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					Volume 47                                                                April 13, 2009                                                                         No. 14


                                                                                                      InfantSEE® CDC project
                                                                                                      making headway
                                                                                                                pilot marketing pro-     distribution and advance

                                                                                                      A         gram is providing
                                                                                                                InfantSEE® with
                                                                                                      valuable insight into organiz-
                                                                                                                                         media outreach are part of the
                                                                                                                                         efforts leading up to each
                                                                                                                                         CDC InfantSEE® Week.
                                                                                                      ing doctors and raising the             The program is also con-
                                                                                                      public’s awareness of the pro-     ducting extensive outreach to
                                                                                                      gram.                              community health resources
                                                                                                            InfantSEE®, an entity of     including health departments,
                                                                                                      Optometry’s Charity™—The           pediatrics centers, community
                                                                                                      AOA Foundation, provides a         centers and other outlets that
                                                                                                      one-time, no-cost eye health       provide care for infants.
                                                                                                      assessment to infants between           Grassroots efforts
                                                                                                      6 and 12 months old.               include moms and other local
                                                                                                            With nearly 7,500            advocates, including partici-
                                                                                                      providers and support from         pating doctors of optometry,
                                                                                                      the AOA and Vistakon®, a           to promote and engage fellow
                                                                                                      Division of Johnson &              community members regard-
 Tom Cullinane, O.D., watches a youngster test her depth perception as part                           Johnson Vision Care, Inc., the     ing the InfantSEE® Week.
 of AOA’s participation in the Transitions Championship golf tournament last                          program starts children off to          In preparation for the
 month. In the background, Graham Erickson, O.D., chair of the AOA Sports                             a lifetime of vision care.         InfantSEE® Weeks, the pro-
 Vision Section, oversees laser-assisted putting. See story, page 15.                                       The pilot marketing pro-     gram offers orientation ses-
                                                                                                      gram, made possible by a           sions and continuing educa-

 TBI, aviation vision lead Sunday CE                                                                  $430,000 grant from the
                                                                                                      Centers for Disease Control
                                                                                                                                         tion to volunteer optometrists.
                                                                                                                                         The sessions are provided at
                                                                                                      and Prevention (CDC),              no cost to the participating
          ptometry’s Meeting®      Brunstetter, O.D., Ph.D.; A.     Federal Aviation                  includes the launch of             provider and are designed to

 O        Sunday education
          covers a broad range
 of topics from aviation vision,
                                   Engle, O.D.; J. Kent, O.D.; V.
                                   Nakagawara, O.D.; J. Weaver,
                                   O.D.)
                                                                    Administration medical exam-
                                                                    ination and certification
                                                                    process; aviation vision stan-
                                                                                                      “InfantSEE® Weeks” through-
                                                                                                      out the country.
                                                                                                            This year, eight locations
                                                                                                                                         refresh their knowledge on
                                                                                                                                         the clinical examination of
                                                                                                                                         infants.
 to neuro-optometry, to anterior        This six-hour course is     dards; prescription options for   will host an InfantSEE® Week            The featured weeks do
 segment challenges.               designed to prepare              aviation; color vision in avia-   with concentrated media and        not require any changes on
      Essilor and The Vision       optometrists to meet the basic   tion; spatial disorientation;     public relations efforts           the part of InfantSEE®
 Care Institute™, LLC, a           needs of their pilot patients,   night vision in aviation; and     designed to raise awareness        providers, but instead are con-
 Johnson & Johnson company,        whether they are involved in     refractive surgery in aviation.   of the program and encourage       centrated periods of time in
 are sponsoring “Aviation          general, commercial, or mili-         “Neuro-Optometric            parents to make appointments
 Vision,” course #4110, from 8     tary aviation.                                                     for their infants.
 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Lecturers: T.          The course will cover the            See Sunday, page 27            Direct mail pieces, flyer              See CDC, page 8




                                                                                       President’s Column                                Optometry’s Meeting®
                                                                                   Optometric Bill of Rights                                      Woodruff to
                                                                                                                                             keynote Opening
                                                                                                                                              General Session

                                                                                                                4                                              26
                                                                                 PRESIDENT’S COLUMN


    243 N. Lindbergh Blvd.
     St. Louis MO 63141
       (800) 365-2219
                                             Optometric Bill of Rights
        www.aoa.org                                     s I drafted the last      disclosure statements by               vision therapy, low vision,


           AOA Board
          Peter H. Kehoe, O.D.
                                             A          President’s Column
                                                        presenting a
                                             Declaration of Optometric
                                                                                  managed vision or health
                                                                                  plans to more easily deter-
                                                                                  mine if joining a panel makes
                                                                                                                         sports vision and specialty
                                                                                                                         contact lens referrals. In addi-
                                                                                                                         tion, based on experience,
                                             Independence, I was about to         financial and professional             equipment limitations or
                 PRESIDENT
                                             share the message to nearly          sense for his/her practice. In         practice settings, some
       Randolph E. Brooks, O.D.
            PRESIDENT-ELECT
                                             300 industry executives at the       particular, as in some man-            optometrists choose to refer
                                             Vision Monday Global                 aged vision plan carve outs of         glaucoma and other medical
            Joe E. Ellis, O.D.               Leadership Summit prior to           medical eye care – when                eye conditions. In the future,
               VICE PRESIDENT
                                             Vision Expo East.                    there is disparity between             those optometrists will first
         Dori M. Carlson, O.D.                     It seems fitting today as I    reimbursement or scope of              look to their optometric col-
           SECRETARY-TREASURER
                                             depart Washington, D.C.,             services provided between              leagues. The patients will be
    Kevin L. Alexander, O.D., Ph.D.
         IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT
                                             after having met with several        optometry and ophthalmolo-             promptly returned to their             Dr. Kehoe
                                             members of Congress and              gy – the plan will clearly dis-        family optometrist for care
                  TRUSTEES
                                             senators that I share my ver-        close the disparity and the            not based on the referral.             commit to a lifetime of learn-
        David A. Cockrell, O.D.
    Ronald L. Hopping, O.D., M.P.H.          sion of the Optometric Bill of       optometrist can then deter-                 Fourth Amendment –                ing to ensure the best patient
        Steven A. Loomis, O.D.               Rights.                              mine if the lower reimburse-           Fair and Reasonable                    care possible. In addition, the
       Mitchell T. Munson, O.D.
       Christopher Quinn, O.D.                     The first five, in this        ment or limited scope of serv-         Reimbursement for Services             optometric profession will
          Andrea Thau, O.D.                  issue, concern the rights of                                                                                       never stop striving to provide
                                             practitioners. With the nation-
                                             al discussions of health care
                                                                                      Optometrists in all practice                                              necessary care to patients in
                                                                                                                                                                need and will set no limits on
   AOA News Staff
  www.aoanews.org
                                             reform, it’s critical that            settings shall work closely with                                             the expansion of scope when
                                             optometry is clear with where                                                                                      it is in the patient’s best inter-
             Bob Foster, ELS                 we believe the profession
                                                                                      their optometric colleagues                                               est.
          ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR ,
          E DITORIAL S ERVICES
                                             must be, so we begin with the          to ensure all patient needs are                                                   Because our patients are
                                             first five rights of                                                                                               the focus of all we do, the
         RAF OSTER @AOA. ORG

               Bob Pieper                    optometrists.                           met by optometry whenever                                                  next issue will conclude with
              SENIOR EDITOR
         RFP IEPER @AOA. ORG
                                                   First Amendment –                          appropriate.                                                      my view of patient rights
                                             Equitable Reimbursement –                                                                                          from a presbyopic perspective
             Tracy Overton                   optometrists and ophthalmol-                                                                                       of optometric care.
              SENIOR EDITOR
        TLO VERTON @AOA. ORG                 ogists shall receive equal           ices provided is in the                Provided – The AOA will
        Stephen M. Wasserman
                                             reimbursement for the same           patients’, his/her practices’ or       provide its members with
DIRECTOR, COMMUNICATIONS AND MEMBERSHIP      services regardless of the           the professions’ best interest         tools and information to
      SMWASSERMAN@AOA.ORG                    payer. There is currently dis-       to join the panel.                     ensure that no optometrist
                                             crimination in managed                    Third Amendment –                 shall ever have to make
                                             Medicare, some Medicaid              Optometric Co-                         patient-care decisions based           Peter H. Kehoe, O.D.
           Advertising
                                             and obviously in ERISA               Management and Intra-                  on the economics of reim-              President
           Display Advertising               plans and even (possibly             Professional Referrals –               bursement. Eye examination
               Aileen Rivera
                                             without common knowledge)            optometrists in all practice           reimbursement will cover all           PS: Please visit
     Advertising Sales Representative
                  Elsevier                   traditional commercial insur-        settings shall work closely            costs of providing the servic-         www.PetesAOABlog.com to
         360 Park Avenue South               ers. Optometry, through the          with their optometric col-             es and a reasonable profit.            add your “Amendments” or
      New York, NY 10010-1710
             (212) 633-3721                  AOA and state associations,          leagues to ensure all patient          The provision of professional          comment on this or any other
          Fax: (212) 633-3820                will need dues dollars and           needs are met by optometry             services or materials will all         topic of importance.
      E-Mail: A.RIVERA@ELSEVIER.COM
                                             support in fighting for equal        whenever appropriate. This is          cover the costs of providing           PPS: Watch your e-mail, my
                                             reimbursement for equal serv-        a natural evolution for our            the products or services and a         blog and snail mail for the
          Classified Advertising
              Keida Spurlock                 ices.                                profession and very success-           reasonable profit.                     latest updates on the board
     Advertising Sales Representative              Second Amendment –             ful in limited areas of the                 Fifth Amendment –                 certification discussion – your
                  Elsevier
         360 Park Avenue South               Truth and Transparency –             country for some specialties.          Lifetime of Learning and               input is valued!
       New York, NY 10010-1710               optometrists shall be provided       There are thousands of                 Professional Growth – all
             (212) 633-3986
          Fax: (212) 633-3820
                                             with easy-to-understand full         patients who can benefit from          optometrists shall continue to
     E-MAIL: K.SPURLOCK@ELSEVIER.COM




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4               AOA NEWS
Carlson files for vice president                                                                             Win prizes, attention
          ori M. Carlson, O.D.,      the Professional Relations        serve on the                          in AOA Photo Contest
D         of Park River, N.D.,
          has filed for the AOA
office of vice president.
                                     Committee, the
                                     Communications Group
                                     Advisory Committee, the
                                                                       North Dakota
                                                                       Blue Cross
                                                                       Blue Shield
                                                                                                                   As a way of building a
                                                                                                             storehouse of arresting and
      Dr. Carlson was first          Optometry’s Charity™-the          Advisory                              beautiful photos, the AOA
elected to the board in June         AOA Foundation Board of           Committee and                         announces its first photo con-
2004. Currently, Dr. Carlson is      Directors and the Commission      is a longstand-                       test. Open to AOA member
the chair of the Finance             on Paraoptometric                 ing member of the North               ODs, American Optometric
Committee, Constitution and          Certification.                    Dakota Legislative Committee.         Student Association (AOSA)
Bylaws Committee and the                   Dr. Carlson was the first   Her North Dakota colleagues           member students and Paraoptometric Section members, the
Program Planning Committee.          female president of the North     awarded her the Young                 contest’s top prize in each category is $500 cash. All partici-
She also serves on the               Dakota Optometric Assoc-          Optometrist of the Year Award         pants will have a chance at seeing their photography in AOA
Personnel Committee and              iation (NDOA). She served on      in 1994 and the Optometrist of        publications or online media.
Building Committee and is the        the AOA’s Communications          the Year Award in 2003.
liaison to the Council on            Technology Project Team from            A 1989 graduate of              Prizes:
Research.                            2001-2002 and was chair of        Pacific University College of         There will be one $500 cash winner in each of four cate-
      She has served as board        the Information & Member          Optometry and a former resi-          gories: Practice Settings, Special Populations (children, sen-
liaison to the Advocacy Group        Services Group and                dent at the American Lake and         iors, disabled or diverse), Community, and Events. The first
Executive Committee, the             Membership Development            Seattle Veterans Administra-          finalist in each category will win an AAXA Pico Projector, a
Federal Legislative                  Committee.                        tion hospitals, Dr. Carlson and       pocket-sized LCD projector valued at $259. The second
Committee, the Federal                     Since 1999, she has been    her husband and partner Mark          finalist will win a digital picture frame valued at $125. The
Relations Committee, the             a trained consultant for the      Helgeson, O.D., own practices         third finalist and the Altered Image winner in each category
Finance Committee, the Health        Accreditation Council on          in Park River and Grafton,            will each receive a “gallery-wrapped” 16” by 20” print of
Information Technology and           Optometric Education.             N.D. The doctors have two             their winning photo. In addition, an entrant chosen at ran-
Telemedicine Project Team,              Dr. Carlson continues to       sons, Seth and Ian.                   dom – and his or her guest – will be invited to meet Jeff
                                                                                                             Foxworthy at Optometry’s Meeting® for a photo session.

                                                                                                             Contest dates:
                              LETTERS                                                                        The American Optometric Association’s Photo Contest
                                                                                                             begins April 1, 2009, and ends May 15, 2009, at 2 p.m.
                                                                                                             Central Daylight Time (CDT). By submitting an entry, each
                                                                                                             contestant agrees to the rules of the contest.

Protect and                          in New Jersey in 1992 when        making and remaking our               Eligibility:
Advance the                          we passed our first therapeu-     case to continue                      Members of the AOA, the AOA Paraoptometric Section and
                                     tics law. We then went            the status quo so that co-man-        the AOSA are eligible. For details and to submit photos,
profession
                                     through the regulatory process    agement prevails.                     visit www.aoa.org/photocontest.xml.
Editor:                              so that we could call our-            Our adversaries stand
     I have served as New            selves “optometric physi-         ready at the first opportunity
Jersey Society of Optometric         cians,” which more accurately     at both the state and federal       profession that serves most of     care to the nation. And who
Physicians (NJSOP) legisla-          defined us and we cemented        levels to take from us our          our citizens, and Protect and      knows, it may help to open up
tive chairman for more than          that definition when we           hard-fought gains and render        Advance optometry.                 access heretofore denied.
20 years. During that time I         passed our orals law.             us second-class practitioners.          It is within this context           So, to reiterate, board
have done my best to fulfill               But at every turn we were       Do not be so naïve or           that we once again find our-       certification is another layer
the obligation that comes with       opposed. Remember, we are a       blasé and content to                selves at a crossroads. We         of protection against losing
the title and is shared by those     legislated profession and have    think that it could not happen      have the opportunity to            our collective patient base
in leadership: Protect and           had to fight repeal laws and      or won’t happen in some             protect and advance the pro-       and allowing us to advance
Advance the profession of            other legislation meant to        form. Yes, the NJSOP is a           fession on our terms or let        our profession into the 21st
optometry and in so doing            limit our professional preroga-   strong society politically, but I   others, in a vacuum left by        century.
expand our patient base while        tives. By the way, within the     know too well the thin line         inaction, dictate what                 The marginally additional
providing the best eye care we       wording of our practice act       that exists between success         our place will be in the health    cost or extra hours that may
can to our patients.                 was language that held us to      and failure at our state house      care marketplace.                  attend this process pale in
      I believe a short historical   the same standard of care as a    and in Congress.                         I believe board certifica-    contrast to its need. I do not
review of where we were and          medical practitioner. We glad-         So at every turn, whether      tion will strengthen our hand      believe it to be a hardship
where we are going will be           ly agreed to such wording in      you like it or not, we must         in meeting a changing health       severe enough to warrant a no
helpful.                             order to give our legislative     continue to prove our worth,        care landscape by creating a       vote. That would be penny-
      When our optometric            friends the level of comfort      make the case for the               uniform process requiring a        wise and pound-foolish.
forefathers made the first           necessary to vote for our new-                                        high level of competency by             On two critical notes, I
change from a drugless pro-          found privileges.                                                     which, yes, once again, we         would suggest:
                                                                           Send letters to: Editor,
fession to one utilizing diag-           We co-manage without                                              will prove our worth to those            Making the process less
                                                                                 AOA News
nostic pharmaceuticals, it           restriction in our state, but                                         decision makers who make           complex so as to make com-
raised our stature in our            behind the scenes another           243 N. Lindbergh Blvd.,           health care policy in              pliance less onerous.
patients’ eyes and our own.          type of battle continues — at         St. Louis MO 63141              Washington.                              We should also consider
But even then, ophthalmology         the regulatory level where we          RAFoster@aoa.org.                  It will be difficult for       making license reciprocity
and medicine fought against          have to quash attempt after          AOA News reserves the            them to limit our access as we     among all states a reality
our right to simply use diag-        attempt to roll back and limit      right to edit letters submit-     give them the level of comfort
nostic drugs.                        that privilege. This means             ted for publication.           they need to keep us as a
      We made a quantum leap         meeting with state officials,                                         main player in providing eye               See Letters, page 14


                                                                                                                                              APRIL 13, 2009               5
    Industry leaders take stock of economy
            atient buying behavior     their benefits, or jobs.          demand.

    P       is changing as a result
            of the economic down-
    turn, but in ways that may not
                                            Patients who are paying
                                       for the exams and eyewear
                                       themselves, however, seem to
                                                                              Wally Lovejoy, senior
                                                                         vice president for eye care
                                                                         development at Luxottica
    have been predicted, accord-       be delaying their visits to the   Retail affirmed that view. He
    ing to industry leaders meet-      eye doctor, Bracy said.           said Flexible Spending
    ing at the Ophthalmic                   Ranaan Naftalovich, chief    Accounts, or FSAs, long a
    CouncilSM prior to                 executive officer of Shamir       reliable pool of funds for eye-
    International Vision Expo          Insight, said he was “very con-   care, especially in the fourth
    East last month.                                                           quarter, may be diverted
         Several industry
    leaders said they have
                              “My biggest concern is                           to paying higher
                                                                               deductibles as employers
    observed a clear break      that practitioners are                         shift more of the cost of
    in behavior between
    patients who are cov-
                               incurring self-inflicted                        health care to employees
                                                                               – or the newly unem-
    ered by managed care           harm by selling                             ployed buy high-
    plans and those who
    are paying out of their
                                 consumers down.”                              deductible insurance.
                                                                                    Several industry
                                                                                                            Richard Edlow, O.D., describes the state of the
    pockets.                                                                   leaders noted that vision
                                                                                                            ophthalmic market at the Ophthalmic CouncilSM.
         “We’ve seen an increase       cerned personally about peo-      care utilization is faring far
    in utilization of managed care,    ple using up their benefits and   better than dental plan utiliza-
    with usage up almost 30 per-       the coming impact of higher       tion. Where patients seem to       Bradley said, “and noted                 On the contact lens front,
    cent, but private pay down,”       unemployment.”                    be making changes is in keep-      some trading down in frames,       there is some concern among
    said Kerry Bradley, president            His take was that people    ing their existing frames, but     but trading up in lenses.”         ophthalmic executives that
    of Luxottica Retail.               still employed with eyewear       upgrading their lenses.                 Howard Purcell, O.D., of      patients are taking measures
         He noted that Luxottica’s     benefits are buying now, and           “We’ve seen a 3 percent       Essilor, said that premium         to cut expenses, such as
    Lenscrafters chain, perceived      artificially inflating the        increase in lens-only orders,”     anti-reflective coatings seem      stretching out the wearing
    as upscale, has seen a decline                                                                          to have slowing sales growth       times and re-using solutions,
    in sales – in fact at least 110                                                                         but value-oriented products        or switching to generic solu-
    stores are closing – but the                                                                            are faring better.                 tions.
    discount-oriented Pearle                                                                                     One concern, shared by              The market for LASIK
    Vision, Sears Optical and                                                                               many, is that practitioners are    and refractive surgery has
    Target Optical have all seen                                                                            instructing staff to suggest       slowed down, as many would
    growth.                                                                                                 lower-priced options, to their     expect an elective procedure
         Carl Bracy, vice president                                                                         own detriment.                     to do in a recession.
    of marketing at Essilor, said                                                                                “My biggest concern is              However, cataract surgery
    the market most recently “has                                                                           that practitioners are incurring   is “way up,” according to sev-
    not been bad, it’s just                                                                                 self-inflicted harm by selling     eral executives, likely because
    changed.” He said Essilor                                                                               consumers down,” Bracy said        it is covered by Medicare and
    noticed a shift at the end of                                                                           at an Essilor news conference.     baby boomers are starting to
    2008, with patients covered by                                                                          He noted that most indicators      turn 65 in large numbers.
    managed care plans accelerat-                                                                           show that patients are not shy-          One change in the
    ing their visits to the eye care   Wally Lovejoy, senior vice president for eye                         ing away from higher-end           cataract market is that a sur-
    practitioner – perhaps out of      care development at Luxottica Retail, describes                      coatings and lens options, if      prising number of patients are
    fear that they might soon lose     the vast untapped market for eye care.                               given the choice.                  turning to premium IOLs.



     AOA executive director outlines
     association’s role in helping ODs
          With two prominent forums in New             providers, plans, employers, ophthalmic indus-
     York in late March, AOA Executive Director        try — to solve the puzzle of mainstreaming ALL
     Barry Barresi, O.D., Ph.D., described how         vision and eye care within health insurance
     the association is taking a more aggressive       and medical plans,” he said.
     position regarding third-party plans that sell          He questioned whether the reimbursement
     optometrists’ services short.                     of optometrists has kept pace with ODs’ rapid-
          At the Vision Monday Global Summit,          ly expanding scope of practice. He also
     and at the Ophthalmic CouncilSM, Dr.              described how the AOA’s new Research &
     Barresi described how some plans can best         Information Center would be seeking data to
     be visualized as handcuffs, barbed wire           show how ODs’ practices costs and training
     and scissors cutting dollar bills.                justify fairer reimbursements.
          “Are these the icons of the vision plan
     companies’ entry into the medical benefits        AOA Executive Director Barry
     administration in eye care?” he asked.            Barresi, O.D., Ph.D., outlines how the
          “The AOA is ready to do its part to          AOA is being structured to reflect the
     help bring together all stakeholders —            best practices among associations.



6            AOA NEWS
Board certification
Changes include ‘board eligible’ status, governance
        ollowing two months            To be classified as board    Optometry Code of Ethics           months of completing all 150       optometrists that practicing

F       of presentations of —
        and feedback on — a
model for board certification
                                  eligible, a candidate for board
                                  certification would submit the
                                  eligibility application, appli-
                                                                         Upon confirmation of the
                                                                    requirements, the American
                                                                    Board of Optometry (ABO)
                                                                                                       points and submitting an
                                                                                                       application for the Board
                                                                                                       Certification Examination.
                                                                                                                                          ODs have a meaningful voice
                                                                                                                                          on the new organization.
                                                                                                                                               A practitioner initially
in optometry, the Joint Board     cation fee, and evidence of       would confer that the candi-            In addition to approving      licensed less than five years
Certification Project Team        the following initial qualify-    date is board eligible for a       the new designation, mem-          would represent the American
(JBCPT) has made several          ing requirements:                 period of one year.                bers of the JBCPT voted to         Optometric Student
changes and clarifications to          Graduate of school or             Candidates could renew        alter the composition and          Association.
the proposed model, as            college of optometry accredit-    their board eligible status for    governance of the proposed              There would be a mem-
recently as March 23 and 31       ed by the Accreditation           up to three years total by sub-    American Board of                  ber of the public on the
via WebEx meetings.               Council on Optometric             mitting of proof of comple-        Optometry:                         board, reflecting the impor-
      The change that would       Education (ACOE).                 tion of 50 points progress              Under the new plan, the       tance of ensuring quality care
affect all optometrists intend-        Possession of an active      toward completion of the           American Academy of                and education that the board
ing to become board certified     license to practice therapeutic   Post-Graduate Educational          Optometry (AAO), the               would place on its work.
is the creation of a new desig-   optometry in a state, District    Requirements by the end of         Association of Regulatory               In earlier drafts of the
nation: board eligible.           of Columbia, U.S. common-         each year of board eligibility.    Boards of Optometry                model, the American Board
      The designation responds    wealth or territory.                   The Post-Graduate             (ARBO) and the Association         of Optometry had a represen-
to concerns that new practi-           Clearance of a search of     Educational Requirements of        of Schools and Colleges of         tative of the National Board
tioners, or those on the path     the National Practitioner Data    150 points would remain            Optometry (ASCO) would             of Examiners in Optometry.
to certification, would have      Bank (NPDB) and Health            unchanged.                         each have one member on the             At AOA affiliate and
no way of indicating to the       Integrity and Protection Data          A board eligible              board.                             regional meetings, there were
public or third parties their     Bank (HIPDB)                      optometrist should pass the             The AOA would have            some concerns voiced that the
seriousness about the creden-          Statement of adherence       Board Certification                two members, reflecting a
tial.                             to American Board of              Examination within 12              frequently stated desire of               See Changes, page 12



Project team takes questions about proposal
     n order to shed further      Q: If the house vote is “No”      American Board of                  used by other organizations is     when it was released by the

I   light on the proposed
    model for board certifica-
tion, AOA News asked mem-
                                  at the AOA House of
                                  Delegates, will the issue of
                                  “BC” die?
                                                                    Optometry. Any funding plan
                                                                    involving the AOA would be
                                                                    in the form of a loan with
                                                                                                       that the currency of
                                                                                                       residency or any formal train-
                                                                                                       ing program becomes stale
                                                                                                                                          JBCPT in January. The Board
                                                                                                                                          will make the formal
                                                                                                                                          motion that will begin and
bers of the Joint Board           A: The issues of competence       interest, so it would not affect   over time.                         allow discussion by the AOA
Certification Project Team        and board certification have      dues.                                                                 House of Delegates. The
(JBCPT) to answer common          surfaced many times in                                               Q: I would want to know            motion will likely recommend
questions about the process.      the past, at least once every     Q: Why do the residency            specifically what happens if       support of the model as well
To submit a question to the       decade for the past 40 years.     and the Academy fellowship         the House of Delegates             as recommend that any
team, write:                      As the U.S. health care           points only apply if the have      votes “no,” since there are        newly formed entity obtain
questions@jbcpt.org.              system continues to evolve,       been completed in the last         many other agencies                significant input from the pro-
                                  there will likely be ever-        10 years? An accredited res-       involved. Will the other           fession before any final
Q: If the AOA House of            increasing demands on the         idency is an accredited resi-      agencies continue to carry         process is rolled out.
Delegates vote is “Yes,” is       profession of optometry to        dency no matter when it            the torch?
there any further opportu-        have a process to demonstrate     was completed. The same            A: The leadership of all the       Q: Was what we heard at
nity for input on the final       ongoing competence in a           can be asked about the             participating organizations        the Presidents’ Council the
model for Board                   manner such as board certifi-     AAO. Why is there a limit-         saw the wisdom in working          final program or will it be
Certification?                    cation and maintenance of         ed value on having passed          together with all stakeholders     further modified before the
A: The Joint Board                certification. The AOA will       the AAO last year vs. more         in optometry to study this         House of Delegates in
Certification Project Team        not support board certification   than 10 years ago?                 issue. While it is thought         Washington, D.C.?
has developed a “model” for       should it be defeated in the      A: This was discussed and          that the decision of the AOA       A: The model released by the
a board certification process.    AOA House of Delegates.           debated extensively by the         House of Delegates is crucial      JBCPT has been modified by
While the model has some                                            JBCPT. Our model for board         to this decision, it is possible   the Project Team and could be
detail, even more detail will     Q: Is there a game plan to        certification and maintenance      that another group either          further before being voted on
need to be developed before       come up with initial funding      of certification is based large-   inside or outside of optome-       by each of the organizations.
board certification could         to get this off the ground?       ly on that of the American         try could move forward with        It will certainly be further
begin in earnest. If the AOA      ($2 million has been quot-        Board of Family Medicine           a board certification process.     refined and developed by the
House of Delegates accepts        ed). Our AOA affiliate            and other member boards of                                            American Board of
the model, the process would      members will be asking as         the American Board of              Q: Does the AOA have an            Optometry if the process
become the responsibility of      they will be fearful of the       Medical Specialties. Nearly        official position regarding        moves forward.
the American Board of             dues increase or special          all of their programs have         adoption of the JBCPT                   Issues that arise through
Optometry. That organization      assessments.                      time limits of 10 years, so the    recommendations?                   the presentation of the model
should accept input from the      A: Along with other organiza-     JBCPT believes that a similar      A: Like the rest of the profes-    to the profession should be
profession as final details are   tions, the AOA could be one       10-year sunsetting for resi-       sion, the AOA Board of             forwarded to the JBCPT for
developed prior to implemen-      of the “funding entities” to      dencies and fellowship is a        Trustees saw the final product     consideration.
tation of the plan.               finance the startup of the        reasonable one. The premise



                                                                                                                                            APRIL 13, 2009              7
                                                                       CDC,
                                                                       from page 1                             The additional promotion      and coordinated well with our
                                                                                                          increased awareness of the         local efforts to promote
                                                                                                          InfantSEE® program and the         InfantSEE®.”
                                                                       which the program can work         number of assessments,                  U.S. Rep. Dave
                                                                       to raise awareness and test        according to Nancy Kopp,           Loebsack (D) of Mt. Vernon,
                                                                       how its efforts affect the         executive director of the          Iowa, held a press conference
                                                                       behavior of those making           North Dakota Optometric            to promote the IOA’s efforts,
                                                                       appointments.                      Association (NDOA).                and Iowa Gov. Chet Culver
                                                                            The first InfantSEE®               “We did have a very pos-      (D) proclaimed InfantSEE®
                                                                       Week held in the Madison,          itive response from Governor       Week in the state.
                                                                       Wis., area Jan. 26-30 made a       John Hoeven and his office              The project’s efforts to
                                                                       measurable impression in the       staff, as well as an interview     reach out to various industry
    Doctors in Chicago attend an orientation ses-                      area.                              with Congressman Earl              and non-industry parties in all
    sion and continuing education in preparation                            The 24 Wisconsin              Pomeroy, who is a great            locations have resulted in the
    for the upcoming InfantSEE® Week to be held in                     optometrists who volunteered       advocate for all children in       formation of extensive and
    the area. The sessions are provided at no cost                     to be part of the pilot saw 46     our state,” said Kopp. “The        meaningful partnerships.
    to the participating provider and are designed                     infants during that week and       InfantSEE® Week promotion               There has been great
    to refresh their knowledge on the clinical                         51 more in the following           did open the opportunity to        reception from federal, state
    examination of infants.                                            three weeks—this comes out         work more closely with pedi-       and local representatives for
                                                                       to 20 percent of the total         atricians in Bismarck on           the project, including quotes
                                                                       number of infants seen by the      vision care for infants.”          endorsing and supporting the
                                                                       same providers in the past              In the month following        InfantSEE® program from
     High-quality prints                                               year.                              the InfantSEE® Week, the           U.S. senators, members of
                                                                            “InfantSEE®                                                                    Congress, state
     showcase importance                                               Week in Wisconsin                                                                   governors and
                                                                       was a huge success      I am extremely proud of the                                 local mayors in
     of children’s eye care                                            both for patients                                                                   all three
          To further enhance patient care and education efforts,       and Wisconsin
                                                                                                InfantSEE® providers in our                                InfantSEE® Week
     the AOA has introduced three new “gallery prints” highlight-      optometrists,” said     state, not only for their dili-                             locations.
     ing the importance of comprehensive eye exams for chil-           Peter Theo, execu-                                                                   The project has
     dren. These digitally painted, museum-grade canvas gallery        tive vice president     gent work during InfantSEE                             ®
                                                                                                                                                           also seen great
     prints, focusing on the impact of undiagnosed vision prob-        of the Wisconsin          Week, but for their daily                                 media response
     lems in children, will educate parents on why every child         Optometric                                                                          in the three
     should be seen by an optometrist. The large-format 20 x 24-       Association. “I am      efforts to educate the public                               states.
     inch “gallery-wrapped” prints feature important visual mes-       extremely proud of
                                                                       the InfantSEE®
                                                                                               regarding the importance of                                  The InfantSEE®
                                                                                                                                                           message has
     sages that create a branded patient counseling collection.
          Prints arrive with hardware, ready to hang with no fram-     providers in our         good vision and eye health                                 been picked up
     ing costs and may be purchased individually, or as a collec-      state, not only for
                                                                       their diligent work
                                                                                                     care for children.                                    by TV stations,
                                                                                                                                                           radio stations,
     tion, depending on the needs of the office.
          The cost is $89 per print. Available are:                    during InfantSEE®                                                                   newspapers,
          CE-1 – Children’s Eye Exam Canvas Print – “She May           Week, but for their daily          number of requests received        community papers, Internet
     Never Recover…”                                                   efforts to educate the public      in the NDOA office for             Web pages and community
          CE-2 – Children’s Eye Exam Canvas Print – “His               regarding the importance of        InfantSEE® brochures               calendars, as well as other
     Education Cost a Lot…”                                            good vision and eye health         increased dramatically.            local and state outlets.
          CE-3 – Children’s Eye Exam Canvas Print – “A Child           care for children. Doctors of      Hospitals, county public                Nationally, the
     Shouldn’t Have to Fail…”                                          optometry are among the            health centers and early child-    InfantSEE® program has
          To order, contact the Order Department at 800-262-           most benevolent health care        hood programs all requested        received more than 450 com-
     2210.                                                             providers in the world, and        materials.                         bined media hits across the
                                                                       InfantSEE® is another exam-             In Iowa, 29 optometrists      country.
                                                                       ple of their dedication to serv-   in 22 practices participated            Future InfantSEE® Weeks
                                                                       ing the most needy and vul-        during the InfantSEE® Week         will also include the introduc-
     AOA First Look                                                    nerable citizens around the
                                                                       globe.”
                                                                                                          from March 23-27.
                                                                                                               The final numbers have
                                                                                                                                             tion of a mobile clinic provid-
                                                                                                                                             ed by VSP in West Virginia in
          In a new benefit exclusively for AOA members, the
                                                                            The impact of the North       not been tallied, but 21           May.
     AOA provides a daily e-mail summary of health care and
                                                                       Dakota InfantSEE® Week             appointments were scheduled             The grant will fund addi-
     ophthalmic news titled “AOA First Look.” Editors scan the
                                                                       (Feb. 23-27) was felt through-     for assessments during the         tional InfantSEE® Weeks
     Web and compile digest articles of news most likely to inter-
                                                                       out the state.                     week.                              throughout 2009 in the fol-
     est optometrists. AOA members and optometry students
                                                                            The 44 participating               “Overall, it was an excel-    lowing states: Illinois,
     who already receive association e-publications should be
                                                                       optometrists saw 44 infants,       lent opportunity,” said Gary       Louisiana, Missouri,
     receiving AOA First Look now. If not, check your spam-
                                                                       which constitutes 12 percent       Ellis, executive director of the   Washington and West
     blocking settings and add FirstLook@AOA
                                                                       of the number seen in the          Iowa Optometric Association        Virginia.
     .custombriefings.com to your address book. If your network
                                                                       entire previous year.              (IOA). “There is no question            To sign up as an
     administrator or Internet service provider requests it, you can
                                                                       The doctors saw 26 infants         that the pouring in of adver-      InfantSEE® provider and learn
     provide the sending IP address: 65.240.141.95 for
                                                                       during the three weeks fol-        tising certainly helped our        more about the program, con-
     whitelisting. To sign up, send an e-mail to address-
                                                                       lowing the designated              efforts across the state. The      tact infantsee@aoa.org or
     change@aoa.org.
                                                                       InfantSEE® Week.                   media exposure was excellent       visit www.infantsee.org.



8            AOA NEWS
Proactive efforts ensure optometry                                                                   Ellis files for
‘at the table’ during White House                                                                    president-elect
health reform summits                                                                                       Joe Ellis, O.D., has filed
    n an effort to reinforce the   an invitation were rejected.      Americans.

I   Obama administration’s
    commitment to national
health care reform, the White
                                   However, the AOA wasn’t
                                   about to take “no” for an
                                   answer.
                                                                           The AOA learned that
                                                                     the Regional White House
                                                                     Forums would be held in
                                                                                                      for the AOA office of presi-
                                                                                                      dent-elect.
                                                                                                            Dr. Ellis, currently the
                                                                                                      AOA vice president, was first
House announced in February             Following up on the orig-    California, Iowa, Michigan,      elected to the board in June
that the president was making      inal White House forum in         North Carolina and Vermont       2001 and re-elected in
plans to host a summit in          the nation’s capital, the White   during the month of March        2004.
Washington, D.C., to identify      House announced in early          and into early April.                  He is a member of the
barriers to quality care and       March that it would hold a              On March 11, the White     Optometry Awareness and
consider a number of reform        series of health care summits     House made known that the        Public Affairs Committee and
proposals.                         in select locations around the    first of the summit events       the liaison trustee to the
      While organized medi-        country in an attempt to bring    would be held the following      Industry Relations Committee and the Eye Care Benefits
cine, nurses, health insurers,     the conversation about health     day in Dearborn, Mich. After     Committee.
pharmaceutical companies,          care reform directly to com-      hearing from the AOA,                  He has served as a member of the AOA Constitution
labor unions and business          munities and continue the dis-    Michigan Optometric              and Bylaws, Finance, Personnel, and Building Committees
groups were quickly selected       cussion on bringing down                                           and as a board liaison to the Communications Group
to attend the March 5 meet-        health care costs and expand-                                      Advisory Committee, the Contact Lens and Cornea
                                                                       See Health reform, page 22
ing, the AOA’s efforts to gain     ing coverage for all                                               Section, the Accreditation Council on Optometric
                                                                                                      Education, the Advocacy Group, the Commission on
                                                                                                      Paraoptometric Certification, the Practice Perpetuation
Stalled DoD-VA vision center                                                                          Project Team and the AOA Sports Vision Section.
                                                                                                            Prior to his election to the board, Dr. Ellis held a vari-
lets vets with eye injuries down                                                                      ety of volunteer appointments within the AOA.
                                                                                                            Most recently, he served as chair of the State Health
          full 13 months after     state-of-the-art care that our    pointment of the AOA, the

A         the creation of a
          much-needed AOA-
backed program to ensure a
                                   injured veterans need and
                                   deserve.”
                                         The Vision Center of
                                                                     BVA and others, on March
                                                                     17, the House Veterans’
                                                                     Affairs Oversight and
                                                                                                      Care Legislation Committee.
                                                                                                            Dr. Ellis served on the board of the Kentucky
                                                                                                      Optometric Association (KOA) from 1990 to 1996 and
                                                                                                      was president in the 1994-1995 program year.
seamless continuum of care         Excellence was created            Investigations Subcommittee,           He was named the Kentucky Young Optometrist of the
for American service mem-          through the National Defense      led by Chairman Harry            Year in 1992 and the Kentucky Optometrist of the Year in
bers and veterans who have         Authorization Act of 2008         Mitchell (D-Ariz.), conducted    1995.
suffered combat eye injuries       (NDAA) and championed in          a hearing to evaluate the              The KOA has also honored him with three President’s
and vision-related problems        Congress by Rep. Boozman,         progress the DoD and             Awards.
associated with Traumatic          O.D., the only optometrist in     Department of Veterans                  Dr. Ellis was very instrumental in his efforts and rela-
Brain Injury (TBI), the AOA        Congress.                         Affairs (VA) have made on        tionship with Kentucky Gov. Paul Patton and the Kentucky
has joined together with the             The NDAA mandated           the VCE and how it has           General Assembly to help pass the first school entrance-
Blinded Veterans Association       that “[t]he Secretary of          affected veterans in need of     level eye examination in the United States in 2000.
(BVA), Rep. John Boozman,          Defense shall establish within                                           Dr. Ellis is a member and past president of the Benton
O.D. (R-Ark.) and other lead-      the [DoD] a center of excel-               See Center, page 23     Lions Club and is a member of the Marshall County
ing members of Congress to         lence in the prevention, diag-                                     Chamber of Commerce.
spur progress on a project         nosis, mitigation, treatment,                                            Dr. Ellis graduated from the Southern College of
that is intended to ensure that    and rehabilitation of military                                     Optometry in 1986. He is in private practice in Benton,
veterans receive needed eye        eye injuries…”                                                     Ky.
and vision care without hav-             However, the Vision
ing to deal with the overly        Center of Excellence (VCE)
bureaucratic process during        is still in the planning phase
rehabilitation.                    and minimal execution has
     “Our wounded warriors         occurred, according to the
deserve the very best care and     AOA Washington office.
                                                                                                     AOA-PAC looking for ODs
optometry is committed to                More than a year after                                      signed on as ‘Life Members’
helping Congress, defense          the enactment of the NDAA,
and veterans health officials      there is no physical structure
make certain they get it,” said    identified, no computer hard-                                     AOA-PAC is trying to identify AOA-PAC "Life Members."
Peter H. Kehoe, O.D., presi-       ware, and no support staff.                                       In the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, the PAC developed this
dent of the AOA. “The AOA                The Department of                                           giving level to sign up “high-dollar donors” - $1,000
worked to help pass Rep.           Defense (DOD) states that $3                                      over a few years. If you signed up to be an AOA-PAC
Boozman’s Military Eye             million has been allocated to                                     life member, contact Julie Trute in the Washington office
Trauma Treatment Act, and          create this center; however                                       at jltrute@aoa.org or 703-837-1376.
we remain confident that the       minimal money has been
Vision Center of Excellence        spent to create the VCE.
will ultimately provide the              In addition to the disap-



                                                                                                                                            APRIL 13, 2009               9
                                    EYE ON WASHINGTON                                                                                   AOA-backed
                                                                                                                                        Vision Care for Kids Act
                                                                                                                                        approved by U.S. House
     New Medicare address                                                                                                                     On March 31, the U.S. House of Representatives over-

     correction rules take effect                                                                                                       whelmingly approved the AOA-backed Vision Care for Kids
                                                                                                                                        Act (H.R. 577), which recognizes the link between healthy
                                                                                                                                        vision and classroom learning and seeks to provide new fed-
           ealth care practition-   or appeal with information or     also to investigate any unex-

 H         ers, including
           optometrists, now
 must promptly inform
                                    documentation that was
                                    missing from the incomplete
                                    application.)
                                                                      pected delay or reduction in
                                                                      Medicare payments,” Hymes
                                                                      said.
                                                                                                                                        eral funding to expand the reach of children’s vision pro-
                                                                                                                                        grams enacted at the state level. The measure passed by a
                                                                                                                                        wide, bipartisan majority in Congress and would help to
                                                                                                                                        ensure that America’s school-age children are ready and able
 Medicare if they move their             Medicare payment con-             “The AOA is working                                          to learn.
 practices -- or else face          tractors may revoke a physi-      with the CMS and leaders in                                             Originally introduced by Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas),
 potentially severe penalties,      cian’s billing privileges for     Congress to address and fix a                                     H.R. 577 aims to establish a federal grant program focusing
 according to the AOA               failing to comply with            number of outdated and                                            on treatment and is designed to bolster children’s vision initia-
 Washington office.                 Medicare’s ordering and           repressive Medicare regula-                                       tives in the states and encourage children’s vision partnerships
       New Centers for              referring documentation,          tions and requirements, but                                       with non-profit entities.
 Medicare & Medicaid                including not maintaining         we encourage ODs, in the                                                H.R. 577 directs the U.S. Department of Health &
 Services (CMS) rules on            written ordering and refer-       meantime, to remain vigilant                                      Human Services, through the Centers for Disease Control and
 physician enrollment and re-       ring documentation for seven      and continue to report regu-                                      Prevention, to provide $65 million in grant funding to proven
 enrollment in the Medicare         years from the date of serv-      latory issues to the AOA                                          efforts to allow more children, particularly those under 9
 program took effect April 1.       ice.                              Washington office team,”                                          years of age who are already known to be at-risk for vision
       Under the new rules,              Electronic funds transfer    said Hymes.                                                       problems, to receive comprehensive eye examinations and
 health care practitioners must     (EFT) payments for physi-              A Medicare Learning                                          appropriate care from their local optom-etrist or other eye
 report changes in practice         cians may only be made to a       Network Matters article out-                                      doctor. Grants would also go toward supporting public edu-
 location to their Medicare         banking institution located in    lining the provisions of the                                      cation and awareness efforts designed to promote early
 carrier within 30 days.            the state in which the prac-      Medicare enrollment rule can                                      detection and treatment of vision.
       Physicians will no           tice (or the applicable prac-     be found online at                                                      “The Vision Care for Kids Act creates a much-needed
 longer be allowed to estab-        tice office) is located.          www.cms.hhs.gov/MLNMatte                                          grant program to provide follow-up vision care for children
 lish retrospective Medicare             These new Medicare           rsArticles/downloads/MM63                                         with vision disorders who do not have access to these servic-
 effective billing dates when       enrollment rules are intended     10.pdf.                                                           es. This lack of vision care jeopardizes a child’s develop-
 they open or move their            to reduce improper billing as                                                                       ment and can unfortunately lead to life-long vision impair-
 practices, or need to enroll or    well as the waste and ineffi-                                                                       ment,” said Rep. Green, a founding member and chair of the
 re-enroll in Medicare.             ciency that can result from                                                                         Congressional Vision Caucus. “This bill gives states the
       Instead, the Medicare        simple errors, such as an                                                                           resources they need to cover vision services to millions of low-
 contractor will establish an       incorrect address, according                                                                        income children, and I am glad that it passed the House with
 effective billing date by          to AOA Advocacy Group               Survey says                                                     such overwhelming support.”
 selecting the date on which        Director Jon Hymes.                                                                                       According to the National Parent Teacher Association,
 the practitioner filed an               However, even when a                 Optometry: Journal                                        10 million children suffer from vision disorders. Vision disor-
 enrollment application for         doctor does nothing wrong,          of the American                                                 ders are considered one of the most common disabilities in
 the new location or the date       the mistakes of others could        Optometric Association                                          the United States, and they are one of the most prevalent
 on which the practitioner          lead to a long and complicat-       strives to offer important                                      handicapping conditions in childhood. Undetected and
 first began furnishing servic-     ed correction.                      peer-reviewed research                                          untreated vision deficiencies, particularly in children, can take
 es at a new practice location;          In fact, the AOA               topics, engaging editori-                                       a large toll. Studies have shown that the costs associated
 whichever is later.                Washington office recently          als and reviews, and on-                                        with adult vision problems in the U.S. are at $51.4 billion.
       Physicians may retroac-      learned, through a state affil-     target strategies for help-                                            “The Vision Care for Kids Act is an important assign-
 tively bill for services pro-      iates, of a number of               ing your practice suc-                                          ment for Congress and a timely reminder for America of what
 vided at the newly enrolled        optometrists who unexpect-          ceed.                                                           needs to be done to help concerned parents and teachers
 practice location for up to 30     edly stopped receiving                    To     Optometry
                                                                                       Journal of the American Optometric Association
                                                                                                                                        ensure that no child is left behind in the classroom due to an
 days prior to their effective      Medicare electronic pay-            help us                                                         undiagnosed or untreated vision problem,” said Peter Kehoe,
 billing date.                      ments.                              in our efforts, please                                          O.D.,AOA president. “With nearly 25 percent of school-age
       The new Medicare                  In each case, the prob-        take a few moments to                                           children suffering from vision problems, the AOA is proud to
 physician enrollment rules         lem turned out to be that a         fill out a brief survey.                                        support visionary leaders in Congress in the effort to provide
 include several other provi-       mailman had mistakenly                    Results will be used                                      states with the resources – the federal dollars – they need to
 sions that optometrists            returned the doctor’s paper         to help shape future con-                                       make children’s vision and classroom learning a top priority.”
 should be aware of, accord-        mail to the Medicare pay-           tent of Optometry and                                                 The AOA is also joined in supporting the Vision Care for
 ing to the AOA Advocacy            ment contractor undelivered.        ensure we are delivering                                        Kids Act by Prevent Blindness America, Vision Council of
 Group:                                  The contractors then           information in a way                                            America and the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
       Medicare payment con-        erroneously assumed that the        that best suits your prac-                                            Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) introduced S. 259, the Senate
 tractors will deny, rather than    doctor had moved or stopped         tice.                                                           companion bill to H.R. 577, which has been referred to the
 reject, incomplete enrollment      practicing, and decided to                Visit                                                     Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. For S.
 applications submitted by          stop the electronic payments.       http://tinyurl.com/                                             259 to be considered as a priority by Congress, a large
 physicians. (However, a                 “These situations were         d2clz8.                                                         number of U.S. Senate co-sponsors will need to be added to
 practitioner can preserve the      ultimately resolved, but they                                                                       this important bill. Please visit the AOA Online Legislative
 effective date of the original     serve to illustrate how impor-                                                                      Action Center, www.aoa.org/DoctorCenter.xml, to immedi-
 application filing by submit-      tant it is to keep information                                                                      ately contact your senators and members of Congress on this
 ting a corrective action plan      current with the CMS and                                                                            issue.



10         AOA NEWS
New Medicare independent auditing program begins
        aid Medicare Part A       audits, according to the AOA     being assessed.                     Montana, New Hampshire,           Web site: www.performant

P       and Part B claims in
        about half the United
States are being audited by a
                                  Advocacy Group.
                                       The AOA recommends
                                  optometrists pay attention to
                                                                         Practitioners can also file
                                                                   an appeal within the 30-day
                                                                   period, with any payment
                                                                                                       New Mexico, New York,
                                                                                                       Nevada, North Dakota,
                                                                                                       Oklahoma, Rhode Island,
                                                                                                                                         corp.com/healthcare/
                                                                                                                                         services.html
                                                                                                                                              Region B: CGI, tele-
new system of independent         RAC outreach activities in       then deferred until after the       South Carolina, South             phone 877-316-7222, e-mail:
Recovery Audit Contractors        these states and to monitor      appeal is resolved.                 Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont      racb@cgi.com,
(RAC) that began last month.      RAC plans. The CMS is host-            Practitioners who make        and Wyoming.                      Web site: www.cgi.com/
The independent auditors are      ing a Special Open Door          recoupment payments can                  The program begins on        web/en/industries/health
to be reviewing Medicare          Forum for Part B providers       still file appeals for up to 120    or after Aug. 1 in Alabama,       care.htm
claims across the rest of the     on April 14 from 2 p.m. to       days following an overpay-          Alaska, Arkansas,                      Region C: Connolly
nation on or shortly after        3:30 p.m.                        ment notice. Practitioners can      Connecticut, Delaware,            Consulting, Inc., telephone
Aug. 1, according to the U.S.          An audio recording of       also request extended pay-          Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa,   866-360-2507, Web site
Centers for Medicare &            the forum will be posted to      ment programs (covering             Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana,      www.connollyhealthcare.com/
Medicaid Services (CMS).          the CMS’s Special Open           both overpayment and inter-         Maryland, Mississippi,            about.aspx
      The RAC program is          Door Forum Web page at           est) up to 120 days following       Missouri, Nebraska, New                Region D:
controversial because the         www.cms.hhs.gov/OpenDoor         a notice. Providers were            Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio,       HealthDataInsights, Inc.,
auditors are paid a 9 to 12.5     Forums/05_ODF_SpecialOD          often successful when they          Oregon, Tennessee,                (Medicare Part B) telephone
percent commission on the         F.asp and will be accessible     appealed RAC determinations         Washington, Virginia, West        866-376-2319, e-mail: rac
overpayments and underpay-        for downloading beginning        in the demonstration pro-           Virginia, Wisconsin and           info@emailhdi.com, Web site
ments they find.                  April 22, 2009, and available    gram.                               Washington, D.C.Contact           www.healthdatainsights.com/
      Under the new program,      for 30 days.                           The RAC program took          information for the new           ihs_hcare.aspx
claims will be reviewed by             While the CMS begins        effect March 1 in Arizona,          regional auditors is as fol-           Additional information
one of four firms retained        phasing in the new auditing      California, Colorado, Florida,      lows:                             on the Medicare Recovery
directly by the CMS to pro-       program this month, auditors     Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana,                Region A: Diversified        Audit Contractor program can
vide postpayment auditing         will have authority to review    Maine, Massachusetts,               Collection Services (DCS),        be found on the CMS Web
services on a regional basis as   claims filed as far back at      Michigan, Minnesota,                telephone 866-201-0580,           site at www.cms.gov/RAC.
follows:                          October 2007.

                                                                   AOA backs bill to aid
      Region A: Diversified            Auditors will have
Collection Services —             authority to request solo
Maine, New Hampshire,             health practitioners provide
Vermont, Massachusetts,
Maryland, New Jersey,
                                  up to 10 medical records for
                                  review during a 45-day peri-
                                                                   optometry residents
Delaware, Pennsylvania,           od. Group practices of two-               he AOA is backing a        FEEL and Perkins programs         gram that requires health pro-
Rhode Island, Connecticut,
New York, and Washington,
D.C.
                                  to-five practitioners can be
                                  asked for up to 20 records,
                                  and groups with six to 15
                                                                   T        new effort in Congress
                                                                            led by Rep. Vern
                                                                   Ehlers (R-Mich.) aimed at
                                                                                                       are considered to be suffering
                                                                                                       economic hardship if they are
                                                                                                       working full-time, have a fed-
                                                                                                                                         fessions residents to begin
                                                                                                                                         repaying student loans while
                                                                                                                                         still in residency training.
      Region B: CGI —             practitioners can be asked for   retaining the 20/220 pathway        eral educational debt burden            Following an immediate
Michigan, Indiana,                up to 30 records over the        for optometry and other resi-       equal to at least 20 percent of   outcry from the AOA, the
Minnesota, Wisconsin,             same timeframe. Very large       dents to defer their payment        their adjusted gross income,      Association of Schools and
Illinois, Ohio, and Kentucky.     practices with 16 or more        of student loans.                   and the difference between        Colleges of Optometry, the
      Region C: Connolly          practitioners can be asked for         Rep. Ehlers’s bill, the       their adjusted gross income       American Optometric
Consulting, Inc. – Alabama,       up to 50.                        Medical Economic                    minus such debt burden is         Students Association, podia-
Mississippi, Georgia, South            The RAC will be             Deferment or “MEDS” Act             less than 220 percent of the      try, dentistry and organized
Carolina, Florida, North          instructed to review claims      (H.R. 1615), seeks to amend         greater of:                       medicine groups, the U.S.
Carolina, Oklahoma, South         for specific payment prob-       the Higher Education Act of         (1) the annual earnings of an     Department of Education
Carolina, Texas, New              lems. Targeted payments          1965 with respect to the            minimum wage earner; or           took action to keep the
Mexico, Virginia and West         issues will be designated by     meaning of economic hard-           (2) 150 percent of the poverty    20/220 pathway intact until
Virginia.                         the CMS and posted on the        ship under the Federal Family       line applicable to their family   July 1, 2009, when the
      Region D:                   RAC Web sites prior to wide-     Education Loan (FEEL) or            size.                             income-based repayment pro-
HealthDataInsights, Inc. –        spread review. Issues identi-    Perkins Loan and related loan             This provision, known as    gram is due to take effect.
Alaska, Arizona, California,      fied by the CMS, the Office      insurance programs.                 the 20/220 pathway, is criti-           The MEDS Act would
Hawaii, Idaho, Montana,           of the Inspector General, or           Sen. Richard Burr (R-         cally important to optometry      fully and permanently rein-
Colorado, Wyoming, Nevada,        the Government                   N.C.) is the sponsor of an          residents and other health        state the 20/220 rule.
North Dakota, Oregon, South       Accountability Office (GAO)      identical bill introduced in the    professional students who, as           For H.R. 1615 / S. 646 to
Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska,         are likely to come up for the    U.S. Senate, S. 646. In addi-       part of their education, serve    be considered as a priority by
Missouri, Iowa, Utah and          RACs.                            tion to the AOA, organiza-          a requisite number of years in    Congress, a number of con-
Washington.                            The RACs may electron-      tions representing medical          residency prior to licensure.     gressional co-sponsors will
      While the new auditing      ically audit some claims for     doctors, dentists and podia-              The 20/220 pathway          need to be added to both bills.
system is likely to focus on      obvious error. Other claims      trists are also supporting H.R.     allows deferment of payment             Concerned ODs and
the high-dollar Medicare Part     will require a review of the     1615 / S. 646.                      on student loans until residen-   optometry students are urged
A claims filed by hospitals,      medical records.                       For optometry graduates       cy completion. However, in        to visit the AOA Online
optometrists and other health          When health care practi-    in residency training, the bill     2007, the 20/220 pathway          Legislative Action Center,
care practitioners who pro-       tioners receive a request for    would allow for deferment of        was eliminated by The             www.aoa.org/DoctorCenter
vide services under Medicare      “recoupment” of overpay-         payment on subsidized loans         College Cost Reduction and        .xml, to immediately contact
Part B should be aware that       ment from auditors, they can     for the length of their residen-    Access Act (Public Law 110-       their senators and members of
claims will be now be poten-      pay Medicare by check with-      cy training without accruing        84), and was replaced by an       Congress on this issue.
tially subject to additional      in 30 days without interest      interest. Borrowers under           income-based repayment pro-


                                                                                                                                          APRIL 13, 2009             11
                                   EYE ON WASHINGTON


 Optometrists not subject to DMEPOS deadlines
          nlike suppliers of       cally for physicians and other     oxygen equipment.                 accredited by Sept. 30,            requirement (see AOA

 U        wheelchairs and
          home oxygen equip-
 ment, optometrists and most
                                   health professionals.
                                        The CMS has
                                   announced that, beginning in
                                                                           Congress added the
                                                                      accreditation requirement
                                                                      broadly in the Medicare
                                                                                                        optometrists and other physi-
                                                                                                        cians will not,” Hymes said.
                                                                                                             The CMS originally
                                                                                                                                           News, Jan. 16).
                                                                                                                                                The DMEPOS surety
                                                                                                                                           bond and accreditation
 other health care practitioners   May, Medicare’s durable            Modernization Act of 2003,        planned to require health          requirements have been the
 will not be required to post      medical equipment benefit          until relaxing the burden on      care practitioners to post the     subject of several recent
 surety bonds or become            will apply only to items           physicians with MIPPA last        surety bonds and to get            CMS bulletins and health
 accredited in upcoming            obtained from equipment            summer.                           accredited.                        care provider trade publica-
 months in order to continue       suppliers that have posted              “The DMEPOS surety                The AOA and other             tion articles.
 to provide goods or services      special surety bonds.              bond and accreditation            associations successfully               As a result, the AOA
 for Medicare patients, accord-         The new requirement is        requirements were imposed to      convinced the CMS to               Advocacy Group finds
 ing to the AOA Advocacy           an effort to curb Medicare         address numerous reports of       revise the proposal to more        some optometrists may still
 Group.                            fraud and abuse in the home        improper practices by retailers   accurately reflect the intent      be concerned about the
      The U.S. Centers for         health supply industry,            of large home health supplies     of Congress.                       surety bond requirement
 Medicare & Medicaid               according to the agency.           such as wheelchairs and oxy-           After Congress stepped        and accreditation.
 Services (CMS) has been                However, health care          gen units,” emphasized Jon        in to address accreditation,            The CMS estimates
 reminding suppliers to get        practitioners are not subject to   Hymes, director of the AOA        and further meetings with          that these two require-
 accredited by Sept. 30, but       the surety bond requirement,       Advocacy Group.                   the AOA and other allies,          ments would cost $2,500
 those announcements do not        the AOA Advocacy Group                  “Health care practitioners   the Medicare agency specif-        per doctor per practice
 always make clear that            notes.                             are not the problem. Although     ically exempted physicians         location if there were no
 optometrists are exempt.               Congress mandated the         the CMS technically classifies    from the accreditation             exemptions.
      The Medicare                 surety bond requirement under      eyeglasses as durable medical
 Improvements for Patients         the Balanced Budget Act of         goods, the new requirements
 and Providers Act (MIPPA)         1997, following reports of         do not apply to doctors pro-      Changes,
 prohibited the CMS from           widespread Medicare fraud          viding eyewear to their           from page 7
 requiring physicians and other    among some suppliers of            patients,” said Hymes.            NBEO representative, serving       input from the members,” Dr.
 health professionals to comply    durable medical equipment,              “For that reason, while      on behalf of a test-creating       Kehoe wrote.
 with the accreditation require-   prosthetics, orthotics and sup-    home health goods retailers       and administering organiza-              “I know many of you are
 ment unless the CMS devel-        plies (DMEPOS) — notably           will be required to post surety   tion, could have conflicts         holding meetings in the next
 ops quality standards specifi-    providers of wheelchair and        bonds by May 3 and be             when the board selects testing     few weeks, and I am asking
                                                                                                        vendors or evaluates propos-       you to hold off making any
                                                                                                        als.                               final decision on a state posi-
                                                                                                              Two additional changes       tion or on instructing your del-
                                                                                                        were made to the model:            egates to vote a particular way.
                                                                                                              Members of the               What your members would be
                                                                                                        American Board of                  voting on today may well be
                                                                                                        Optometry would serve a            different by the time this
                                                                                                        maximum of two three-year          motion goes to the House,” he
                                                                                                        terms, with staggered initial      noted.
                                                                                                        appointments.                            “Please keep your options
                                                                                                              Also, after the initial      open so that your delegates
                                                                                                        board is appointed, subsequent     can benefit from the additional
                                                                                                        appointments would be select-      information and discussions at
                                                                                                        ed from three persons nomi-        Optometry’s Meeting®. We
                                                                                                        nated by the sponsoring organ-     will continue to send you and
                                                                                                        ization for each available posi-   your members material relative
                                                                                                        tion on the board.                 to this issue on a regular basis
                                                                                                              Noting the changes to the    to aid in your discussions,” he
                                                                                                        model, and the ongoing dia-        said.
                                                                                                        logue within the profession,             Dr. Kehoe noted that proj-
                                                                                                        AOA President Pete Kehoe,          ect team members are continu-
                                                                                                        O.D., sent a letter to state       ally learning of examples
                                                                                                        optometric association and         where decision-makers are
                                                                                                        affiliate leaders April 3 asking   considering health reform ini-
                                                                                                        that they let the dialogue con-    tiatives and terms like “value”
                                                                                                        tinue rather than casting votes    and “board certified” are com-
                                                                                                        months before Optometry’s          ing to the forefront.
                                                                                                        Meeting®.                          AOA members are encouraged
                                                                                                              “The project team has lis-   to make constructive com-
                                                                                                        tened to concerns and has          ments on the model, and to
                                                                                                        made a number of changes to        continue to monitor the AOA
                                                                                                        the proposed board-certifica-      News and Web site for
                                                                                                        tion model as a direct result of   updates.



12         AOA NEWS
     Letters,
     from page 5


 since there will be a national-    MAY require board certifica-         continuing education to retain     their boarding process and         AOA Congress in June will
 ly uniform competency in           tion, at the federal level board     our license. These are very        maintain their board certifica-    make this issue go away. This
 place that will level the play-    certification/ continued com-        fine and effective programs.       tion is optimum.                   issue is not going away, we
 ing field that has heretofore      petency will be one way that         Third, it is reminiscent of              If you have a patient        cannot simply ignore it.
 been uneven and an impedi-         MAY BE USED to evaluate              many journal articles that end     requiring an obscure diagno-             The facts are that optom-
 ment to any optometrist want-      quality of care.” Are we to          with “more research needs to       sis, an ABO-certified ophthal-     etry is the ONLY independ-
 ing to practice in another         revise our current very ade-         be done to further our under-      mologist will do. But when         ently licensed prescribing
 state.                             quate boarding process in            standing…” which should go         your mom needs cataract sur-       doctoral level health care pro-
       Finally, on a personal       such a drastic manner on con-        on to say “because I still need    gery, you best investigate fur-    fession with no mechanism
 note, I embrace the opportuni-     jecture?                             a job and research is how I        ther.                              for proof of continued compe-
 ty to prove my competence as            AOSA representation on          pay my bills.”                           The answer? Acknow-          tency. Much has been said
 necessary, understanding that      this project team advises that            The one nugget of truth       ledge and proclaim the virtues     about the mechanisms in
 it will elevate my stature as an                                                                                                              place for other professions to
 optometric physician to                                                                                                                       demonstrate continued com-
 patients, managed care enti-          If legislation passes in a state that forces the issue                                                  petency, and third-party carri-
 ties, and insurance carriers                                                                                                                  ers, state and local govern-
 alike. Any edge going forward
                                           (such as appears might be the case in ours)                                                         ments, and consumer groups
 will be necessary to ensure          I would rather have a process our doctors can use                                                        have made the assumption,
 our rightful place within the                                                                                                                 right or wrong, that those
 health care delivery system in        rather than be forced to do something developed                                                         mechanisms help ensure a
 this country.                                      by our department of health.                                                               higher level of quality in
     Waiting until we “see” the                                                                                                                health care. These assump-
 necessity or until there is an                                                                                                                tions may or may not be valid,
 imminent threat to our liveli-     students and new practitioners       in this article was uttered by     of our current education and       but the fact remains that
 hoods is not in keeping with       want a process that facilitates      Arol Augsburger, O.D., when        boarding programs. We ARE          optometry has no such mech-
 what has kept us safe over         their ambitions of lifelong          he said “The first problem:        board certified. If you must,      anism and cannot compete
 these last two decades:            learning. Lucky for them that        Optometry is often excluded.”      create a board RE-certifica-       now with those professions
 Protect and Advance the pro-       they chose a profession that         There it is.                       tion program. But if you do        that do.
 fession of optometry.              already does that.                        But the solution to this is   so, make it clinically relevant,         We need to enact a sys-
     It is one doc’s opinion but         I attribute the student         not to create an artificial        not an academic exercise.          tem of accountability for the
 I hope my unique perspective       misunderstanding of our cur-         device to try to prove our         Make it inexpensive so as not      public, for our patients, for
 gives credence to the board        rent process on lack of experi-      worth anew. The answer is to       to line the pockets of the         third-party payers, and for the
 certification process.             ence with long existing state,       educate industry and third         testers. Make it so that after I   governmental agencies who
    With respect for all thought-   regional and national opportu-       party payers as to what we         complete the process I will        are demanding a demonstra-
 ful opinions and personal          nities to do just that through       already do and what programs       count the time spent worthy        tion of continued competence.
 regards to all I remain.           journals, continuing education       are currently in place to          and it will help me take care            Most of us work in a
                                    requirements for relicensing         ensure our ongoing compe-          of my patients. Anything less      third-party payer system.
 Larry Charles Wallis, O.D.         and professional organiza-           tence. Do not think for a          is window dressing and             Accountability measures for
 Legislative Chairman,              tions. Not to mention that           moment that those dark forces      unworthy of our profession.        quality of care are becoming
 New Jersey Society of              anyone who seeks lifelong            who oppose optometry now                                              more commonplace. We have
 Optometric Physicians              learning will easily find it         will suddenly turn to the light    Howell M. Findley, O.D.            no idea as to what health care
 Gloucester City, N.J.              without these artificial exter-      because we add another level       Lexington, KY.                     reform will bring. While
                                    nal constraints.                     of bureaucracy.                                                       many have stated their feeling
 Organizations                           Is it possible that this is a        They will discount the        Larger picture                     that it is inconceivable today
                                    reflection of poor motivation        new process as they do our                                            that any carrier would deny a
 ‘daft’ model                       or poor mentoring of these           current education. Their           Editor:                            physician privileges for lack
 Editor:                            young doctors?                       opposition is about turf and             I am writing to ask for a    of a system proving continued
      I am compelled to                  Then there are the self-        they will not more readily         more honest and factual dis-       competence, it is happening
 respond, again, to the mis-        serving motivations of those         share it regardless of what        cussion of the board certifica-    right now in some of the
 guided notion of “board certi-     invested in currently existing       optometry does short of            tion issue in optometry. The       Medicare Medical Home proj-
 fication.” I write in regards to   optometric boarding organiza-        becoming their employees.          time has come for a more bal-      ects.
 the article in the January 2009    tions expounding, “We cannot              There is the great danger     anced dialogue for this pivotal          As the health care deliv-
 issue of AOA News. In this         demonstrate continued com-           of creating a new board that       topic. There has been much         ery system evolves, it certain-
 article several members of the     petence (beyond entry level)         does not measure what it is        said regarding the concept of      ly could be a more wide-
 project team weakly defend         in the same manner as the            intended to measure.               a providing our profession         spread reality in the future. A
 the rationale for imposing a       other health care professions             I take for my example the     with a verifiable mechanism        system such as this is going to
 new boarding system upon           without a board certification        American Board of                  to demonstrate continued           take time to develop, time to
 our profession.                    process.”                            Ophthalmology. This test           competence.                        verify, time to legitimize, and
      For example, the article is        This is an example of           measures the book knowledge              It seems to me that many     time for doctors to attain.
 redundant with phrases such        putting the fox in charge of         of ophthalmologists. It does       are too caught up in the lesser    National standards need to be
 as “lack of board certification    protecting the henhouse. It is       nothing to measure their sur-      important details and are          developed. A common lan-
 MAY hinder optometrists,           like asking Ted Kennedy to           gical skills. That is one rea-     indeed missing the larger pic-     guage needs to be used in
 movements on many fronts           eliminate the death tax. First,      son board certified hack sur-      ture.                              dealing with this evolving sys-
 that would SEEM TO SUG-            we DO currently have a board         geons still exist in our midst.          I fear that some of our      tem. This is the very thing that
 GEST some type of board            certification process. Second,       Of course the ABO would            colleagues truly believe that
 certification, PQRI and P4P        we each are required to obtain       deny any shortcoming with          defeating this measure at the               See Letters, page 16




14          AOA NEWS
Healthy sight key message
at Transitions Championship
            ith an unprece-      1,000 schoolchildren came         Ryo Ishikawa

W           dented level of
            attention focused
on the importance of good
                                 through the exhibit, with local
                                 ODs joining AOA President
                                 Peter Kehoe, O.D.; Clinical
                                                                   works the
                                                                   ball out of a
                                                                   bunker in the
                                                                   second day
vision, the Transitions          Care Group Director Jeff
Championship for Healthy         Weaver, O.D., and Sports          of competi-
Sight debuted as an important    Vision Section Chair Graham       tion.
stop on the Professional         Erickson, O.D.
Golfers’ Association (PGA)            Throughout the tourna-
schedule last month.             ment, volunteers at the AOA
     With the first two rounds   exhibit showed how vision
televised on the Golf Channel    can impact their golf game.
and the final two rounds aired   Other exhibitors included
live on NBC, Transitions was     Vision Service Plan, Optos,
able to promote the impor-       and Oakley.
tance of good vision in sports        Harry Wayne of Wayne
on many occasions. The           Engineering donated the             AOA President Pete Kehoe, O.D.,
proximity to Transitions’        Wayne Saccaddic Fixator, a          discusses children’s vision at the
headquarters in Pinellas Park,   big hit with schoolchildren.        Healthy Sight Roundtable.
Fla., allowed the company to          Transitions, along with
reach out to the community       the AOA and VSP, also host-
with events highlighting         ed a Healthy Vision Round-        added that more than 50 con-
healthy sight and vision care.   table for the media. Dr.          ditions of the eye are related
     Copperhead Course at        Kehoe used the opportunity        to sun damage and urged the
Innisbrook Resort in Palm        to describe the AOA’s empha-      eye care community to spread
Harbor is about 20 minutes       sis on children’s vision and      the news of the importance of
away from Transitions’ office.   prevention of eye disease. Dr.    prevention.
     A key part of the action    Weaver noted that the eye               Among the field of 144
at the tournament was the        care community is just begin-     pro golfers at the Transitions
Healthy Sight pavilion, where    ning to inform patients of the    Championship were
AOA’s Sports Vision Section      risks not only from ultraviolet   FedExCup leaders Nick
hosted hands-on tests of         but from solar radiation.         Watney, Zach Johnson and
hand-eye coordination, laser-         Michael Duenas, O.D.,        17-year-old Japanese phenom
sighted putting and depth per-   AOA associate director of         Ryo Ishikawa, making his
ception. On one day, nearly      Health Sciences and Policy,       first PGA cut and finishing 9
                                                                   over par.
                                                                         The winner, at 8 under
                                                                   par, was Retief Goosen.


                                                                    Pamela Helbling,
                                                                    O.D., watches a golfer
                                                                    try her skills on the
                                                                    Wayne Saccadic
                                                                    Fixator.




                                                                   Transitions Optical, Inc., VSP Vision Care and the American Optometric
                                                                   Association sponsored a roundtable event -- Perspectives in Healthy Sight
AOA President Pete Kehoe, O.D., explains the
                                                                   -- during the Transitions Championship at the Innisbrook Resort and Golf
role of eye-hand coordination in sports to a
                                                                   Club in Palm Harbor, Fla. Pictured left to right: Sharon Ottey, M.D.;
local youngster. More than 800 schoolchildren
                                                                   Michael Duenas, O.D.; Smitesh Patel, O.D.; Peter Kehoe, O.D.; Lawrence
visited the Healthy Sight Pavilion at the
                                                                   Lampert, O.D.; Jeffrey Weaver, O.D.; Susan Taylor, M.D.; and Douglas
Transitions Championship.
                                                                   Stewart, Ph.D.


                                                                                                                       APRIL 13, 2009      15
 Letters,
 from page 14
                                     Control our
 the JBCPT is developing and                                                 In my home state of            of whom are board certified)     are not board certified.
 we need to move this process
                                     destiny?                           Washington our state associa-       to either be board certified          What do we do about
 ahead now.                          Editor:                            tion’s insurance liaison tells us   in a specialty area or the       this? Wring our hands and
      Having a mechanism for              The issue of voluntary        that private carriers in our        state department of health       get caught up in a great
 continued competency testing        continuing competency for the      state are stepping up quality       would be given the responsi-     debate about semantics…or
 and certification is simply part    profession of optometry as         assurance measuring and one         bility of coming up with an      take an active part in deter-
 of the evolution of the profes-     proposed by the coalition of       of the items they are increas-      equivalent competency            mining our own future. No
 sion of optometry.                  professional organizations         ingly interested in are assur-      assurance program. The           doubt there are those who
      Critics say “why now”                                                                                                                  look at the proposals that
 and I ask them why not now?
 We have yet to see a valid
                                             In Illinois we have mandatory and tested                                                        have been developed by the
                                                                                                                                             coalition of ARBO, COPE,
 argument for postponing this                 CE requirements which keep us current                                                          ACOE, AAO, and others that
 discussion or for tabling con-
 tinued investigation of the
                                               in the profession, thank you. Would                                                           will find fault and talk about
                                                                                                                                             what it won’t do for the pro-
 topic.                                     certification make us practice differently?                                                      fession. I would rather look
      I practice in Rhode Island
 and am fortunate to enjoy the
                                                             I think not.                                                                    at what it CAN do…it can
                                                                                                                                             enable us to control our own
 company of those who made                                                                                                                   destiny. It is voluntary so
 the first major stride taking the   coordinated through the            ances of their provider panel’s     legislation was tabled in        those who choose can do it
 profession of optometry from a      efforts of the AOA is shaping      continuing competence               favor of a governor’s study      and those who prefer not
 drug-free profession to what        up to be one of those that         through some form of board          group that has been moving       need not. If legislation pass-
 we know today.                      could be a potential watershed     certification even for “gener-      slowly but eventually is         es in a state that forces the
      They too were visionaries.     moment for our profession.         al” practice.                       expected to give recommen-       issue (such as appears might
 They foresaw the future of the      Why is that?                             This also seems to me to      dations for legislation that     be the case in ours) I would
 profession and moved forward              In my view it is due to a    be a natural outgrowth of the       could very well include          rather have a process our
 for optometry’s sake. They had      confluence of events that are      PQRI initiative and such            optometry, dentistry, nurse      doctors can use rather than be
 to take on the responsibility       shaping up to create a poten-      things as efforts to have prac-     practitioners, and medicine.     forced to do something
 and to make hard decisions,         tial storm for our profession.     titioner quality ratings avail-          Another item that           developed by our department
 and time has proven their deci-     We have a new president who        able to patients on carrier Web     becomes increasingly             of health.
 sions right.                        has a friendly legislature to      sites as well as independent        important is that of “medical          If the perfect storm
      These were the leaders in      back him…and a mandate             consumer Web sites.                 home.” The government has        occurs and medical reform
 optometry of the last genera-       partly brought on by the bank-           Then there is increased       funded several pilot projects    comes about that incorporates
 tion. Who will lead the profes-     ing crisis and associated          consumer demand for contin-         in various states involving      the concept of medical home
 sion into the generations to        recession that have resulted in    uing competence. Shortly            medical home.                    that not only has a gatekeeper
 come?                               the unprecedented nationaliza-     after the demise of ABOP                 The original concept of     system but requires all
                                     tion of that industry as well as   there was a consumer group          medical home in a nutshell       providers involved to prove
 Stephen Montaquila, O.D.            many others.                       presenting their view that con-     was that it was supposed to      continuing competency/board
 Warwick, R.I.                             Health care is clearly in    tinuing competency was a            be a concept whereby a           certification, then I would
                                     the sights of the new adminis-     concept whose time had come         practitioner was selected by     rather we had a program up
 Phony thing                         tration and the legislature.       to a national ARBO meeting.         a patient to be the primary      and running vs. being locked
                                           The funds released by the          No doubt that group and       repository of information        out until something was
 Editors:                            passage of the “stimulus”          others like it are still present-   about their care and to serve    developed that would be
      The board certification        package have given financial       ing their case. At that meet-       as facilitator of the care       acceptable to the “powers
 railroad is running again. It is    impetus to making change           ing it could be concluded their     involving other providers. It    that be” at that time.
 ridiculous to think general         with the health care industry.     strategy was two-pronged…           seems to have morphed, par-           In short, I prefer we take
 practice optometrists should        The high unemployment rate         they would like to partner          ticularly in our state, to a     an active hand in controlling
 be “board certified.” In            is leaving a lot of persons        with organizations such as          gatekeeper system.               our own destiny.
 Illinois we have mandatory          uninsured …which increases         ARBO in hopes of influenc-               The so-called pilot proj-
 and tested CE requirements          motivation to study some           ing the legislative process         ects do nothing more than        Richard Ryan, O.D.
 which keep us current in the        form of national health insur-     (making continuing compe-           reinforce that system rather     Spokane, Wash.
 profession, thank you.              ance.                              tency mandatory through             than study better ways to
      Would certification make             Congress appears more        licensing efforts) and they         make medical homes do as
 us practice differently? I think    ready than ever to spend           would reach out to third-party      they were intended. What
 not. The only people who            money on such an enterprise.       carriers to encourage them to       does this have to do with           Send letters to: Editor,
 would benefit are special inter-    If they do, they will want a lot   revise their quality standards      continuing competency?                   AOA News
 est groups.                         of oversight and quality assur-    to include board certification           Medical reform being
                                                                                                                                               243 N. Lindbergh Blvd.,
      If you want to pass a real     ance to prove they have been       even for “family” practice.         proposed currently has such
                                                                                                                                                St. Louis MO 63141
 certification for specialists       good stewards of our coun-               Have these efforts been       provisions as decreased
                                                                                                                                                 RAFoster@aoa.org.
 who complete residencies,           tries financial resources.         successful? It seems they are       reimbursement for providers
 fine. But please not this phony           There were changes           moving there…witness what I         who do not participate in
 thing which will be voted on        going on before this…such          have mentioned already about        PQRI and other quality             AOA News reserves the
 in June.                            things as PQRI heralded a          what seems to be going on in        assurance measures…and                right to edit letters
                                     “weather change” that has          our state with insurance carri-     one such measure, as pro-          submitted for publication.
 Thomas Wilkison, O.D.,              ushered in increased scrutiny      ers. More to the point was the      posed by Sen. Baucus, relat-
 Springfield, Ill.                   of the quality of health care      fact that legislation was intro-    ed to the CMS Medical
                                     provider services at a national    duced a few years ago to            Home Model will not allow
                                     level.                             force MDs in our state (not all     doctors to participate who



16         AOA NEWS
2009 Physician Quality Reporting Initiative
by Rebecca H. Wartman, O.D.        such as the National Quality        2007 due to the reasons just        “This initiative will help your     the QDC should be linked to
                                   Forum (NQF).                        discussed may receive that          doctor and Medicare provide         the proper diagnosis codes
        or 2009, the Physician          When the approved quali-       bonus sometime in late 2009.        the highest level of quality of     when applicable for the specif-

F       Quality Reporting
        Initiative (PQRI) has
added new eye care measures
                                   ty measurements are reported
                                   frequently enough, the
                                   Medicare provider will be
                                                                             The reports of the 2008
                                                                       and 2009 PQRI results will,
                                                                       again, be sent to the holder of
                                                                                                           care for people like you, who
                                                                                                           have Medicare. Medicare
                                                                                                           greatly appreciates that your
                                                                                                                                               ic measure.
                                                                                                                                                     The exact order of the
                                                                                                                                               code listed on a claim form
for reporting. All of the eye      rewarded financially. The           the Tax Identification Number       doctor has chosen to join this      does not matter. However, the
care measures used in 2008         hope is that PQRI will result in    (TIN) but broken down by            important initiative.”              QDC has to be on the same
have been retained with very       improved patient care.              National Provider                                                       claim form as the patient
little change.                          Eventually, the Centers        Identification (NPI) number.        Reporting                           encounter. You cannot file or
      Three new PQRI eye care      for Medicare & Medicaid                   The CMS is reviewing                                              re-file a claim ONLY to add
measures have been added.          Services (CMS) may move to          options for viewing the PQRI
                                                                                                           in 2009                             the QDC code. A patient
      Other non-eye care specif-   true “pay for performance.”         reports because many                     For 2009, most providers       encounter may require more
ic PQRI measures that                                                  providers found the secure          may report in one of three          than one QDC to meet the
optometrists may choose to         PQRI reporting                      Internet IACS system burden-        ways: by claim-based report-        measure requirements. More
use have been altered for 2009.                                        some to use.                        ing, by registry, or by measure     than one measure may be
      This article will review
                                   results 2007,                             The 2007 PQRI reporting       groups reporting.                   reported on any given patient
the 2009 PQRI measure              2008 and 2009                       results were not supposed to be          However, optometrists can      encounter when the require-
details. Please refer to the             For 2007, the overall fail-   made public; however, the           only report by the claims-          ments are met. (See the
AOA Web site for any updates       ure rate was approximately 50       CMS decided to publish the          based method at this time.          CMS1500 sample forms on
that might occur and all the       percent and included the fol-       list of providers who attempted          To report, a provider must     the sidebar or the AOA Web
tools you may need for the         lowing errors in reporting:         to report PQRI measures in          code a patient visit as he or she   site.)
2009 PQRI reporting period.        1. National Provider                2007. The statement made to         normally would and then add
      The PQRI tools on the        Identification (NPI) numbers        Medicare recipients is as fol-      the applicable QDC codes to
                                                                                                                                                          See PQRI, page 18
AOA Web site include a             missing or stripped (12.15 per-     lows:                               the same claim form. As well,
recorded webinar presentation      cent)
with PowerPoint on the             2. Incorrect diagnosis points
specifics of the 2009 PQRI         for Quality Data Codes (QDC)
measures, a summary sheet for
use in the exam room, and
                                   (13.93 percent)
                                   3. Failure to adhere to meas-
                                                                         2009 Eye Care Measures
other background resources         ure specifications (18.89 per-
                                                                         Eye care-specific measures
that optometrists will find use-   cent) like diagnosis codes, age,
ful.                               sex                                   (Not changed from 2008)
      The 2009 PQRI guide-         4. Split billing - submitting         Measure #12: 2027F Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma - Optic Nerve Evaluation
lines were published in the        QDC alone (4.97 percent) by           Measure #14: 2019F ARMD - Dilated Macular Examination
final form on Dec. 15, 2008.       provider, clearinghouse, or car-      Measure # 18: 2021F Diabetic Retinopathy Documentation of Presence or Absence of
All of the information present-    rier.                                 Macular Edema and Level of Severity of Retinopathy
ed in this article was taken             The Eye Care Measures           Measure # 19: 5010F Diabetic Retinopathy Communication with Physician Managing
from the final guideline publi-    12-17 were among the highest          Ongoing Diabetes Care
cation.                            reported measures with 75 to          Measure #117: 2022F, 2024F, 2026F, 3072F Dilated Eye Exam in Diabetic Patient
                                   80 percent being successfully
Background                         reported. Measures 18-19 for          Eye care-specific measures new for 2009
                                   Diabetic Retinopathy were             Measure #140: 4177F AMD: Counseling on Antioxidant Supplements
     The PQRI was created as       much less reported with 43 to         Measure #141: 3284F, 0517F, 3285F POAG: Reduction of Intraocular Pressure (IOP) by
a part of the Tax Relief and       55 percent being successfully         15 percent OR Documentation of a Plan of Care
Healthcare Act of 2006 that        reported.
provides the statutory authority         The reports of the 2008         2009 eye care measure – surgeons only
for PQRI.                          PQRI results and bonus pay-           Measure #139: #139: 0014F Cataracts: Comprehensive Preoperative Assessment for
     The Medicare, Medicaid,       ments will be available in the        Cataract Surgery with Intraocular Lens (IOL) Placement
and SCHIP Extension Act of         middle of 2009.                       Optometry does not report this measure.
2007 (MMSEA) continued the               The CMS hopes to pub-
authorization for PQRI in          lish an interim report early in
2008-2009. And finally, the        2009.
                                                                         2009 additional measures
                                                                              These measures may be used by eye care professionals (and other providers):
Medicare Improvements for                The problems that
                                                                         Measure #114: Inquiry Regarding Tobacco Use
Patients and Providers Act of      occurred for the 2007 report-
                                                                         Measure #115: Advising Smokers to Quit
2008 (MIPPA) expanded the          ing period have been reviewed.
                                                                         *Measure #124: HIT - Adoption/Use of Health Information Technology (Electronic Health
bonus payments for 2009-           The CMS is in the process of
                                                                         Records)
2010.                              reconsidering some of the
                                                                         Measure #128: Universal Weight Screening and Follow-Up
     PQRI reporting is             bonus denials that occurred
                                                                         *Measure #130: Documentation/Verification of Current Medications in the Medical Record
designed to bring attention to     due to technical issues such as
                                                                         *These measures include 92 codes series
the quality of care. The PQRI      the stripping of NPI numbers
                                                                              Thus, 12 measures are potentially available for use by eye care professionals. The
measures are designed to bring     from claims, not recognizing
                                                                         guidelines still state you must report at least three measures, 80 percent of the time to be eligi-
provider attention to evidence-    all diagnosis codes listed on
                                                                         ble for the bonus payment of 2.0 percent.
based gaps in care. The meas-      claims, and the splitting of
                                                                              A provider does not have to attempt to file all 12 measures. To avoid confusion or feel-
ures are developed by profes-      claims by clearinghouses or
                                                                         ing overwhelmed, a provider new to PQRI reporting might choose four to six of the measures
sional groups and are endorsed     carriers. Providers who were
                                                                         to report for 2009.
by national consensus groups       denied bonus payments in



                                                                                                                                                  APRIL 13, 2009                 17
     PQRI,
     from page 17
                                      AOA resources can help navigate PQRI                                                                    3P: Optic nerve head evalua-
                                                                                                                                              tion not performed for system
                                           The AOA offers a range of resources to assist member optometrists in providing the serv-
                                                                                                                                              reason (provider is not primari-
                                      ices encouraged under the PQRI.
 2009 measure                              The AOA Communications and Membership Group’s AOA Eye Disease Management
                                                                                                                                              ly responsible for ARMD
                                                                                                                                              management)
 details                              Program offers the AOA Eye Disease Management Kit, with a Recommended Nutrients for
                                                                                                                                              8P: Other reasons for not per-
                                      Healthy Eyes leaflet, to assist in antioxidant counseling for patients with age-related macular
       There are 153 measures                                                                                                                 forming a dilated macular
                                      degeneration (AMD) and as well as other chronic eye conditions such diabetic retinopathy.
 listed for 2009. Participation is                                                                                                            examination
                                           The Practice Strategies section in the December edition of Optometry: Journal of the
 voluntary, and a provider does
                                      American Optometric Association offers advice on the kit’s use. Additional information on
 not have to register to partici-                                                                                                             Measure #18: 2021F
                                      antioxidant counseling for AMD patients appeared in the February edition of Optometry.
 pate.                                                                                                                                        Diabetic Retinopathy
                                      The AOA Clinical Care Group offers AOA Optometric Clinical Practice Guidelines on glau-
       The bonus amount for                                                                                                                   Documentation of Presence
                                      coma, cataract, diabetic retinopathy, and AMD.
 2009 is 2.0 percent of all                                                                                                                   or Absence of Macular
                                           A revised edition of the AMD guideline with new guidelines on antioxidant counseling
 allowable Medicare charges,                                                                                                                  Edema and Level of Severity
                                      is scheduled for release next spring. Information on all of the AOA’s member resources can
 including the –TC components                                                                                                                 of Retinopathy
                                      be accessed on the Doctors’ Page of the AOA Web site (www.aoa.org).
 of procedures.                                                                                                                                     This measure applies to
       There are a total of eight                                                                                                             patients 18 years or older who
 eye care-specific measures list-                                                                                                             have the diagnosis of diabetic
 ed for 2009; however, one of             Details of how this cap is         Instead, a different G code   to the reporting period for an     retinopathy who have had a
 these measures is designated        calculated can be found at        is used to describe each coding     optic nerve evaluation and         dilated macular or fundus
 for surgeons only and will not      www.cms.hhs.gov/PQRI or           situation. Together the CPT II      returns for an IOP check dur-      examination at least once with-
 be reported by optometrists.        www.aoa.org/PQRI.xml.             codes and the HCPCS G codes         ing the reporting period but an    in the last 12 months.
       The 2008 eye care                                               are referred to as Quality Data     optic nerve evaluation is not            The documentation must
 specifics measures that are         Reporting                         Codes (QDC).                        performed at that visit, the       indicate the presence or
 included for 2009 have had                                                  Again, the AOA Web site       measure is still reported          absence of macular edema
 very few edits. Three new
                                     quality                           will have all the tools and         because the guidelines state       AND the level of severity of
 measures for eye care have          measures –                        background reference materi-        “optic nerve evaluation at least   the diabetic retinopathy.
 been added.                         filing specifics                  als needed to properly utilize      once within 12 months.”                  The classification guide-
       Please see the details of           All the applicable meas-    all the 2009 PQRI measures.              Thus, the measure should      lines for the levels of diabetic
 the measures later in this arti-    ures will be detailed below.            Please visit this site fre-   be reported or the encounter       retinopathy are well document-
 cle for details.                          The measure specifics       quently. Updates will be post-      will count against your report-    ed. The summary of this clas-
       The AOA Third Party           were finalized on Dec. 15,        ed as they become available.        ing totals as a missed reporting   sification is posted at
 Center recommends that              2008. The 2009 reporting peri-                                        opportunity. Please note that      www.aoa.org/x7990.xml.
 providers do report at every        od began Jan. 1, 2009, and end    Measure #12: 2027F                  you may be required to report            Please note that the cor-
 opportunity for the measures        Dec. 31, 2009.                    Primary Open-Angle                  this measure more than once        rect use for the diabetic ICD-9
 they choose to report in order            Please note that you may    Glaucoma - Optic Nerve              within the reporting period        codes require that diabetic
 to achieve the “three measures,     be required to report many        Evaluation                          because the reporting period       retinopathy (362 .01 – 362 .06)
 80 percent if the time” thresh-     measures more than once with-          This measure applies to        covers an entire 12 months.        must be coded if you are going
 old.                                in the reporting period because   patients 18 years old and older                                        to code 362.07 for macular
       Bonus payments will be        the reporting period covers an    diagnosed with primary open-        Measure #14: 2019F                 edema. Also note this measure
 made in a one-time lump sum         entire 12 months.                 angle glaucoma who have had         ARMD - Dilated Macular             is not used for diabetes without
 payment to the holder of the              Again, as in previous       an optic nerve evaluation at        Examination                        retinopathy.
 TIN sometime in 2010. The           years, the AOA recommenda-        least once within the past 12            This measure applies to       Numerator: 2021F
 bonus payment made to the           tion is that the measures be      months. This measure should         patients 50 years old and older    Denominator: 18 years or
 holder of the TIN will be bro-      reported for every instance to    be reported at least once within    diagnosed with age-related         older
 ken down by NPI number.             ensure that an optometrist        the reporting period.               macular degeneration (AMD)               362.01, 362.02, 362.03,
       The maximum bonus will        meets all the minimum coding      Numerator: 2027F                    who have had a dilated macu-       362.04, 362.05, 362.06
 be 2.0 percent of ALL               guidelines to earn the bonus      Denominator: 18 years or            lar examination performed at             99201 – 99215, 99241 –
 Medicare allowable charges          payments.                         older                               least once within the past 12      99245, 92002 – 92014, 99307-
 filed during the reporting peri-          There is no penalty for          365.01, 365.10, 365.11,        months. Documentation must         99310, 99324-99337
 od, including the –TC compo-        reporting a measure more than     365.12, 365.15                      include the presence or            Modifiers:
 nent of any diagnostic services.    once within the period defined         99201 – 99205, 99212 –         absence of macular thickening      1P: Documentation of medical
       In some instances, a cap      by the measure guidelines. In     99215, 99241 – 99245, 92002         or hemorrhage AND the level        reason dilated macular/fundus
 may be applied to the bonus.        fact, the guidelines typically    – 92014, 99307-99310, 99324-        of severity of the ARMD.           exam not performed
 This cap would be applied           state “at least once within the   99337                               Numerator: 2019F                   2P: Documentation of patient
 when an individual provider         reporting period” for those       Modifiers:                          Denominator: 50 years or           reasons dilated macular/fundus
 only has a small number of          measures with a defined range     1P: Optic nerve head evalua-        older                              exam not performed
 claims in which measures            of time. Note that several of     tion not performed for docu-             362.50, 362.51, 362.52        3P: Documentation of system
 could apply compared to the         these measures are using          mented medical reasons                   99201 – 99215, 99241 –        reason for exclusion when the
 total number of claims that         HCPCS G codes for the             3P: Optic nerve head evalua-        99245, 92002 – 92014, 99307-       provider is not primarily
 provider actually filed.            reporting in addition to the      tion not performed for system       99310, 99324-99337                 responsible for the manage-
       Because there are seven       more familiar CPTII codes.        reason (provider is not primari-    Modifiers:                         ment of the retinopathy
 eye care specific measures and            HCPCS G codes are used      ly responsible for glaucoma         1P: Medical reason (s) for not     8P: Documentation of other
 five additional measures avail-     when there is not a CPT II        management)                         performing a dilated macular       reasons dilated macular/fundus
 able for reporting, most            code to adequately describe the   8P: Optic nerve head evalua-        examination                        exam not performed
 optometrists will not be            measure. When a G code is         tion not performed, reason not      2P: Patient reason for not per-
 impacted by the bonus pay-          used, the modifiers 1P, 2P, 3P    otherwise specified                 forming a dilated macular
 ment cap.                           and 8P are not used.                   If a patient was seen prior    examination                                   See PQRI, page 19



18           AOA NEWS
PQRI,
from page 18


Measure #19: 5010F and              5010F and G8397: DR com-            ophthalmologist or optometrist     Antioxidant Supplements            99328,99334-99337
G8397 or G8398                      munication occurred and             documented and reviewed                 This measure is used          Modifiers:
Diabetic Retinopathy                dilated fundus exam per-            2024F: Seven standard field        when patients and/or caregiv-      3284F with 8P: IOP not docu-
Communication with                  formed                              stereoscopic photos with inter-    er(s) counseled on the benefits    mented, reason not otherwise
Physician Managing                  G8398: No DR communica-             pretation by an ophthalmolo-       and/or risks of the AREDS for-     specified
Ongoing Diabetes Care               tion occurred because no dilat-     gist or optometrist documented     mulation at least once in 12       0517F with 3P: Glaucoma
      This measure applies to       ed fundus exam performed            and reviewed                       month period.                      care plan not documented, sys-
patients 18 years or older who      5010F 2P and G8397: NO              2026F: Eye imaging validated       Numerator: 4177F                   tem reason
have the diagnosis of diabetic      DR communication occurred           to match diagnosis from seven      Denominator: 50 years or           0517F with 8P: Glaucoma
retinopathy who have had a          due to patient reasons but dilat-   standard field stereoscopic        older                              care plan not documented, rea-
dilated macular or fundus           ed fundus exam performed            photos results documented and           362.50 362.51                 son not specified
examination at least once with-     5010F 3P and G8397: NO              reviewed                           362.52                                   The correct combination
in the last 12 months with doc-     DR communication occurred           3072F: Low risk for retinopa-           92002-92014, 99201-           of numerator codes must be
umented communication with          due to system reasons but           thy (no evidence of retinopathy    99205, 99212-99215*, 99241-        reported on the claim form in
the physician who is managing       dilated fundus exam performed       in the prior year)                 99245, 99307-99310, 99324-         order to properly report this
the patient’s diabetes.             5010F 8P and G8397: NO              Denominator: 18 to 75 years        99328, 99334-99337                 measure. The “correct combi-
      Communication is defined      DR communication occurred           old                                Modifiers:                         nation” of codes may require
as follows:                         due to unspecified reasons but           250.00, 250.01, 250.02,       3P: Documentation that             the submission of multiple
      Documentation in the          dilated fundus exam performed       250.03, 250.10, 250.11,            AREDS counseling not per-          numerator codes.
medical record indicating that                                                                                                                3284F: IOP reduced by >15
the results of the dilated macu-                                                                                                              percent from pre-intervention
lar or fundus exam were com-              The AOA Third Party Center recommends                                                               level OR
municated (e.g., verbally, by
letter) with the clinician man-
                                     that providers do report at every opportunity for the                                                    0517F: Glaucoma plan of
                                                                                                                                              care documented AND 3285F:
aging the patient’s diabetic               measures they choose to report in order                                                            IOP reduced < 15 percent
care OR a copy of a letter in
the medical record to the clini-
                                               to achieve the “three measures,                                                                from pre-intervention level
                                                                                                                                                    The correct combination
cian managing the patient’s                   80 percent if the time” threshold.                                                              of QDC with or without modi-
diabetic care outlining the find-                                                                                                             fiers is as follows:
ings of the dilated macular or           Therefore, reporting on        250.12, 250.13, 250.20,            formed or appropriate due to       1) 3284F: IOP reduced by
fundus exam.                        diabetic retinopathy might          250.21, 250.22,250.23, 250.30,     system or clinician providing      15 percent
Numerator: 5010F (without           include up to four measures for     250.31, 250.32, 250.33,            the primary management for         2) 0517F & 3285F: Care
without a modifier) AND             each claim:                         250.40, 250.41, 250.42,            AMD                                plan & IOP reduced < 15 per-
G8397 OR G8398 alone                     For example when using         250.43, 250.50, 250.51,            8P: AREDS counseling not           cent
Denominator: All patients           92004 with a diagnosis of           250.52, 250.53, 250.60,            performed, reason not other-       3) 0517F 3P & 3285F: No
with diabetic retinopathy           362.04, you might also report       250.61, 250.62, 250.63,            wise specified                     care plan-system reasons &
      362.01, 362.02, 362.03,       2021F, 5010F and G8397 if           250.70, 250.71, 250.72,            *Note that this measure does       IOP reduced <15 percent
362.04, 362.05, 362.06              you performed the dilated reti-     250.73, 250.80, 250.81,            not include 99211                  4) 0517F 8P & 3285F: No
      99201 – 99215, 99241 –        nal exam and found diabetic         250.82, 250.83, 250.90,                                               care plan-other reasons & IOP
99245, 92002 – 92014, 99307-        retinopathy and communicated        250.91, 250.92, 250.93, 357.2,     Measure #141: 3284F, OR            reduced < 15 percent
99310, 99324-99337                  the finding to the primary care     362.01, 362.02, 362.03,            0517F AND 3285F                    5) 3484F 8P: No IOP docu-
Modifiers*:                         physician responsible for car-      362.04, 362.05, 362.06,            POAG: Reduction of                 mented- reason not specified
2P: Documentation of patient        ing for the diabetes.               362.07, 366.41, 648.00,            Intraocular Pressure (IOP)               A plan of care is defined
reasons for not communicating            You would also report          648.01, 648.02, 648.03, 648.04     by 15 percent OR                   as including:
results to physician                2022F (see below for details of          92002-92014, 97802-           Documentation of a Plan of         1. re-check of IOP at speci-
3P: Documentation of system         this measure) if that patient       97804, 99201-99215, 99304-         Care                               fied time
reason for exclusion when the       was between 18 and 75 years         99310, 99324-99328, 99334-              This measure is used for      2. change in therapy
provider is not primarily           of age and had a dilated fundus     99337,99341-99345,99347-           patients with primary open-        3. perform additional diag-
responsible for the manage-         exam (or one of the other           99350, G0270, G0271                angle glaucoma who have a          nostic evaluations
ment of the retinopathy             methods detailed in measure         Modifiers:                         reduction of at least 15 percent   4. monitoring per patient
8P: Documentation of other          117).                               *8P Dilated eye exam was not       in intraocular pressure from       decisions
reasons for not communicating                                           performed, reason not other-       the pre-treatment levels OR        5. unable to achieve due to
results to physician                Measure #117: 2022F, 2024F,         wise specified                     whose pressure was not             health system reasons
*File modifiers for this meas-      2026F, 3072F                             *Do not use the modifier      reduced by 15 percent but who      6. referral to a specialist
ure ONLY in conjunction with        Dilated Eye Exam in                 for 3072F.                         have a plan of care document-
5010F                               Diabetic Patient                         Generally, optometrists       ed in the chart at least once in   Eye care
      The correct combination            This measure is used to        would use 2022F instead of         a 12-month period.
of numerator codes must be          report patients age 18 through      the other three choices present-   Numerator: 3284F OR
                                                                                                                                              measure not
reported on the claim form in       75 years with a diagnosis of        ed in the measure.                 0517F and 3285F                    reported by
order to properly report this       diabetes mellitus who had a              2024F might be consid-        Denominator: 18 years or           optometrists
measure. The “correct combi-        dilated eye exam and is used a      ered but would not typically be    older                              #139: 0014F
nation” of codes may require        minimum of once within 12           used without dilation in an eye         365.10, 365.11, 365.12,       Cataracts: Comprehensive
the submission of multiple          months.                             care provider’s office.            365.15                             Preoperative Assessment for
numerator codes.                    Numerator:                                                                  92002-92014, 99201-           Cataract Surgery with
                                    2022F: Dilated retinal eye          Measure #140: 4177F                99205, 99212-99215*, 99241-
                                    exam with interpretation by an      AMD: Counseling on                 99245, 99307-99310, 99324-                     See PQRI, page 20




                                                                                                                                                 APRIL 13, 2009             19
     PQRI,
     from page 19


     Intraocular Lens (IOL)             115, and 128.
     Placement                                                              optometry-specific EMRs that        92588, 92626, 96116, 96150,         not eligible if one or more of
          This measure was              Measure #124: G8447 or              have obtained certification.        96152, 97001-97004, 97802,          the following exist:
     designed to only be used by        G8448                               Also note that this measure         97803, 98960, 99201-99215,          a. Patient refuses to partici-
     the surgeon performing the         HIT - Adoption/Use of               cannot be used if you do not        99241-99245, G0101, G0108,          pate
     cataract surgery. There is no      Health Information                  have an EMR that meets the          G0270                               b. Patient is in an urgent or
     mechanism for optometrists to      Technology (Electronic              qualifications listed above.        G8427: List current medica-         emergent medical situation
     report this measure even with a    Health Records)                     Numerator: G8447                    tions (dosages) & verification      where time is of the essence
     modifier.                                This measure is to be         G8448                               with patient/authorized repre-      and to delay treatment would
          Therefore:                    reported at each visit occurring    Denominator: 18 years or            sentative documented (include       jeopardize the patient’s health
     OPTOMETRISTS DO NOT                during the reporting period for     older                               Rx, over-the-counter, herbals,      status
     REPORT MEASURE #139.               patients 18 years and older               All patient encounters        vitamin/ mineral/ dietary           c. Patient cognitively
                                        seen during the reporting peri-           90801-90809, 92002-           [nutritional] supplements) OR       impaired and no authorized
     Other measures                     od. There is no diagnosis asso-     92014, 92541-92544, 92548,          G8428: List of current med-         representative available
                                        ciated with this measure. This      92552, 92553, 92555, 92557,         ications (dosages) without
     potentially                        measure may be reported by          92561-92565, 92567, 92568,          verification (includes Rx,          Measure #114: 1000F and
     available for use                  clinicians who have adopted         92569, 92571, 92572, 92575-         over-the-counter, herbals, vita-    1034F or 1035F or 1036F
     by optometrists                    and are using health informa-       92577, 92579, 92582, 92584-         min/mineral/dietary [nutrition-     Inquiry Regarding Tobacco
           Please note that the meas-   tion technology.                    92588, 92601-92604, 92620,          al] supplements) OR                 Use
     ures 114, 115, and 128 do not            Patient encounter docu-       92621, 92625- 92627, 92640,         G8429: Incomplete/no                      This measure applied to
     list the 92002 – 92014 series      mentation substantiates use of      95920, 96150-96152, 97001-          provider documentation of cur-      patients 18 years or older who
     of codes as denominators for       certified/qualified EMR             97004, 97750, 97802-97804,          rent medications (dosages)          are queried about their tobacco
     2009.                              (CCHIT) or the EMR is non-          98940-98942, 99201-99215,           were assessed (includes Rx,         use at least once within the
           The measures included        certified but is capable of:        99241-99245, D7140, D7210,          over-the-counter, herbals, vita-    past 24 months. This measure
     here do list the 99201 - 99215     1. Generating a medication          G0101, G0108, G0109,                min/ mineral/ dietary [nutri-       requires two CPT II codes per
     series of evaluation and man-      list                                G0270, G0271                        tional] supplements) OR             submission.
     agement codes and are avail-       2. Generating a problem list        Modifiers:                          G8430: Provider documenta-          Numerator:
     able for those optometrists        3. Ability to manually enter        None listed                         tion that patient is not eligible   1000F: Tobacco use assessed
     who can and do utilize the 99      or electronically receive, store,   *Note G8449 was deleted for         for medication assessment OR        AND one of the following:
     codes series for some of their     display laboratory tests as dis-    2009                                G8507: Provider documenta-          1034F: Current tobacco smok-
     patient encounters. Measures       crete searchable data elements.     G8447: Patient encounter            tion that patient is not eligible   er
     124 and 130 do specifically list   4. Ability to meet basic pri-       documented using CCHIT              for patient verification of cur-    1035F: Current smokeless
     the 92 code series for 2009.       vacy and security elements          Certified or Qualified EMR          rent medications                    tobacco user
     These two measures will be               To date, there are no         G8448: Patient encounter                                                1036F: Current tobacco non-
     detailed before measures 114,      commercially available,             documented using non-CCHIT          Definitions are as follows for      user
                                                                            certified EMR but the system        Measure #130                        Denominator: 18 years or
                                                                            was qualified (see above)           1. Authorized Representative        older

        Free nutrition,                                                     Measure #130: G8427,
                                                                                                                – A person who is acting on
                                                                                                                the patient’s behalf and who
                                                                                                                                                          90801, 90802, 90804-
                                                                                                                                                    90815, 90845, 90862, 96150,

        eye health kit offer                                                G8428, G8429, G8430,
                                                                            G8507
                                                                                                                does not have a conflict of
                                                                                                                interest with the patient, when
                                                                                                                                                    96152, 97003, 97004, 99201-
                                                                                                                                                    99205, 99212 -99215
        The AOA, working in                                                 Documentation /Verification         the patient is temporarily or             Not associated with any
        partnership with                                                    of Current Medications in           permanently unable to act for       specific ICD-9 diagnosis code
        Kemin and DSM                                                       the Medical Record                  him or herself. This person         Modifiers:
        Nutritional Products,                                                     This measure is designed      should have the patient’s best      8P: Tobacco used not
        will be promoting the                                               to encourage providers to gath-     interests at heart and should be    assessed, reason not specified
        importance of caring
                                                                            er all the details of a patient’s   reasonably expected to act in a      Attach to 1000F, only this
        for the eyes through
                                                                            current medications, including      manner that is protective of the    CPT II required to be reported
        proper nutrition. To
        help educate patients                                               dosages for all prescription,       person and the rights of the        when use not assessed
        on the relationship                                                 over-the-counter, herbals, vita-    patient. Preferably, the patient    *Note that 99211 is not a listed
        between diet and eye                                                min/ mineral/ dietary [nutri-       appoints this individual.           CPT I code for this measure.
        health, a new member                                                tional] supplements taken. As       2. Current Medications – All              Specific combinations are
        kit is available for dis-                                           well these listings must be ver-    medications (includes prescrip-     required to successfully report
        play in-office. This free                                           ified by the patient or caretak-    tion, over-the-counter, herbals,    this measure.
        member kit includes:                                                er, when applicable. When no        vitamin/ mineral/ dietary           1. 1000F and 1034F:
              Clear acrylic                                                 documentation and/or verifica-      [nutritional] supplements) a        Queried about tobacco use and
        counter card with brochure pocket                                   tion is possible, then an alter-    patient may be taking routinely     is a current tobacco smoker
              Two counter card inserts                                      native QDC is used.                 and/or on a PRN basis               2. 1000F and 1035F:
              Two pads of the “Recommended Nutrients for                    Numerators: G8427 or                3. Verification – Document-         Queried about tobacco use and
        Healthy Eyes” brochure                                              G8438 or G8429 or G8439 or          tation of acknowledgment by         is a current smokeless tobacco
              Template news release                                         G8507                               the patient and/or authorized       user
              To order a kit, visit www.aoa.org/syvm-kits.xml and           Denominator: 18 years and           representative or provider that     3. 1000F and 1036F:
        complete the requested information. Simply click submit,            older                               signifies discussion, assess-       Queried about tobacco use and
        and your order will then be shipped to your office.                 90801, 90802, 92002-92014,          ment, or review to confirm          is a current tobacco non-user
        Please allow five to seven business days for delivery.              92541-92545, 92547, 92548,          accuracy of information.
                                                                            92557, 92567-92569, 92585,          4. Not Eligible – A patient is                   See PQRI, page 21



20             AOA NEWS
PQRI,
from page 20


4. 1000F 8P: Tobacco use             measure application varies         2. Record that weight prob-        medication list incorporating      request, or qualified e-pre-
not assessed, reason not speci-      with age and BMI.                  lem managed by another             electronic data received from      scribing system was tem-
fied                                 1. Age 65 and older BMI            provider                           applicable pharmacies and          porarily inoperable.
                                     >30 or <22                         3. Patient has a terminal ill-     benefit managers (PBMs) if         Denominator: 18 years or
Measure #115: 4000F, 4001F,          2. Age 18 – 64 BMI >25 or          ness (< six months’ life           available                          older
G8455, G8456, G8457                  <18.5                              expectancy)                        2. Select medications, print            Reported on EVERY
Advising Smokers to Quit                   BMI is a number calculat-    4. Patient refuses BMI meas-       prescriptions, electronically      encounter
      This measure applies to        ed from a person’s weight and      urement                            transmit prescriptions, and             90801, 90802, 90804-
patients age 18 years and older      height. BMI can be calculated      5. Any other reason docu-          conduct all alerts (defined        90809, 92002-92014, 96150-
who are smokers and who              using a chart or formula; how-     mented by the provider             below)                             96152, 99201-99215, 99241-
received advice to quit smok-        ever, the patient’s actual         explaining why BMI measure-        3. Provide information             99245, G0101, G0108,
ing.                                 weight and height must be          ment was not appropriate           related to lower cost, thera-      G0109
      This measure is reported       measured and cannot be mere-       6. Urgent or emergent med-         peutically appropriate alterna-    Modifiers: None listed
for all patients at least once per   ly reported by the patient.        ical situation where delaying      tives (if any). (Tiered formula-
patient per reporting period.              Follow up can include        treatment would jeopardize the     ry information, if available,      Summary
      All patients identified as     documentation of a future          patient’s health status            would meet this requirement)
tobacco smokers at any time          appointment, education, refer-                                        4. Provide information on          1. The 2009 PQRI reporting
during the reporting period          ral, prescription/administration   E-prescribing:                     formulary or tiered formulary      period is Jan. 1, 2009, to Dec.
should be advised to quit. If a      of medication/diet supplements                                        medications, patient eligibili-    31, 2009
smoker, must file with two           and the like.
                                                                        A stand-alone                      ty, and authorization require-     2. There are 12 measures
appropriate QDCs. If not a           Numerators:                        bonus program                      ments received electronically      available for use by
current smoker, this measure         G8417: Calculated BMI above             E-prescribing is no longer    from the patient’s drug plan       optometrists for this reporting
should be reported with the          upper parameter with docu-         a PQRI measure. The CMS            (if available)                     period
appropriate G code designated        mented follow-up plan              opted to pull this measure out     Numerator:                         3. There are seven new
below.                               G8418: Calculated BMI below        as a stand-alone bonus pro-        G8443: All prescriptions cre-      measures available for use by
Numerator: G8455 and                 lower parameter with docu-         gram. The bonus structure is       ated during the encounter          optometrists
4000F or 4001F OR G8456              mented follow-up plan              laid out for 2009 – 2014 and       were generated using a quali-      4. Some of the measures
OR G8457                             G8419: Calculated BMI out-         beyond. This initiative marks      fied e-Prescribing system          have minor modifications so
Denominator: 18 years or             side normal parameters but no      the first time that the CMS will   G8445: No prescriptions were       review all measures carefully
older                                documented follow-up plan          eventually involve penalties for   generated during the               5. Successful reporting
      99201-99205, 99212-            G8420: Calculated BMI with-        NOT participating. The sched-      encounter, Provider does have      requires reporting at least
99215*, 99217-99220, 99241-          in normal limits documented        ule is as follows:                 access to a qualified e-pre-       three measures, 80 percent of
99245                                G8421: BMI not calculated          1. Separate bonus payments         scribing system                    the time
      The combination of             G8422: Patient not eligible for    for using E-Rx                     G8446: Some or all prescrip-       6. Measures use Quality
QDCs are as follows:                 BMI calculation                    a. 2009 - 2010 is 2 percent        tions generated during             Data Codes (QDC) for report-
1. G8455: Current tobacco            Denominator: 18 year and up        b. 2011 - 2012 is 1 percent        encounter were handwritten         ing:
smoker & 4000F: Tobacco              (application varies with calcu-    c. 2013 is 0.5 percent             or phoned in due to a state        a. G codes
use cessation intervention,          lated BMI)                         2. Reduction in payment for        law requirement, patient
                                                                                                                                                         See PQRI, page 22
counseling OR                              90801-90809, 97001,          not using E-Rx
2. G8455: Current tobacco            97003, 97802, 97803, 98960,        a. 1 percent for 2012
smoker & 4001F: Tobacco              99201-99215, 99241-99245,          b. 1.5 percent for 2013
use cessation intervention,          99324-99328, 99334-99337,          c. 2 percent for 2014 and
pharmacologic therapy OR             99341-99345, 99347-99350,          each subsequent year
3. G8456: Current smoke-             D7140, D7210, G0101,                    This measure is to be
less tobacco user OR                 G0108, G0270                       reported at each visit occurring
4. G8457: Current tobacco            Modifiers: None listed             during the reporting period for
non-user                             *Note that 92 code series not      patients 18 years and older
                                     listed                             seen during the reporting peri-
Measure #128: G8417,                       Follow-up plan documen-      od that is the same reporting
G8418, G8419, G8420,                 tation could include the pro-      period as the 2009 PQRI (Jan.
G8421, G8422                         posed outline of treatment to      1, 2009, to Dec. 31, 2009).
Universal Weight Screening           be conducted as a result of        There is no diagnosis associat-
and Follow-Up                        abnormal BMI measurement.          ed with this measure. This
     This measure is used to         This plan could include:           measure may be reported by
report patients who have a cal-      a) Documentation of a future       clinicians who have adopted a
culated Body Mass Index              appointment                        qualified e-prescribing system.
(BMI) within the past six            b) Education                       Please note that this measure
months or current visit that is      c) Referral                        cannot be used if you do not
documented in record.                d) Prescription/administra-        have access to a qualified e-
     The provider must meas-         tion of medications/dietary        prescribing system.
ure actual weight and height         supplements, etc.                       Details of this program
and calculate BMI or use a                 Patients can be considered   can be found at: www.aoa.
table or obtain it from another      not eligible in the following      org/HIT.xml.
provider’s medical records. As       situations:                             A qualified e-Rx system
well there must be documenta-        1. Patient already document-       must do ALL of the following:
tion of a follow-up plan. The        ed as over or under weight         1. Generate complete active



                                                                                                                                                 APRIL 13, 2009                 21
     PQRI,
     from page 21
                                    11. E-prescribing is a separate
                                    CMS initiative with its own         AOA announces business card
                                    bonus structure
 b. CPT II codes with/with-
 out modifiers
                                          While the future is hard to
                                    predict, PQRI does not appear
                                                                        program for students, grads
 7. The AOA Web site will           to be going away any time                   he AOA announced a               The cards are essential     eligible for this program.
 list all the up-to date informa-
 tion
 8. The 2009 bonus is cur-
                                    soon.
                                          In this economic environ-
                                    ment, most providers can use
                                                                        T       new program to help
                                                                                member students and
                                                                        soon-to-be-grads build their
                                                                                                           tools for networking and gen-
                                                                                                           erating referrals whether stu-
                                                                                                           dents are searching for their
                                                                                                                                             Active AOA/AOSA member-
                                                                                                                                             ship is also required.
                                                                                                                                                  To request the business
 rently 2 percent of all allow-     all the extra payments offered,     networks and jumpstart their       first practice opportunity or     cards, visit www.aoa.org/
 able Medicare charges              especially when this bonus is       careers.                           marketing themselves to the       cards.xml. The cards will be
 9. The 2008 PQRI reports           in return for only a small effort        The association is pro-       communities in which they         shipped within four to six
 should be available in June        on the part of the provider.        viding third and fourth-year       will practice.                    weeks at no cost.
 2009                                     As well, the additional 2     optometry students with free             Incoming fourth-year             For more information,
 10. Some providers who par-        percent bonus possible with e-      sets of personalized business      students in the class of 2010     contact Denise Kincaid at
 ticipated but did not earn a       prescribing makes participation     cards imprinted with the           and soon-to-be-graduates in       dbkincaid@aoa.org or call
 2007 PQRI bonus may receive        in this separate program a          “Member of the AOA” logo.          the class of 2009 who are         800-365-2219, ext. 4107.
 a payment when the CMS re-         good economic decision as                The set of 250 business       enrolled in an accredited              The AOA thanks Alcon
 evaluates some reporting errors    well.                               cards can help students get        school or college of optome-      for its unrestricted grant in
                                                                        their careers off to a success-    try in the United States,         support of student and new
                                    undiagnosed.                        ful start.                         Puerto Rico or Canada are         graduate education.
 Health reform,                          A highly efficient and
 from page 9                        cost-effective preventive care
                                    program, InfantSEE® offers          offer excellent learning           “As the AOA continues to be       decided,” Hymes added. “In
 Association (MOA) President        eye assessments — provided          opportunities for the              pro-active in Washington,         fact, in Washington, D.C., it’s
 Barbara Horn, O.D., cleared        at no cost by practicing            NEWENCO students who               ODs must be as willing as Dr.     often said that “if you’re not
 her schedule and made plans        optometrists — for all chil-        often clinical rotations there.    Horn, Dr. Scott and our feder-    at table, then you’re on the
 to attend the summit.              dren under 12 months of age,              Among other issues, the      al Keyperson army to ensure       menu.”
       The opening forum in         regardless of family income.        health care reform movement        that optometrists and patients         Practitioners may also
 Dearborn was co-moderated               The program is champi-         is attempting to prevent dis-      are treated fairly.”              wish to submit comments or
 by Michigan Gov. Jennifer          oned by former President            parities in care attributable to        “Optometry – which was       questions on the White House
 Granholm (D), Wisconsin            Jimmy Carter, InfantSEE’s           cultural differences between       excluded entirely from            Health Reform Web site. The
 Governor Jim Doyle (D) and         honorary co-chair, Dr. Horn         practitioners and patients, Dr.    Medicare from its inception       Web site (which also features
 White House Director of            noted.                              Scott noted. Based largely in      in 1965 until 1987 – must         videos of the region forums
 Domestic Policy Melody                  Dr. Horn’s actions that        neighborhoods with distinct        continue to recognize that        with the comments by Dr.
 Barnes.                            day helped pave the way for         ethnic identities, many com-       there’s no substitute for hav-    Horn and Dr. Scott) can be
       Though not invited, Dr.      Clifford Scott, O.D., M.P.H.,       munity health center clinics       ing a seat at the table when      accessed at www.healthre-
 Horn gained access to the          five days later, to attend and      offer students an opportunity      health care policy is being       form.gov.
 meeting, which was attended        speak at the next summit            to “become immersed” in the
 by White House officials,
 members of Congress and
                                    meeting held in Burlington,
                                    Vt.
                                                                        local culture. Following the
                                                                        residency, students “are cul-
                                                                                                            LVU announces golf tour
 two governors, and she took a           On March 17, communi-          turally aware, culturally com-
                                                                                                                 Kemin Health is sponsoring a free three-hour, COPE-
 turn to speak.                     ty health care center eye clin-     petent,” Dr. Scott said. Forum
                                                                                                            approved Low Vision University™ (LVU) educational program
       One of the few health        ics were discussed by Dr.           moderators appeared recep-
                                                                                                            at the Principal Charity Classic Champions Tour in May.
 care practitioners to speak        Scott, an attending                 tive to the comments, he
                                                                                                                 The program will be held at the Glen Oaks Country
 during the Michigan forum,         optometrist with New                reported.
                                                                                                            Club, West Des Moines, Iowa, which hosts the golf tour,
 Dr. Horn echoed moderator          England College of                        While the White House
                                                                                                            on Saturday, May 30, 2009, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
 comments on the importance         Optometry’s (NEWENCO)               Regional Health Forum series
                                                                                                                 LVU is an educational program developed by the AOA
 of preventive care. She noted      New England Eye Institute,          ended April 6, the AOA
                                                                                                            Low Vision Rehabilitation Section (LVRS) to provide primary
 that AOA’s InfantSEE® pro-         during a second forum at the        Advocacy Group is urging
                                                                                                            care optometrists with the information needed to begin pro-
 gram is uncovering hundreds        University of Vermont.              practicing optometrists and
                                                                                                            viding low vision rehabilitation in their practices to individu-
 of potentially serious eye and          In fact, at one point in       optometry students to consid-
                                                                                                            als with age-related vision loss.
 vision problems — such as a        the program a woman who             er participation in any future
                                                                                                                 Low vision rehabilitation is an important component in
 life-threatening retinoblas-       was a resident of Boston’s          public forums that may be
                                                                                                            the continuum of care for individuals with vision loss. Low
 toma in an Arizona infant          Dorchester suburb stood up          held by federal or state offi-
                                                                                                            vision rehabilitation and nutritional supplements are the only
 –that might otherwise go           and praised the care she has        cials on health care reform.
                                                                                                            non-surgical treatments currently available for the majority of
                                    received through the Codman               “Although there are
                                                                                                            people with age-related vision loss.
                                    Square Community Health             times that optometry is
                                                                                                                 LVU participants will receive a complimentary ticket to
                                    Center.                             included from the beginning
                                                                                                            attend the golf event on Saturday and a free VIP parking
                                         The center is among 15         – both in legislation and
                                                                                                            pass. Register online for the Low Vision University™ by visit-
                                    through which NEWENCO’s             important meetings on health
                                                                                                            ing the AOA LVU registration Web page at
                                    New England Eye Institute           care policy – inclusion cannot
                                    provides eye and vision care.       be assumed with the stakes
                                                                                                            www.aoa.org/x11836.xml.
                                                                                                                 For more information, contact Sections Coordinator
                                         Dr. Scott told the forum       this high and the special inter-
                                                                                                            Alisa Krewet at 800-365-2219, ext. 4137 or e-mail
                                    that in addition to effectively     ests as active as they are right
                                    providing care for under-           now in Washington, D.C.,
                                                                                                            AGKrewet@aoa.org. Early registration is recommended
                                                                                                            because space is limited.
                                    served populations, Boston’s        said Jon Hymes, director of
 Dr. Horn                           community health centers            the AOA Advocacy Group.


22           AOA NEWS
Laser burn in one eye can disrupt immune privilege in both
        cientists at Schepens      and senior scientist at             injected either the burned or     a group of control mice with-      privilege in one or both eyes.

S       Eye Research Institute
        have shown for the first
time that a laser burn to one
                                   Schepens Eye Research
                                   Institute.
                                        Immune privilege is a
                                                                       the unburned eyes of each
                                                                       mouse with the antigen,
                                                                       Ovalbumin. Antigens are sub-
                                                                                                         out burns, they observed no
                                                                                                         inflammation.
                                                                                                              Since created in the
                                                                                                                                                 Understanding mecha-
                                                                                                                                            nisms that destroy or disrupt
                                                                                                                                            immune privilege will ulti-
retina can cause both eyes to      modification of the body’s          stances that the body per-        1960s, lasers have found their     mately lead to novel therapies
lose a special protective abili-   normal immune response. It          ceives as foreign and against     way onto the battlefield, into     to restore that special privi-
ty known as immune privi-          protects the eye, the brain and     which it mounts a defense.        the operating rooms and into       lege not only in the eye but in
lege.                              the reproductive system with-            They found that immune       modern research laboratories.      the brain and the reproductive
      Immune privilege pro-        out the full-blown immune           privilege was disrupted in        While ophthalmologists have        system as well, she adds.
tects the eye without the          response that uses inflamma-        both eyes after six hours and     been aware of the local dam-            The next steps for the
inflammation of the body’s         tion to violently reject foreign    continued to be disrupted even    age done by laser burns to         team will be to study the novel
normal immune response,            tissue or invaders.                 after 56 days.                    retinas, they have not been        mechanisms that allow for
which can further damage del-           While inflammation in               When they injected the       tuned into the possibility of      communication between the
icate eye tissue. This finding,    other parts of the body is a        same antigen into the eyes of     long-term loss of immune           injured and non-injured eye.
published in the February          useful battle between immune
2009 American Journal of           and foreign cells, it is too
Pathology, has implications        aggressive for fragile eye,         Center,                           and that it is unacceptable that        Visual problems from
for treating patients with laser   brain and reproductive tissues,     from page 9                       vets with eye injuries have to     TBI are often overlooked dur-
burns sustained on the battle-     and, in the case of the eye,                                          wait for this plan to be put       ing initial treatment of injury.
field and in other modern set-     can even lead to blindness.         vision care.                      into action.                            Frequently these prob-
tings.                             Immune privilege, which                  At the hearing, the               The injuries of               lems are hidden or neglected,
     The discovery is also sig-    intervenes in the battle, is also   Subcommittee assessed the         Operations Enduring Freedom        lengthening and impairing
nificant because it suggests a     what prevents the eye from          efforts of the agencies as they   and Iraqi Freedom are shaped       rehabilitation.
previously unknown commu-          rejecting corneal transplants,      work to ensure a seamless         by the widespread use of                Because there is a close
nication between the two           making them the most com-           continuum of care for service     improvised explosive devices       relationship between vision
eyes.                              mon and successful of trans-        members and veterans who          (IED).                             and the brain, TBI can disrupt
     “This deepens our under-      planted tissues.                    have suffered eye injuries.            IEDs increase the likeli-     the visual process, interfering
standing of the way immune              In her laboratory, Stein-           On the whole, the sub-       hood that combat troops will       with the flow and processing
privilege works,” says Joan        Streilein and her team made         committee determined that         be exposed to incidents such       of information.
Stein-Streilein, M.D., princi-     tiny laser burns in one of the      the sense of urgency now          as blasts that can cause TBI            The result can be a TBI-
pal investigator of the study      retinas of 15 mice. They then       being felt by veterans is clear   and other debilitating injuries.   related vision problem.




                                                                                                                                                APRIL 13, 2009                 23
                                  SPOTLIGHT ON AOA MEMBERS

                           Hawaii museum optometry exhibit
                           educates, entertains children
         he Children’s            ting cage to the exhibit that

T        Discovery Center in
         Hawaii said aloha to
an educational exhibit
                                  would allow optometry to
                                  emphasize the importance of
                                  eye safety and sports.
designed and produced by the            An artist created a mural
Hawaii Optometric                 as part of the exhibit, and the
Association (HOA) last fall.      HOA provided optical illu-
      The idea for an interac-    sions to further engage the
tive exhibit came after one of    museum’s visitors.
HOA Executive Director                  Three months after the
Charlotte Nekota’s frequent       initial idea, the optometry
visits to the world-class chil-   exhibit was implemented.
dren’s museum with her                  For the grand opening of
grandchildren.                    the exhibit, the HOA con-
      “I saw the dentists had     ducted free vision screenings
an exhibit, and I thought this    and paid the day’s admission
was a good idea for optome-       fees to the Children’s
try,” said Nekota. “It was a      Discovery Center.
perfect venue.”                         “They had a big thing on
      Nekota spoke to the         TV about it, and we had a
director of the center who        couple hundred children
agreed she was onto some-         screened by our HOA volun-
thing.                            teers,” said Nekota.
                                                                    Players from the Hawaii Winter Baseball league gave tips to visitors to
      Nekota went to work and           Nekota said the HOA’s
                                                                    the Children’s Discovery Center in Honolulu. The Hawaii Optometric
arranged for donations of a       goals for the project were to
                                                                    Association included a batting cage as part of its exhibit to emphasize
vision chart, exam chair,         educate visitors on the impor-
                                                                    the importance of eye safety and sports.
frames, slit lamp and             tance of eye exams for chil-
phoropter.                        dren and to familiarize chil-     eyes and get used to the
      VSP agreed to provide a     dren with optometry.              equipment found in an                   Area schools often organize
grant for funding, and the              “With the slit lamp, they   optometrist’s office,” said
HOA was able to add a bat-        could look at someone else’s      Nekota.
                                                                                                          field trips to the center, and
                                                                          The exhibit is stocked             the HOA ordered AOA
                                                                    with books related to optome-
                                                                    try such as “My First Visit to          materials for packets that
                                                                    the Optometrist.”                   teachers can bring back to the
                                                                          The HOA placed
                                                                    InfantSEE® posters in the                  classroom to further
                                                                    exhibit to raise awareness of        emphasize the importance of
                                                                    the need for eye care to begin
                                                                    at an early age.                         eye exams for children.
                                                                          The museum is geared
                                                                    for children 8 and younger,
                                                                    though older children visit as
                                                                    well.
                                                                          The optometry exhibit
                                                                    has become one of the more
Volunteer optometrists Eugene Young, O.D.,
                                                                    popular exhibits with the chil-
and Brian Kubo, O.D., screen children at the
                                                                    dren, said Nekota.
grand opening of the Hawaii Optometric
                                                                          Area schools often
Association exhibit at the Children’s Discovery
                                                                    organize field trips to the cen-
Center.
                                                                    ter, and the HOA ordered
                                                                    AOA materials for packets
 Editor’s note                                                      that teachers can bring back
                                                                    to the classroom to further
 AOA News is highlighting the admirable                             emphasize the importance of
 charitable work and exceptional patient                            eye exams for children.            From left, Liane Usher, director of Exhibits &
 care that distinguishes members of the                                   The packets include edu-     Programs at the Hawaii Children's Discovery
 American Optometric Association.                                   cational materials and activi-     Center, Charlotte Nekota, executive director of
                                                                                                       the Hawaii Optometric Association, and Hervy
 Got a story to share?                                                                                 Kurisu, president of Hawaii Winter Baseball,
                                                                             see Exhibit, page 26
 Drop a line to RAFoster@aoa.org.                                                                      gather with players who participated in the
                                                                                                       exhibit’s grand opening.


                                                                                                                                 APRIL 13, 2009      25
     Opening session to feature Woodruff, honor ODs
             ob Woodruff, the for-          The event will also honor    Peabody Award for “Wounds          showdown in Iran and, in         spondents during the war in

     B       mer co-anchor of
             ABC’s “World News
     Tonight,” will be the keynote
                                       the Distinguished Optometrist
                                       of the Year, the Optometrist
                                       of the Year and the Young
                                                                         of War—the Long Road
                                                                         Home for Our Nation’s
                                                                         Veterans,” a series of reports
                                                                                                            June 2005, was granted
                                                                                                            unprecedented access to the
                                                                                                            secretive country of North
                                                                                                                                             Afghanistan, reporting from
                                                                                                                                             Kabul and Kandahar on the
                                                                                                                                             fall of the Taliban.
     speaker at the Opening            Optometrist of the Year.          that aired on ABC.                 Korea.                                 His overseas reporting of
     General Session for the 2009           Woodruff himself was in           Woodruff was also hon-              He has reported exten-     the fallout from Sept. 11 was
     Optometry’s Meeting®.             the media spotlight when he       ored with the Daniel Pearl         sively on the continuing         part of ABC News’ coverage
         Sponsored by Essilor, the     was seriously injured by a        Award for Courage and              unrest in Iraq from Baghdad,     recognized with the Alfred I.
     Opening General Session will      roadside bomb while report-       Integrity in Journalism.           Najaf, Nassariya and Basra.      duPont Award and the George
     be Thursday, June 25 from 8       ing on U.S. and Iraqi security         In addition to his cover-           During the initial inva-   Foster Peabody Award, the
     a.m. to 9:30 a.m.                 forces in Taji, Iraq, in 2006.    age of the war, Woodruff has       sion of Iraq, Woodruff report-   two highest honors in broad-
                                            Woodruff continues out-      reported on other top stories.     ed from the frontlines as an     cast journalism.
                                       patient rehabilitation in the          His reports from New          embedded journalist with the           He was also a part of the
                                       New York area and has since       Orleans in the aftermath of        1st Marine Division, 1st         ABC News team recognized
                                       returned to work at ABC           Hurricane Katrina helped           Light-Armored Reconnais-         with an Alfred I. duPont
                                       News covering major stories       focus the nation’s attention on    sance Battalion.                 Award for live coverage of
                                       throughout the country and        the building tragedy there.              Woodruff also covered      the death of Pope John Paul II
                                       around the world.                      He was ABC’s lead cor-        the past presidential cam-       and the election of Pope
                                            In February 2007,            respondent on the Asian            paign of Sen. John Edwards.      Benedict XVI.
                                       Woodruff and his wife, Lee,       Tsunami, reporting from            Before moving to New York              Please do not miss the
                                       published a personal memoir,      Banda Aceh, Indonesia, and         in 2002, Woodruff worked         tremendous opportunity to
                                       “In an Instant: A Family’s        Sri Lanka.                         out of ABC News’ London          hear Bob Woodruff speak
                                       Journey of Love, Courage,              Woodruff has covered          Bureau.                          about his amazing journey
                                       and Healing,” about his           the “axis of evil” named by              After the Sept. 11         and his work to help those
                                       recovery and the medical and      former President George W.         attacks, he was among the        with war-related traumatic
                                       family support that helped        Bush as Iran, Iraq and North       first Western reporters in       brain injuries (TBI), especial-
                                       him heal.                         Korea.                             Pakistan and was one of          ly those with visually related
                                            Woodruff won a 2008               He covered the nuclear        ABC’s lead foreign corre-        challenges.



     Exhibit,
     from page 25                                                                                                                                       Hawaii
                                                                                                                                                        Winter
                                                                                                                                                        Baseball
     ties for children.                     Approximately 90,000                                                                                        players help
           “The packets are key        visitors a year come through
                                                                                                                                                        children
     with teachers,” said Nekota.      the doors of the center.
                                                                                                                                                        “decorate”
     “Some doctors have had kids            Most large cities have
                                                                                                                                                        their glasses
     come into their practices         similar children’s museums
                                                                                                                                                        as part of
     after visiting the exhibit. And   that may offer the same type
                                                                                                                                                        an added
     President Barack Obama            of opportunity for state opto-
                                                                                                                                                        activity at
     brings his girls to the center    metric associations, accord-
                                                                                                                                                        the exhibit's
     when he visits Hawaii. It’s a     ing to Nekota.
                                                                                                                                                        grand open-
     very popular place.”                   “You could replicate it in
                                                                                                                                                        ing day.




                                                                         almost any environment,” said
                                                                         Nekota. “You don’t even need
                                                                         brand-new equipment; it just
                                                                         has to be sturdy.”
                                                                              The HOA plans to host an
                                                                         optometry day at the center
                                                                         every year to encourage explo-
                                                                         ration of the exhibit. The
                                                                         events will continue to include
                                                                         screenings, free admission
                                                                         and, hopefully, TV coverage,
                                                                         Nekota said.
                                                                              “I can’t believe I didn’t
     Reid Saito, O.D., waits to be interviewed as
                                                                         think of it a long time ago,”      Liane Usher, director of Exhibits & Programs at
     Loretta Yajima, president and CEO of the
                                                                         said Nekota. “It’s a real learn-   the Hawaii Children's Discovery Center, Hervy
     Hawaii Children's Discovery Center, is inter-
                                                                         ing tool.”                         Kurisu, president of Hawaii Winter Baseball,
     viewed. Roger Ede, O.D., screens a young child
                                                                                                            and Charlotte Nekota, executive director of the
     in the foreground.
                                                                                                            HOA, participate in the grand opening.


26             AOA NEWS
                                                                      Students to capitalize on careers
                                                                      at Optometry’s Meeting®
                                                                      Ryan Parker, O.D., chair of the Optometry’s Meeting®
                                                                      Student Program Committee
                                                                            In today’s economy, what can you pos-          specifically with stu-
                                                                      sibly invest in that will give you a return on       dents in mind are:
                                                                      your investment? How about your future?                    The AOSA
                                                                      Optometry’s Meeting® provides what stu-              General Session kicks of the student pro-
                                                                      dents need in order to capitalize on their           gram on Thursday afternoon. Thanks to VSP,
                                                                      careers after graduation.                            students will release some stress with the
                                                                            We all know that education is impor-           sidesplitting humor of comedian Karyn Ruth
                                                                      tant, but often who you know can be just as          White.
                                                                      important as what you know.                                The Varilux® Optometry Student Bowl™
                                                                            Optometry’s Meeting® provides the per-         XVIII and Reception continues as a Thursday
                                                                      fect balance of education and networking             night tradition at Optometry’s Meeting®. The
                                                                      opportunities to advance your career.                enthusiasm of the students who attend is
                                                                            A key reason the student program at            amazing. Students are so energized that
                                                                      Optometry’s Meeting® is so successful is that        Essilor, the sponsor of the event, instituted
                                                                      it is designed for students by students.             the “Spirit Award” given to the school that
                                                                            As the Student Program Committee               exemplifies the most team spirit.
                                                                      chair, I feel this is instrumental to a successful         iConnect with TLC promises to be a
                                                                      program as the student volunteers on the             rock-n-roll, sing-a-long good time this year.
                                                                      committee are currently living the academic          Dueling pianos have become so popular
The Kennedy Center is shown at night. The per-                        life and, therefore, understand what students        that TLC is bringing them to the Gaylord
forming arts center is located on the Potomac                         need.                                                National®! Students who attend the TLC-
River in Washington, D.C. Photo: Destination DC.                            Our goal is to provide students with a                               E
                                                                                                                           sponsored lecture “Eye Want the Hook
                                                                      program that focuses on their career after           Up!” on Friday afternoon, and their regis-
                                                                      graduation.                                          tered guests, are invited to attend this event.
Sunday,                            Eye and Allergy,” course                 We incorporate practice management                   The Optometric Residency Forum is a
from page 1                        #4106, will bring together         courses into the program such as                     great resource for students who are consid-
                                   leading experts in the clinical      M
                                                                      “Marketing Diamonds: How to Market                   ering a residency after graduation. On
Rehabilitation: How to             and practice management of         Yourself and Your Future Practice,” spon-            Friday, residency representatives from many
Serve the Growing Demand           anterior segment disease from      sored by The Vision Care Institute™, LLC,            optometry schools will be available to
of Brain Injury Patients,”         8 a.m. to 10 a.m. (Moderator:      because we understand that students want             answer questions about their programs. This
course #4112, will be from 8       A. Epstein, O.D.; Lecturers:       to know how they are going to make                   is a great opportunity to learn about what
a.m. to noon. (Lecturers: C.       E. Bowling, O.D.; J.               money after graduation.                              makes each residency program unique.
Carman, O.D.; M. Cron, O.D.;       Rumpakis, O.D., MBA; B.                  Students who want to learn more on a                 Student Focus Hours in the Exhibit Hall
B. Heinke Montecalvo, O.D.)        Townsend, O.D.)                    particular clinical topic are invited to take        have been dedicated specifically for stu-
     The program is designed             The panelists will present   OD and/or paraoptometric continuing edu-             dents on Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. This
to provide the optometrist with    and debate diagnostic and          cation courses at a reduced rate of only $5          is a great opportunity to start building ven-
a comprehensive overview of        therapeutic options using a        per credit hour.                                     dor relationships.
the epidemiology of the brain-     case and evidence-based                  If you are preparing to take your board              By attending Optometry’s Meeting®, stu-
injured and aging populations      medicine approach.                 exams, Optometry’s Meeting® is the perfect           dents will see firsthand who supports the
and the commonly encoun-                 Billing and coding           place to brush up on what you have                   AOSA and AOA.
tered visual deficits.             specifics will also be present-    learned in optometry school.                               Doing business with people who sup-
     Lecturers will discuss the    ed in this interactive course.           There are 12 hours of National Board           port optometry will continue to strengthen
impact on practices and                  Part I will focus on dry     of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) review              our profession and our associations.
opportunities for expanding        eye, ocular disease and aller-     courses that offer a comprehensive review                  Several prize drawings will be held
patient care, as well as the       gy, and Part II will focus on      of topics covered on the exam.                       throughout these dedicated hours just for stu-
necessary education and            infection and inflammation.              Students are also welcomed to the              dents.
resources available.                     “Anterior Segment            main Optometry’s Meeting® events such as                   Optometry’s Meeting® is about your
     In addition, the evaluation   Challenges—Part II—                the Wednesday Night Welcome Reception                future. It is the meeting you can’t afford to
and treatment process will be      Infection and Inflamma-            with live entertainment, sponsored by                miss!
described in relation to the       tion,” course #4108, will be       Bausch & Lomb; the Opening General                         Allergan, Essilor, HOYA, TLC, and The
various neurological deficits.     held from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.       Session featuring Bob Woodruff, sponsored            Vision Care Institute™ know this is a meeting
     The importance of multi-      (Moderator: A. Epstein, O.D.;      by Essilor; Exhibit Hall events; and the             you can’t afford to miss so they generously
disciplinary collaboration and     Lecturers: E. Bowling, O.D.;       Presidential Celebration, featuring Jeff             sponsored travel grants and scholarships to
ways to engage in team-build-      J. Rumpakis, O.D., MBA; B.         Foxworthy, sponsored by HOYA.                        ensure that students who want to attend can
ing will be discussed.             Townsend, O.D.)                          Events such as these, while fun in             attend.
     Various case studies will           For more information,        nature, are a great opportunity for students               Talk to your school trustee to see how
be presented.                      and to register for courses,       to network with their peers, ODs and future          you can be one of the lucky recipients next
     “Anterior Segment             visit www.optometrysmeet-          business contacts.                                   year.
Challenges—Part I—Dry              ing.org.                                 One of these events could be where                   Visit www.optometrysmeeting.org for
                                                                      you meet your future employer or business            more information, to register, and to book
 Correction: An article in the March 23 issue of AOA News             partner!                                             hotel reservations for the meeting.
 incorrectly identified Floyd Spechler as an OD. He is a                    Other great events that are designed                 See you at National Harbor!
 MD. The AOA News regrets the error.



                                                                                                                                                APRIL 13, 2009               27
                               Industry Profile: CooperVision                                       VisionWeb appoints
                                      CooperVision is one of the world’s leading manufacturers
                               of soft contact lenses, with a portfolio that includes the indus-
                               try’s broadest range of soft toric and soft multifocal lenses.
                                                                                                    Crooks to advisory role
                                                                                                             isionWeb announced
                               Dedicated to enhancing the contact lens experience for practi-
                               tioners and patients, CooperVision is a global innovator in con-
                               tact lens design, material development and manufacturing.
                               CooperVision Products
                                                                                                    V        the appointment of
                                                                                                             C. Thomas Crooks
                                                                                                    III, O.D., as Professional
                                                                                                    Relations adviser.
                                      New to CooperVision’s growing number of silicone hydro-
                                                                                                         In his new role at
                               gel contact lens designs, the company recently introduced
                                                                                                    VisionWeb, Dr. Crooks will
                               Biofinity® Toric, a monthly silicone hydrogel lens that offers
                                                                                                    serve as the primary liaison to
                               exceptional comfort, eye health, and vision quality. Utilizing the
                                                                                                    eye care professionals and
                               same material as Biofinity® Sphere, Biofinity Toric is Food and
                                                                                                    professional organizations,
                               Drug Administration-approved for both daily and extended                                                Dr. Crooks
                                                                                                    providing strategic advice to
                               wear (for up to six nights). Within the last year, CooperVision
                                                                                                    the VisionWeb team on behalf
                               also released Avaira®, a two-week silicone hydrogel lens.
     Abbott Medical Optics                                                                          eye care professionals.                  In addition to his impres-
                                      These third-generation lenses feature CooperVision’s
                                                                                                         “VisionWeb is dedicated       sive background in private
     Alcon                     unique Aquaform™ technology, which creates a naturally wet-
                                                                                                    to providing technology that       practice, Dr. Crooks has held
                               table lens material without the need for internal wetting agents
     Allergan                                                                                       helps eye care providers to        several leadership positions
                               or surface treatments. The lenses offer a combination of high
                                                                                                    become more efficient and          within the professional opto-
     Bausch & Lomb             water content, low modulus and high oxygen transmissibility
                                                                                                    successful,” said Ken              metric community at the
                               that provides maximum comfort, optimal health and excellent
     CIBA Vision Corporation                                                                        Engelhart, VisionWeb presi-        state, regional, and
                               performance.
                                                                                                    dent and CEO. “Dr. Crooks is       national level.
     CooperVision                     Biofinity Toric is the latest addition to The CooperVision
                                                                                                    a respected eye care provider            Dr. Crooks is a past pres-
                               Total Toric Solution, which offers the widest range of toric prod-
     Essilor of America        ucts and parameters. Only CooperVision lets practitioners fit vir-
                                                                                                    and business leader. We are        ident of the AOA, the
                                                                                                    extremely grateful to have his     Alabama Optometric
     Eyemaginations            tually any astigmatic patient with a portfolio that includes
                                                                                                    input and endorsement as we        Association and the Southern
                               Proclear® Toric and Proclear® Toric XR. As part of the PC
     HOYA Vision Care                                                                               chart the course for the next      Council of Optometrists.
                               Hydrogel™ family of lenses, Proclear Toric and Proclear Toric XR
                                                                                                    generation of practice                   “I am very pleased to be
     Johnson & Johnson         offer the excellent resistance to dehydration and deposits that
                                                                                                    automation.”                       a part of the VisionWeb fami-
     Vision Care, Inc          create outstanding comfort.
                                                                                                         Dr. Crooks brings more        ly,” said Dr. Crooks. “Having
                                      The CooperVision Total Multifocal Solution contains the
     Kemin Health                                                                                   than 30 years of private prac-     served on the VisionWeb
                               industry’s largest range of multifocal contact lenses and param-
                                                                                                    tice experience to the             board, and having incorporat-
     Luxottica Group           eters, including: Biomedics® EP, Proclear® Multifocal and
                                                                                                    VisionWeb team, in addition        ed VisionWeb into our prac-
                               Proclear® Multifocal Toric. With sphere powers from +20.00D
     Marchon Eyewear           to -20.00D, cylinder powers up to -5.75 and add powers up
                                                                                                    to his business acumen as a        tice and our lab as an integral
                                                                                                    founder and CEO of one of          part of our business model, I
     Optos                     to +4.00, practitioners can virtually fit all their presbyopic
                                                                                                    the largest private independ-      look forward to working with
                               patients—from emerging to advanced.
     Shamir                                                                                         ent practices in the country,      other practitioners to help
                                      For those interested in optimum health and ultimate con-
                                                                                                    EyeCare Associates, with 19        them streamline their prac-
     TLC Vision Corporation    venience, CooperVision provides a 1-Day portfolio that include
                                                                                                    locations and 33 providers.        tices.”
                               Proclear® 1-Day, ClearSight™ 1-Day, and ClearSight™ 1-Day
     Transitions Optical       Toric.
     VSP Vision Care           Practitioner Resources                                               Zeiss launches HD progressives
                                      CooperVision has created a number of online training and
     VisionWeb                 practice building resources aimed at increasing patient loyalty,          Carl Zeiss Vision announced its high-definition (HD) series
                               reducing contact lens drop out and helping practitioners             of customized progressives is now available with NuPolar®
                               increase their contact lens businesses. Programs include:            polarization in multiple material and color options.
                                      CooperVision Online Learning Center—with this free                 Included in the line extension are Sola HDV, SolaOne
                               resource, practitioners and staff receive high-quality contact       HD, Sola Compact Ultra HD and AO Easy HD.
                               lens training designed to develop knowledge and hone skills               NuPolar polarized lenses offer 100 percent protection
                               on a broad range of topics ranging from contact lens basics to       against ultraviolet (UV) A and B rays, while eliminating blind-
                               fitting advanced lens designs.                                       ing sun glare.
                                      CooperVision.tv—practitioners can direct their patients to         “Polarized prescription sunwear delivers visual health, clar-
   Industry Profile is a                                                                            ity and comfort outdoors,” said Bernadette Hiskey, Carl Zeiss
                               these videos to help further their understanding of lens wear
     regular feature                                                                                Vision’s director of Customized Lenses. “The category is grow-
                               and care techniques. CooperVision.tv also explains the tech-
      in AOA News                                                                                   ing in double digits, but the great majority of progressive
                               nologies behind CooperVision’s contact lenses.
  allowing participants                                                                             wearers still don’t have prescription sunwear, so there is plenty
                                      CooperDirect™ Shipping—to improve office efficiency and
          of the                                                                                    of opportunity for further growth.”
                               patient support, patients and practitioners can choose a deliv-
  Ophthalmic Council SM                                                                                  Each lens is individually optimized for the patient’s sphere,
                               ery option that enables patients’ lenses to be shipped directly
 to express themselves                                                                              cylinder, axis and add using proprietary real-time customiza-
                               to their homes.
 on issues and products                                                                             tion software and then manufactured using the company’s
                                      Online Ordering and Customer Service Center—the
      they consider                                                                                 patented back-surface freeform process.
                               MyCooperVision e-commerce site also features secure online
        important                                                                                        Plus, Sola HDV is fully customized for the patient’s frame
                               ordering and access to shipment tracking, invoice lookup, pay-
     to the members                                                                                 and prescription using proprietary morphing technology to
                               ment history and product bank balances.
       of the AOA.                                                                                  deliver a variable corridor length for fit heights 13mm to
                                      For more information about CooperVision and its contact
                               lenses, contact your CooperVision sales rep or visit www.            35mm.
                               coopervision.com.                                                         For more information, visit www.vision.zeiss.com.



28            AOA NEWS
                                   INDUSTRY NEWS


B&L, Pfizer to co-promote
ophthalmic pharmaceuticals
         ausch & Lomb and         besifloxacin ophthalmic sus-      mid-stage development pro-

B        Pfizer Inc. announced
         a co-promotion
agreement involving both
                                  pension 0.6%, which is cur-
                                  rently awaiting approval from
                                  the U.S. Food and Drug
                                                                    grams in its own pipeline.
                                                                         “Working in collabora-
                                                                    tion, our U.S. sales organiza-
companies’ prescription oph-      Administration (FDA).             tions will now represent one
thalmic pharmaceuticals in             Under the terms of the       of the broadest products
the United States.                agreement, both the Pfizer        offerings in the U.S. oph-
     The agreement will           and Bausch & Lomb sales           thalmic market,” said
allow both companies to           forces will promote Xalatan,      Flemming Ornskov, M.D.,
greatly increase the level of     Alrex, Lotemax, Zylet and         MPH, corporate vice presi-
eye care industry support for     besifloxacin (subject to FDA      dent and global president,
these important medications       approval).                        Pharmaceuticals, Bausch &
that treat serious ophthalmic          “Ophthalmic disorders        Lomb. “We’ll be able to
conditions.                       cause significant disability in   reach considerably more eye
     The five-year agreement      the United States,” said          care practitioners and, in
includes Pfizer’s Xalatan®        Olivier Brandicourt, presi-       turn, better attend to the
(latanoprost ophthalmic solu-     dent and general manager for      needs of millions of patients    Ray-Ban ads introduce its new Colors eye-
tion) and Bausch & Lomb’s         Pfizer’s Specialty                every year.”                     wear collection highlighting the iconic mod-
Alrex® (loteprednol etabonate     BusinessUnit. “This agree-             In December 2008, the       els worn by non-conformists and free spirits.
ophthalmic suspension             ment with Bausch & Lomb           FDA’s Dermatologic and
0.2%), Lotemax® (lotepred-        combines our portfolios and       Ophthalmic Drugs Advisory
nol etabonate ophthalmic          further demonstrates our          Committee voted unanimous-
suspension 0.5%) and Zylet®       commitment to provide pre-        ly to recommend approval of
(loteprednol etabonate 0.5%       scription medications that can    besifloxacin for the treatment
and tobramycin 0.3% oph-          benefit people living with        of bacterial conjunctivitis.
thalmic suspension).              serious eye conditions.”                    Bausch & Lomb
     The co-promotion agree-           Separate from this co-       anticipates a decision from
ment also will apply to           promotion agreement with          the FDA in 2009. Financial
Bausch & Lomb’s investiga-        Bausch & Lomb, Pfizer will        terms of the agreement were
tional anti-infective eye drop,   continue to maintain three        not disclosed.


Transitions expands eye care academy
        he expanded Academy       communications and support        working knowledge of how to

T       for Eyecare Practices™
        sponsored by
Transitions Optical is
                                  to help participants put what
                                  they have learned into prac-
                                  tice.
                                                                    leverage their unique story to
                                                                    the community. They also
                                                                    have the opportunity to          Grammy-nominated artist Duffy showcases
designed to help practice               The Academy for             receive free fits for            her Jee Vice sunglasses. She is shown in
owners and eye care profes-       Eyecare Practices™ format         Transitions® lenses with anti-   the Exotic style. www.jeevice.com
sionals gain valuable insight     was tested in three markets in    reflective coatings.
into marketing and capturing      2008: Charlotte, Anaheim and           Transitions and its lab
new business                      Minneapolis.                      partners have scheduled a
     The program is supported           Attendees received prac-    total of 16 educational semi-
by industry laboratories and      tical and valuable information    nars this year, beginning in
lens manufacturers and builds     on how to keep their practices    March, with more to be
on the success of Transitions     viable, improve capture rates,    added.
Academy – the company’s           quantify their work and use            For more information and
annual education event origi-     new approaches to educate         to register for upcoming
nally developed for laboratory    staff and doctors about the       events, visit www.Transitions
partners – by providing eye       importance of vision-enhanc-      .com/ecpacademy.
care professionals an educa-      ing eyewear. And, as a result,         Upcoming dates include:
tional program that moves         they reported increased sales          San Francisco: April 30
beyond abstract lectures.         of Transitions lenses.                 Sacramento: May 1
     With laboratory and lens           Participants will benefit        Phoenix: May 6
manufacturer involvement at       from a full day of interactive         Seattle: May 13 and 14
the local level, the program      sessions highlighting topics           Southbridge, Mass.: May     Immagine Eyewear presents a sneak pre-
provides doctors and their        such as marketing, manage-        28 and 29                        view of Wasty, a design from the new X-
staff proven methods for inde-    ment and finances. They will           East Rutherford: June 3     IDE® collection that was introduced at Mido
pendent optometry practices       walk away with concrete                Uniondale, N.Y.: June 5     2009. The 2009 line is unparalleled in
to build profitable businesses.   materials, such as benchmark-          Fort Lauderdale: June 11    design as well as mood: 13 new designs,
     Beyond the event, the        ing tools, customizable mate-     and 12                           each with a story to tell. www.x-ide.it
program provides ongoing          rials for their office, and            Denver: June 18


                                                                                                                               APRIL 13, 2009        29
                                      MEETINGS

                                      Florida Dr. Arthur T. Young
 April                                239/245-7494
                                                                            PHOTODOCUMENTATION IN
                                                                            MEDICAL EYE CARE
                                                                                                                   OPTOMETRIC EXTENSION
                                                                                                                   PROGRAM VT/LEARNING
                                      FAX: 239/574-1374                     May 26, 2009                           RELATED VISUAL PROBLEMS (VT 2)
 ARKANSAS OPTOMETRIC                  Eyeguy4123@msn.com                    Tiffany Diner, 9010 Roosevelt Blvd.,   (OEP CLINICAL CURRICULUM)
 ASSOCIATION                                                                Philadelphia, PA 19115                 June 4-8, 2009
 2009 SPRING CONVENTION               ILLINOIS OPTOMETRIC                   Richard H. Sterling, O.D.              Baltimore, Maryland
 April 23-25, 2009                    ASSOCIATION                           267/474-3190                           Theresa Krejci 800/447-0370
 The Peabody Hotel, Little Rock, AR   MIDWEST EYECARE CONGRESS              Rster9737@comcast.net
 Vicki Farmer                         May 1-3, 2009                         www.philaoptometry.org                 VIRGINIA OPTOMETRIC
 501/661-7675                         St. Louis Union Station Marriott                                             ASSOCIATION 107TH ANNUAL
 FAX: 501/373-0233                    Charlene Marsh                        BRITISH CONTACT LENS                   CONVENTION, MIDDLE ATLANTIC
 aropt@swbell.net                     800/933-7289                          ASSOCIATION 2009 CLINICAL              CONTINUING EDUCATION
 www.arkansasoptometric.org           www.midwesteyecarecongress.com        CONFERENCE AND EXHIBITION              Conference and Paraoptometric
                                                                            May 28-31, 2009                        Education Conference
 MOUNTAIN WEST COUNCIL OF             NORTHEASTERN STATE                    Manchester, United Kingdom             June 5-7, 2009 Williamsburg           Aboard the NCL Pride of America
 OPTOMETRISTS                         UNIVERSITY, OKLAHOMA                  +44 (0)20 7580 6661                    Lodge, Williamsburg, VA               888/638-6009
 April 23-25, 2009                    COLLEGE OF OPTOMETRY                  FAX: +44 (0)20 7580 6669               Jerry Neidigh, O.D.                   aeacruises@aol.com
 Las Vegas, Nevada                    LASER VISION CORRECTION               conf@bcla.org.uk                       804/353-3937                          www.optometriccruiseseminars.com
 Tracy Abel                           May 1-3, 2009                         www.bcla.org.uk                        jrn2020@gmail.com
 888/376-6926 or 503/436-             TLC Oklahoma City, OK                                                        www.voaeyedocs.org                    TROPICAL CE BAHAMAS
 0798                                 Lisa McCormick 918/444-4033           PRINCIPAL CHARITY CLASSIC                                                    July 5-12, 2009
 FAX: 503/436-0612                    mccormil@nsuok.edu                    CHAMPIONS TOUR LOW VISION              ALASKA OPTOMETRIC                     Atlantis Paradise Island
 tracyabel@earthlink.net                                                    UNIVERSITY™ Sponsored by Kemin         ASSOCIATION ANNUAL                    Stuart Autry 281/808-5763
 www.mwco.org                         PENNSYLVANIA OPTOMETRIC               Health Glen Oaks Country Club,         CONFERENCE                            John Ogden 281/900-8493
                                      ASSOCIATION SPRING                    West Des Moines, Iowa, May 30,         June 11-14, 2009                      www.TropicalCE.com
 KENTUCKY OPTOMETRIC                  CONFERENCE                            www.aoa.org/x11836.xml                 Best Western Kodiak Inn, Kodiak,
 ASSOCIATION107TH ANNUAL              May 1-3, 2009                         Alisa Krewet, 800-365-2219,            Alaska Tracy Oman                     NORTH DAKOTA OPTOMETRIC
 SPRING CONGRESS April 23-26,         Skytop lodge, Skytop, Pennsylvania    ext. 4137 AGKrewet@aoa.org.            907/770-3777                          ASSOCIATION Annual Golf Outing
 Hyatt Regency Hotel, Louisville,     Ilene Sauertieg Ilene@poaeyes.org                                            FAX: 907/272-7532                     July 10, 2009 Hawktree Golf Club,
 Sarah A. Jones 502/875-3516          www.poaeyes.org                                                              akoa@alaska.com                       Bismarck, North Dakota
 FAX: 502/875-3782
 sarah@kyeyes.org www.kyeyes.org
                                                                            June                                   www.akoa.org                          Nancy Kopp or Tracy Thomas
                                      BUILDING A THERAPEUTIC                                                                                             701/258-6766 or 877/637-2026
                                      PRACTICE IN OCULAR SURFACE            GEORGIA OPTOMETRIC                     WEST VIRGINIA OPTOMETRIC              FAX: 701/258-9005
 OPTOMETRIC EXTENSION                 DISEASE Paul Karpecki, O.D. and       ASSOCIATION 105TH ANNUAL               ASSOCIATION MID-YEAR                  e-mail: ndoa@btinet.net
 PROGRAM VT/STRABISMUS &              John Lahr, O.D. May 2, 2009           MEETING June 4-7, 2009                 MEETING June 11-14, 2009
 AMBLYOPIA April 23-26, 2009          Birmingham, Alabama                   Amelia island Plantation               The Homestead Resort                  NORTHEASTERN STATE UNIVERSITY,
 Ft. Lauderdale, Florida              Charlotte Latham                      Vanessa Grosso 800/949-0060            304/720-8262                          OKLAHOMA COLLEGE OF
 Theresa Krejci 800 447 0370          917/716-0032                          FAX: 770/961-9965                      www.wvoa.com                          OPTOMETRY
                                      FAX: 212/791-4980                     vanessgoa@aol.com                                                            LASER THERAPY FOR THE ANTERIOR
 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA,            clatham@candeocsc.com                 www.goaeyes.com                        NORTH CAROLINA STATE                  SEGMENT July 10-11, Tahlequah,
 BERKELEY, SCHOOL OF                  www.eyecareeducators.com                                                     OPTOMETRIC SOCIETY                    OK Lisa McCormick
 OPTOMETRY 24TH ANNUAL                                                      UTAH OPTOMETRIC                        2009 ANNUAL SPRING                    918/444-4033
 MORGAN/SARVER SYMPOSIUM              ARIZONA OPTOMETRIC                    ASSOCIATION                            CONGRESS                              mccormil@nsuok.edu
 April 24-26, 2009                    ASSOCIATION 2009 SPRING               2009 ANNUAL CONGRESS                   June 12-14, 2009
 DoubleTree Hotel, Berkeley Marina,   CONGRESS May 8-10, 2009               June 4-7, 2009                         Myrtle Beach, South Carolina          OPTOMETRIC EXTENSION
 Berkeley, Calif. Nyla Marnay         Renaissance Glendale Hotel & Spa      Zermatt Resort, Midway, Utah           Sue Gardner                           PROGRAM THE ART & SCIENCE OF
 510/642-6547                         Glendale, AZ Kate Diedrickson         Clive Watson                           252/237-6197                          OPTOMETRIC CARE—A
 FAX: 510/642-0279                    Kate@azoa.org www.azoa.org            www.utaheyedoc.org                     www.nceyes.org                        BEHAVIORAL PERSPECTIVE (OEP
 optoce@berkeley.edu                                                                                                                                     Clinical Curriculum) July 11-15,
 http://optometry.berkeley.edu        NEW MEXICO OPTOMETRIC                 OPTOMETRIC EXTENSION                   OPTOMETRY’S MEETING®                  Memphis, Theresa Krejci
                                      ASSOCIATION 2009 ANNUAL               PROGRAM VT/LEARNING                    Take part in Monumental               800/447-0370
 NEW JERSEY CHAPTER OF THE            CONVENTION May 14-17                  RELATED VISUAL PROBLEMS (VT 2)         Achievements at the 2009
 ACADEMY April 29-May 3, 2009         Embassy Suites Hotel                  (OEP Clinical Curriculum)              Optometry’s Meeting® at the           NATIONAL OPTOMETRIC
 Kingston Plantation, Myrtle Beach,   Albuquerque, NM                       June 4-8, 2009                         Gaylord National Resort &             ASSOCIATION
 South Carolina Dennis Lyons, O.D.    Richard Montoya 575/751-7242          Baltimore, Maryland                    Convention Center near                40TH ANNUAL CONVENTION
 732/920-0110 Dhl2020@aol.com         fleece@laplaza.org                    Theresa Krejci                         Washington, D.C., from June 24-       July 14-19, 2009
                                                                            800/447-0370                           28, 2009. Register now at             Charleston Place Hotel
 COLLEGE OF SYNTONIC                  OPTOMETRIC EXTENSION                                                         www.optometrysmeeting.org.            Charleston, SC
 OPTOMETRY 77TH                       PROGRAM 2009 EASTERN STATES           MISSISSIPPI OPTOMETRIC                                                       Dr. Charles Comer 877/394-2020
 INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE             CONFERENCE May 16-17, 2009            ASSOCIATION 2009 SUMMER                AEA CRUISES OPTOMETRIC                www.nationaloptometricassociation.org
 ON LIGHT AND VISION                  Crowne Plaza, White Plains,           CONVENTION June 5-6, 2009              CRUISE SEMINAR
 April 28-May 2, 2009                 New York Stuart Rothman, O.D.         Pearl River Resort, Philadelphia,      June 27 - July 4, 2009                AEA CRUISES OPTOMETRIC
 Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada       SMROD@aol.com                         Mississippi Linda Ross Aldy            Western Caribbean                     CRUISE SEMINAR
 Ron Wahlmeier 866/486-0190                                                 601/853-4407                           Aboard the Disney Magic               July 15-27, 2009
 FAX: 719/486-0190                    OPTOMETRIC EXTENSION                  FAX: 601/853-4408                      AEA CRUISES OPTOMETRIC                Grand Mediterranean
 syntonics@bresnan.net                PROGRAM ACQUIRED BRAIN                msoptometr@aol.com                     CRUISE SEMINAR                        Aboard the Ruby Princess
                                      INJURY/TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY         www.mseyes.com                         June 29 - July 8, 2009                888/638-6009
                                      (ABI/TBI) (OEP Clinical Curriculum)                                                                                aeacruises@aol.com
 May                                  May 16-18, 2009                       MAINE OPTOMETRIC
                                                                                                                   Eastern Caribbean/Bermuda
                                                                                                                   Aboard the Caribbean Princess         www.optometriccruiseseminars.com
                                      Baltimore, Maryland                   ASSOCIATION                            AEA CRUISES OPTOMETRIC
 FLORIDA CHAPTER OF THE               Theresa Krejci 800/447-0370           JUNE “SUMMER” CONFERENCE               CRUISE SEMINAR                        AEA CRUISES OPTOMETRIC
 AMERICAN ACADEMY OF                                                        June 5-7, 2009                         June 29 - July 6, 2009                CRUISE SEMINAR JULY 20-27,
 OPTOMETRY EDUCATIONAL                PHILADELPHIA COUNTY                   Harborside Hotel & Marina, Bar         Gulf of Alaska                        Blue Danube Discovery River Cruise
 MEETING 2009 May 1-2, 2009           OPTOMETRIC SOCIETY &                  Harbor, Maine                          Ohio State University Alumni Cruise   Aboard Amadeus Amadante
 Mission Inn, Howey-in-the-Hills,     TELSCREEN                             Joann Gagne                            (Open to all)                         888/638-6009
                                                                            207/626-9920                           Aboard the Coral Princess             aeacruises@aol.com
                                                                            www.MaineEyeDoctors.com                888/638-6009                          www.optometriccruiseseminars.com
     To submit an item                                                      NORTHEASTERN STATE
                                                                                                                   aeacruises@aol.com
                                                                                                                   www.optometriccruiseseminars.com      NORTHERN ROCKIES
     for the meetings calendar,                                             UNIVERSITY, OKLAHOMA
                                                                            COLLEGE OF OPTOMETRY
                                                                                                                                                         OPTOMETRIC CONFERENCE
                                                                                                                                                         July 23-25, 2009
     send a note to                                                         16TH ANNUAL OCULAR DISEASE             July                                  Snow King Conference Center
                                                                            UPDATE June 5-7, 2009                                                        Jackson Hole, WY

     eventcalendar@aoa.org                                                  Chateau on the Lake, Branson, MO
                                                                            Lisa McCormick 918/444-4033
                                                                                                                   AEA CRUISES OPTOMETRIC
                                                                                                                   CRUISE SEMINAR
                                                                                                                                                         Dan Lex, CAE
                                                                                                                                                         www.NROCmeeting.com
                                                                            mccormil@nsuok.edu                     July 4-11, 2009 Hawaii                Ph: 307/637-7575




30           AOA NEWS
ASCO welcomes new school                                                                                 PCO launches eye network
                                                                                                              The Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus
        he Association of                “The Eastside Clinical      membership as the 20th              University (PCO), in collaboration with CenterVue SpA of

T       School and Colleges
        of Optometry (ASCO)
Board of Directors announced
                                   facility is, in my opinion,
                                   what constitutes the jewel of
                                   the program,” said H.S.
                                                                     school or college of optome-
                                                                     try,” said John Amos, O.D.,
                                                                     ASCO president. “We support
                                                                                                         Padova, Italy, announced the launch of a new service
                                                                                                         designed to increase dialogue among a worldwide net-
                                                                                                         work of vision care professionals that includes
the approval of the University     Ghazi-Birry, O.D., M.D.,          the UIWSO’s mission, which          optometrists, ophthalmologists and optometric students.
of the Incarnate Word School       Ph.D., founding dean and          is consistent with ASCO’s                   The Eye Knowledge Network (EKN) is an interac-
of Optometry’s (UIWSO)             professor. “We are able to        mission of reaching out to          tive networking site designed to bridge boundaries that
application for active mem-        serve a significant population    underserved and diverse pop-        may exist due to geography or unintentional professional
bership in the organization.       of the underserved. We are        ulations. We look forward to        insulation.
ASCO welcomes the school           able to expand the mission of     UIWSO’s contributions to                 Network contributors from the top of their professions
as its 20th active member          the university in terms of        optometric education and the        will bring their expertise to EKN members via podcasts,
school of optometry.               social justice, community         profession.”                        screencasts, presentations, audio and video files and
     UIWSO’s mission is to         service and the provision of            UIWSO was granted             other formats that lend themselves to the exchange of infor-
educate and prepare future         health care.”                     “preliminary approval” by the       mation between members.
leaders in optometry through            In conjunction with the      Accreditation Council on                 Members will be able to carry on electronic conver-
excellence in education,           Doctor of Optometry pro-          Optometric Education                sations, allowing for questions, comments and dialogue.
patient care, vision research      gram, UIWSO is launching a        (ACOE) in February 2009.            CenterVue SpA, a technology company with strong links
and public service, within a       Bachelor’s degree in Vision             “Preliminary approval is      to universities, research centers and clinical departments,
context of faith and personal      Science.                          granted to a professional           has combined the necessary competencies and technical
development.                            Its curriculum, which        optometric degree program           expertise for the development and production of this pro-
     The school’s primary          will be partially taught by the   that has clearly demonstrated       fessional social network on the Internet.
location will be in the heart of   optometry faculty, will incor-    it is developing in accordance            PCO will provide a link to the EKN network from its
San Antonio’s Medical              porate a two-year rotation        to council standards. The pro-      Web site at www.salus.edu.
Center, which will include the     through the optometry clinics     gram has been approved to                Continuing education (CE) credits approved by the
academic headquarters and          and will provide the gradu-       begin student recruitment,          Council on Optometric Practitioner Education (COPE) for
one of two clinical facilities.    ates with a strong foundation     selection and admissions, and       licensed professionals will be available on EKN.
The second clinic will be          in vision science.                to begin offering the pro-          The network expects to provide members with a minimum
located on the east side of             “ASCO congratulates          gram,” according to the             of 20 PCO practitioner faculty-authored courses in the first
San Antonio.                       and welcomes UIWSO to its         ACOE.                               year.
                                                                                                              With a primary mission to deliver education and to
                                                                                                         gather clinical collaborative expertise, the collaboration
                                                                                                         between the EKN and PCO is key to promoting a world-
Optical family celebrates 50 years                                                                       wide dialogue among professionals, experts and students
                                                                                                         in the world of vision care.
         obertson Optical          enced lots of change in the       changed from manually fabri-

R        Laboratories celebrat-
         ed its golden 50th
anniversary with many events
                                   optical business over the
                                   course of 50 years.
                                        “When I started in the
                                                                     cating lenses to increased
                                                                     automation of today’s equip-
                                                                     ment,” said Calvin. “The
over the past year.                optical industry, the only        quality of lenses produced
     Jack Robertson founded        material available was glass,     today is far superior. I must
Robertson Optical 50 years         and the grinding process was      ask the question, ‘Can future
ago, and his sons, Richard         very labor intensive,” said       machinery and equipment
and Calvin, continue the busi-     Richard Robertson.                produce any better quality
ness today.                             “We used the roughing        than today?’ And my answer
     Richard is the president      pan to grind lenses. This was     is I can see this happening
of the Loganville, Ga., lab        a process where we manually       year after year for future gen-
and secretary-treasurer of the     placed rough emery on a           erations.”
Columbia and Greenvile,            sphere tool while holding the           The Robertson brothers
S.C., labs. Calvin is the presi-   blocked lens in our hands and     said they are very satisfied
dent of the Columbia and           rocked it back and forth until    with what they have accom-
                                                                                                        Calvin Robertson, left, and Richard Robertson
Greenville labs and secretary-     the desired cylinder is in the    plished with their company.
                                                                                                        receive a plaque from their employees.
treasurer of the Loganville        curve of the lens. Today, the           “When I think about how
lab.                               computer generator grinds         many lives we have improved        50-year period is the friend-    wholesale labs in the nation,
     “The most satisfying part     these automatically,” Richard     by helping people see better,      ships developed with our         according to Vision Monday.
about being in business for 50     said.                             it is staggering to me. It gives   wonderful employees, busi-            Neither of the
years is looking back to the            Richard also noted that      me great joy,” said Richard.       ness partners, the three O’s     Robertsons has any plans for
beginning of our company,”         materials have evolved during     “Watching our employees            and manufacturers,” said         retirement.
said Calvin. “My father, Jack      his time in the industry.         grow with the company and          Calvin.                               “I am having too much
Robertson, called me by                 “No one had heard of         pleasing our customers has              Robertson Optical serves    fun now to retire and want to
phone and asked ‘Calvin, do        materials such as CR-39™,         been a very important and          the United States from its       continue doing all I can to
you want to join me in open-       polycarbonate and Trivex,”        satisfying part of the last 50     three locations in Georgia and   help eye care professionals
ing our new company,               said Richard. “And anti-          years. I have always said,         South Carolina.                  and their patients, as well as
Robertson Optical                  reflective coating and pro-       ‘Without customers and                  In 2008, Robertson          our employees,” said Richard.
Laboratories, Inc. in Atlanta,     gressive lenses did not exist     employees, one would not           Optical was ranked ninth in           “I plan to retire when I
Georgia?’”                         as they do today.”                have a company.’”                  prescription sales and jobs      die unless the unknown hap-
     The family has experi-             “The optical industry has          “The other thrill of the     per day of all independent       pens sooner,” said Calvin.



                                                                                                                                             APRIL 13, 2009             31
                SHOWCASE




                             Vi s i t t h e
                                AOA
                             We b s i t e
                                   at
                           w w w. a o a . o r g
32   AOA NEWS
SHOWCASE




           APRIL 13, 2009   33
                                            CLASSIFIEDS


     Professional Opportunities             Eastern TEXAS – Practice for          Miscellaneous                         VOSH-INTERNATIONAL NEEDS                  Equipment for Sale
                                            Sale. Established in Gregg                                                  YOUR OUTDATED EQUIPMENT!!
     ALL STATES – PRACTICES FOR             County, which currently boasts a      DO YOU WANT TO HELP CHIL-             How would you like to donate your         Pretesting Tables & Equipment
     SALE and 100% FINANCING                newly built sports arena. Fully       DREN? 1 out of 4 children strug-      outdated equipment to a worthy            For Less. Save hundreds even
     plus Working Capital. 30 years of      equipped       practice. Asking       gle with vision problems that         cause and receive a tax deduction at      thousands on all your pretesting
     professional experience .Large         $300,000. Financing Available.        interfere with reading and learn-     the same time? VOSH-INTERNA-              needs. Pretesting tables of all
     Database of Buyers/Sellers.            Call 888-277-6633. www.promed-        ing. Detection and treatment of       TIONAL with the support of WCO            shapes and sizes For Less
     Confidentiality Maintained. Pre-       financial.com.                        these vision problems could be        and UNESCO has embarked on a              Guaranteed. If you are looking for
     qualified Buyers. Free Valuation                                             your niche. Learn more about          program of equipment-technology           quality equipment at the best
     and internet advertising for           Optometrist for private optom-        making vision therapy a profitable    transfer to fledgling Optometry pro-      price Call today. 800-522-2275
     Sellers. Call ProMed Financial,        etry practice in beautiful            service in your practice. Call        grams in South America and Africa.
     Inc. 888-277-6633. Visit www.          Northampton, MA. Initially 3          today to schedule a free consulta-    This is being done with a new part-
     promed-financial.com.                  days/week, grow with our prac-        tion with Toni Bristol at Expansion   ner IMEC (International Medical
                                            tice! Current instrumentation, 3      Consultants, Inc., specializing in    Equipment Collaborative); a non-
     CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA. Well-            lanes, 3 licensed opticians, pleas-   Vision Therapy practice manage-       profit 501c3 that gathers, services,
     established practice for sale due to   ant staff and work environment.       mentand marketing since 1988.         cleans and packages entire eye clin-
     retirement planning. Excellent         Contact Dr. Erb 413-584-6616.         Toll free 877/248-3823.               ics, hospitals and other medical facil-
     opportunity for young energetic                                                                                    ities and ships them to an organiza-
     optometrist. Call 717 892 6761.        PRIVATE PRACTICES FOR SALE/           I NEED FRAMES, temples,               tion that gives them a second life.
                                            SELLERS NEEDED FOR BUYERS             bridges stamped 1/10th 12kG.F.            Please look through your garage,
     Danville VA, Large practice            SEEKING PRIVATE PRACTICES             (gold filled). New, old stock, or     closets, basement for all your
     needs associate/partner. Email         in Ohio, New York and Florida.        Used. Full, Semi, or Rimless          unused books, equipment, instru-
     resume with cover letter to            Contact Sandra Kennedy at             styles. Contact GF Specialties,       ments, stock frames and lenses
     drmbbauman@comcast.net                 National Practice Brokers (800)       Ltd. 800/351-6926.                    and any items that might be of use
                                            201-3585.                                                                   to a Optometry school, a student or
                                                                                  Learning how to see the visu-         eye clinic. Instructions on how to
                                            Virginia, Roanoke Metro Area          al concepts of things, time,          proceed are available by going to
                                            Optometrist F/T, top salary and       space and movement is how             the VOSH website (www.vosh.org)
                                            benefits. Recent grads welcome        we learn. Interested?         See:    and click on Technology Transfer
                                            to apply. Please call 732-502-0071    www.mydvc.info Developmental          Program. Information about IMEC
                                                                                  Vision: the only solution for chil-   is available at www.imecamerica.
                                                                                  dren’s     learning     problems.         The most desirable items that
                                                                                  Interested? See: www.mylearn-         programs in developing countries
                                                                                  ingprogram.info.                      need are: Trial lens kits, battery
                                                                                                                        powered hand scopes, assorted pli-
                                                                                  Maximize your profits by              ers and optical tools, hand stones
                                                                                  adding VT to your practice. OEP       for edging glass lenses, uncut lens-
                                                                                  Clinical Curriculum Courses are       es (both SV and BF), manual
                                                                                  the answer. Call 800 447 0370.        lensometers, phoropters, lens
                                                                                                                        clocks, color vision tests, keratome-
                                                                                                                        ters and biomicroscopes.
                                                                                                                            This list is certainly not complete
                                                                                                                        but gives an idea of some of the
                                                                                                                        basic needs these developing pro-
                                                                                                                        grams can benefit from. All items
                                                                                                                        may be shipped directly to:
                                                                                                                        VOSH INTERNATIONAL
                                                                                                                        C/O IMEC
                                                                                                                        1600 Osgood Street
                                                                                                                        North Andover, Mass. 01845
                                                                                                                            Assistance with shipping cost
                                                                                                                        may be available through your local
                                                                                                                        Rotary or Lions Clubs. Contact
                                                                                                                        www.vosh.org with any questions
                                                                                                                        or email jaforrey@comcast.net and
                                                                                                                        voshinternational@comcast.net.




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34             AOA NEWS

				
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