Archive for the ‘From the AOA’ Category

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Former AOA-PAC director Brazil remembered

November 22, 2013
Former longtime AOA PAC Director Noel Brazil passed away in October after a short battle with cancer.

Former longtime AOA PAC Director Noel Brazil passed away in October after a short battle with cancer.

Former AOA PAC Director Noel Brazil passed away in October after a short battle with cancer.

Brazil worked for optometry and the AOA for more than 30 years. After retiring, she became a certified tour guide of Washington, D.C. She recently fulfilled a lifelong dream of living and working in New York City.

“Optometry has been blessed over the years to have long-term staff people who believed in the profession and had ‘optometry in their blood,’” said Darlene Eakin, executive director of the Kentucky Optometric Association. “Noel Brazil exemplified the dedicated professionals who devote their entire careers to optometry. She was loyal to the profession and all the friends she made throughout her time with AOA. Upon her retirement, her contributions were recognized by optometrists from all over the country. She was a positive face for optometry in D.C., known and respected by members of Congress and many others. As a person, she was a true friend that you could count on to be there. She will be missed.” Read the rest of this entry ?

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AOA to introduce newsmagazine as part of communications update

November 15, 2013

The AOA News is wrapping up its 50th year of publication in 2013 with this commemorative anniversary issue. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Optometrists can avoid PQRS pay penalties by reporting quality measures for diabetes

November 14, 2013
Optometrists who participate in the Medicare Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) during 2013 will avoid payment penalties in 2015. Fortunately, participating is easier than many practitioners think. See what Rebecca Wartman, O.D., of the AOA Federal Relations Committee, has to say at http://bit.ly/14LrPw4.

Optometrists who participate in the Medicare Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) during 2013 will avoid payment penalties in 2015. Fortunately, participating is easier than many practitioners think. See what Rebecca Wartman, O.D., of the AOA Federal Relations Committee, has to say at http://bit.ly/14LrPw4.

Any optometrist who sees a Medicare patient with diabetes during the remainder of 2013 can still avoid having Medicare reimbursements docked 0.5 percent in 2015 under the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS). All that is necessary is “a good-faith effort” to provide quality patient care by taking the measures encouraged under the program, such as dilated eye examinations for patients with diabetes.

Medicare has indicated a good-faith effort can mean as little as providing PQRS quality of care measures to a single appropriate patient over the course of a year. So all practitioners need to do is use the PQRS codes once – on one claim for one patient – during 2013 to avoid the PQRS payment penalty in 2015.

“Although, with Medicare planning to increase its quality reporting requirements over coming years, practitioners have reason to make a real effort to use PQRS codes on a regular basis,” said Rebecca Wartman, O.D., AOA Third Party Center Executive Committee member. “By doing so, practitioners could not only avoid the coming PQRS payment penalty but quite possible still earn a PQRS bonus this year.” Read the rest of this entry ?

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Comment period open for first ‘evidence-based’ guideline on diabetes

November 12, 2013

diabetesThe first AOA evidence-based guideline, on “Eye Care of the Patient with Diabetes Mellitus” is posted for review by practicing optometrists and the general public at www.aoa.org/ebgreview. The AOA Evidence-Based Optometry Committee developed the first guideline to help optometrists meet strict new government standards for evidence-based health care. Read the rest of this entry ?

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AOA members: Prepare now to enroll staff in newly formed Paraoptometric Resource Center

November 12, 2013

With potentially thousands of AOA OD members enrolling their staff later this year for the Jan. 1 launch of the new Paraoptometric Resource Center, the AOA Paraoptometric Section encourages all AOA OD members to go through the following checklist now. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Reflections on 50 years of the AOA News

November 7, 2013

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of AOA News, several optometrists and historians offered comments and shared their personal reflections of what the publication means to them. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Be aware of possible antitrust violations when discussing third-party issues

October 24, 2013

Health care is becoming increasingly controversial, and nowhere more than among health care practitioners themselves. With changing marketing conditions and the federal Affordable Care Act spurring change, health plan provider agreements, fee schedules, and other aspects of third-party reimbursement are topics of interest for practitioners – including optometrists. Read the rest of this entry ?