO Lounge (South, Room 102) for a break from your busy meeting schedule, be sure to check out the Power Hour event “Meet with Practice Management Experts” (Monday, Oct. 14, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.). You’ll get tips and guidance on the most crucial business topics, including the issue of private equity, from people in the know.

    The lounge is open throughout the meeting – show your “YO” ribbon to enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi and gain access to several Power Hours sponsored by the YO Committee that offer free networking with experts.

    Set Your Future on the Right Track

    Maintaining a practice is complex, but we’ve made it workable. Wherever your annual meeting takes you, be sure to keep these resources in mind and discover how AAO 2019 can help you keep on top of your game in practice management. 

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    About the author: Mike Mott is a former assistant editor for EyeNet Magazine and contributing writer for YO Info.