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Munson: advocacy key in rocky economic times

May 25, 2012

AOA Vice President Mitch Munson, O.D., addresses the audience at the Corporate Optometry Reports conference.

Congress rescinding a planned 24 percent Medicare reimbursement cut will bring the average practicing optometrist $9,000 this year – demonstrating that, in uncertain economic times, effective AOA advocacy efforts have become critical to both the short-run stability and long-range growth of the primary eye care market in America, AOA Vice President Mitch Munson, O.D., told last month’s Corporate Optometry Reports (COR) conference at Vision Expo East in New York.

Exemption of contact lenses from a new 2.3 percent federal medical excise tax will help to stabilize the eyewear market in 2013 and later years, Dr. Munson said.

Beginning in 2014, provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act, notably the AOA-backed Harkin provider nondiscrimination amendment, could help open access to optometry for “nearly 100 million people, or one-third of the country,” Dr. Munson said.

Other topics during this spring’s COR conference included an anticipated increase in demand for optometric services due to growth in the presbyopic population and the possible impact of an election year on the eye and vision care market.

COR conferences are sponsored at each Vision Expo East and Vision Expo West by Alcon, according to Dwight Akerman, O.D., the company’s director of professional affairs & programs.

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