AOA, affiliates keep watch for restrictive MAC policies

January 31, 2013

With the start of a new year, the AOA, state affiliates, and vigilant ODs across the nation remain on high alert after a decisive victory in 2012 overturned Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) policies that sought to limit optometric scope of practice and effectively hampered Medicare beneficiaries’ access to needed care in nine states.

“The federal law governing Medicare is crystal clear in that it requires the program to cover services provided by doctors of optometry within state scopes of practice and gives Medicare beneficiaries the freedom to seek care from the doctor of their choosing,” said AOA President Ron Hopping, O.D., MPH. “With last year’s victory, we helped to ensure that seniors in impacted states would no longer be improperly denied access to medically necessary, covered physician services that they need when they chose to legally obtain those services from optometrists rather than from other physicians.”

The AOA is now encouraging doctors to be on the lookout for the potential development of new MAC restrictions that would have similar effects as the policies implemented over the last few years by Wisconsin Physician Services (WPS) – the MAC servicing Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and Wisconsin.
Doctors are asked to alert AOA Washington office staffers immediately at 800-365-2219 or Impact WashingtonDC@aoa.org should such destructive policies arise.

To read earlier coverage of win against the WPS policy, visit http://bit.ly/UTggNF.

“If allowed to stand, the discriminatory WPS policies we fought so hard to overturn could have spread like wildfire across the country,” said Dr. Hopping. “It’s critical that we all do our part and remain vigilant so that such restrictive policies are never developed in the first place, much less implemented and allowed to impact the care that we provide for America’s seniors.”


  1. Good work never stops .

  2. This was a huge victory for the profession and a great teamwork between the AOA DC office and the affected affiliates. We need all affiliates and individual ODs to watch for activity like this in other MAC jurisdictions.

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