AOA urges ODs to speak out in HHS webinar forums

September 4, 2012

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Health Care Law Webinar series continues this month. Optometrists are urged to participate, according to AOA President Ron Hopping, O.D., MPH.

As a result of the AOA’s successes throughout the national debate over the new federal Affordable Care Act, the new health care law includes major legislative gains for optometry including designation of pediatric vision care as an essential benefit and a federal ban on discrimination against ODs by health plans, including ERISA plans.

However, organized medicine and insurers are now mobilizing to undo these and other patient access gains, the AOA Advocacy Group.

Participation by optometrists in the HHS Health Care Law Webinars could be important in ensuring such legislative gains remain in place as the health care law is implemented at the state level, Dr. Hopping said.

“Optometry must be heard as loudly and clearly by the federal and state officials who are implementing the new health care law as we were by the senators and House members who wrote it,” said Dr. Hopping. “I urge doctors and students to participate in the HHS forums, to speak out and to join AOA’s advocacy for our profession.”

The HHS is offering two National Health Care Law Webinars this month. Participants can register for the following webinars.

“The Health Care Law 101” is available Sept.13 at 12:30 p.m. ET at https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/245355535.

A Spanish version will be offered Sept. 25 at 2 p.m. ET (https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/836086775).
Webinars will include question-and-answer sessions during which participants can ask HHS staff any questions they may have about the health care law. Questions can be submitted to ACA101@hhs.gov.

AOA members can find a complete list of HHS Health Care Law Webinars, along with additional information on federal health care reform, on the AOA website health care reform page (www.aoa.org/x16106.xml).

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