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SlitLamp provides illuminating e-news for Colorado ophthalmologists. It keeps you in the know on the evolving Colorado health care scene by detailing the latest legislative and regulatory happenings. It also spotlights the information and resources you need for your practice.

 

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Executive director's update: Try something

Posted By Chet Seward, Wednesday, February 7, 2018

As I think about a new initiative that CSEPS is launching I am reminded of a recent “talk” that I had with one of my teenagers. Perhaps you have had comparable conversations. After going around and around with my son, things ended with the predictable, yet still boneheaded, paternal declaration, “Just do it.” If you’ve let slip similar statements, then odds are you too have experienced the unflinching, unfailing, trademark-teenage no that I did that day. 

What I should have said is give it a try and if you don’t like it then try something else.

That is exactly what CSEPS is doing today with the launch of the CSEPS Clinical Trials Community. We are trying something new. As a CSEPS member we know that you turn to us for advocacy at the state capitol, insightful information and fun, creative ways to connect and engage with your colleagues. A few days ago a CSEPS member called and wanted to share information about one of his practice’s clinical trials. As we talked further, it became clear that many ophthalmologists are right in the middle of cutting edge research and that sharing this information across the state in an easy, user-friendly way would benefit patients and the profession. Consider this your invitation to learn what trials are occurring in practices around the state and share information on some of the latest clinical innovation work at your practice. The CSEPS Clinical Trials Community is an online feature of CSEPS.org and is available exclusively to CSEPS members. Click here to learn more and to sign up to share about your work.

At CSEPS we are not afraid to try something new. Sometimes it works and sometimes it leads to other things. I’m excited about this new initiative and I hope that you will find it useful. I’m also grateful for my teenage son for reminding me to be curious. As a learning organization, just trying something is one of the best ways to stay connected to you, our member, and learn more about how we serve your professional needs better. Let me know what you think about the CSEPS Clinical Trials Community.

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Save the date - AAO President Keith Carter, MD, to present to CSEPS

Posted By Chet Seward, Wednesday, February 7, 2018

AAO President Keith Carter, MD

CSEPS is proud to announce that American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) President Keith Carter, MD, will present to Colorado ophthalmologists during a special CSEPS evening meeting on Monday, May 21, 2018. Don't miss this opportunity to learn about some of the latest news affecting ophthalmology, in addition to getting timely updates about AAO priorities and initiatives. When is the last time you got to share some good food and conversation with the president of AAO? Here's your chance. Location and registration information will be available soon. In the meantime, please mark your calendars and plan on attending.

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Register for Codequest in Colorado

Posted By Chet Seward, Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Get expert instruction from the recognized leader of ophthalmic coding at the American Academy of Ophthalmology Codequest™ 2018 course, presented with CSEPS on Saturday, April 28 in Denver. Stay up to date on changing regulations, get strategies for maintaining compliance with federal and commercial payers' rules and learn the latest tactics to maximize your reimbursements appropriately. 

This all-new four-hour program covers state-specific information relevant to practices of all sizes: 

  • Avoid costly mistakes that trigger audits in evolving health care markets
  • Audit-proof your documentation with our new payer-specific checklists for top surgical procedures 
  • Ensure your practice gets paid for newly covered procedures and devices
  • Telemedicine: Learn what to consider before you participate, including risk management coverage issues
  • Blepharoplasty: Get expert guidance on how to correctly bill cosmetic vs. functional procedures under new requirements
  • Review requirements for mastering modifiers

Registration prices have been reduced and you can get the best rate if you act now with the early bird discount. Register today.

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Medicaid fee schedule posted and payment issue resources

Posted By Chet Seward, Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Health First Colorado (Medicaid) recently posted an updated version of the program’s fee schedule. If you treat Medicaid patients, then make sure that your practice knows about the latest fees. TheJuly 2017 Fee Schedule Data File (1/18)and theJuly 2017 Fee Schedule Instructions (1/18)have been posted to the Provider Rates & Fee Schedule web page.

Some ophthalmology practices continue to face problems getting paid by Medicaid given the system’s conversion to a new payment processing system last year. CSEPS continues to share problems that members have raised with this conversion process. Click here to view the latest know issues and associated work around solutions regarding the Medicaid conversion process.

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OMIC presentation focuses on EHR liability

Posted By Chet Seward, Wednesday, February 7, 2018


Love them or hate them, electronic medical records (EHR) are here to stay and they pose specific risks for ophthalmology practices that must be understood and managed. Thanks to the ongoing, strong partnership between OMIC and CSEPS, on January 31 over 20 ophthalmologists from around the state heard from EHR expert and OMIC risk manager Michelle Pineda, MBA. The program was held in-person and virtually via video conference so that members from around the state could participate. Click here to view the presentation slides.

Michelle Pineda explains some of the risks and benefits of electronic health records.

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Visions of Love Anchor Center event

Posted By Chet Seward, Wednesday, February 7, 2018

You are invited to attend and support the 8th Annual Visions of Love benefitting Anchor Center for Blind Children Ages 1-5 on February 9, 2018, from 6:00-9:00 pm. Plan on attending to enjoy a beautiful evening thanks to this year’s theme - Passport to Wines of the World. Take a tour of wines from around the world, paired with sweet and savory delights in this unique learning facility. 

Anchor Center for Blind Children specializes in serving children during the most formative years of their lives, birth to age five, who are blind, have serious visual impairments, or have dual sensory (i.e. visual and auditory) impairments. With 35 years of service, Anchor Center has helped thousands of children reach critical early childhood milestones, very often catching up to the developmental milestones of their peers. Equally as important, Anchor Center has helped thousands of parents, grandparents and families gain knowledge, skills and confidence to support and nurture their child’s life of exploration and education.

Get more information and your tickets here. If you unable to come to the event, then please consider making a donation of any amount here.

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Executive director's update: Forward

Posted By Chet Seward, Monday, December 11, 2017

At this time of year, I enjoy looking back on the things I have done and learned over the past 12 months. Thinking back on the year’s adventures prompts many an ear-to-ear grin. Sometimes it is not all laughs, because if you’re like me it can devolve into a laundry list of “things yet to be done.” But I guess that is the spirit of work because we are never done. As Dr. Kimura has taught me this year it is the cadence, discipline and ultimately the intent of that work that lead to purpose.

So as 2017 comes to a close I am grateful for our collective, CSEPS purpose. I am grateful for your individual participation. And I am proud of never being done. CSEPS continues to move forward in championing the priorities of Colorado ophthalmologists and the patients they serve.

Here’s to the joy in that work of moving forward. I hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday season. Onward to 2018!

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Rep. Buckner experiences a day in the life of an eye surgeon

Posted By Chet Seward, Monday, December 11, 2017

Dennis O'Connell, DO, and Rep. Janet Buckner (Aurora)

Rep. Janet Buckner (D-Aurora) has a history and a future in health care. Before starting her service in the Colorado House of Representatives, she had a long career in medical sales. As a member of the House Health, Insurance and Environment Committee, she is helping to set the future of health policy in Colorado. Even with her past professional experience and current policy expertise, Rep. Buckner had an “eye-opening” experience in late October when she shadowed Aurora retina surgeon Dennis O’Connell for a morning in the operating room. Dr. O’Connell expertly performed a pars plana vitrectomy with peeling of internal limiting membrane and then a pars plana vitrectomy with pars plana lensectomy. 

Setting public policy is important, complex work. Making sure that policymakers understand the operating-room context of their decisions is one of the objectives of the CSEPS (i)mmersion Day. The project partners legislative leaders, like Rep. Buckner, with practicing ophthalmologists to get a first-hand look at the passion, innovation and impact that eye physicians and surgeons have with their patients. It also helps to build lasting relationships, as witnessed by the end of this visit when Rep. Buckner and Dr. O’Connell were swapping lists of favorite current movies. Check out more photos from the day here. If you are you interested in hosting a legislator at your practice then please contact Chet Seward in the CSEPS offices. Thank you Rep. Buckner for your time, your interest in the practice of ophthalmology and your leadership.

Rep. Buckner and Dr. O'Connell debrief between surgeries. Dr. O'Connell performs surgery.

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Health care transparency: Physicians must post their prices starting in 2018

Posted By Chet Seward, Monday, December 11, 2017
Physicians must post their prices for at least the fifteen most common health care services provided beginning January 1, 2018, because of a 2017 law passed by the Colorado legislature. The Transparency in Health Care Prices Act (CRS 25-49-103) requires providers to conspicuously posting these prices, which are defined as the price before negotiating any discounts. These prices must include both a plain English description, along with the relevant CPT code, and must be updated annually. In addition, a disclosure has to be included that explains that the prices for services are estimates and that actual charges for services are dependent on the specific circumstances related to care delivered. Check out a fact sheet on the new bill from the Colorado Medical Society. Don’t miss the deadline. Make sure to have your list of your top 15 services ready by the start of the new year.

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Former Congressman Tom Tancredo and AG Cynthia Coffman join race for Governor, Brauchler pivots to pursue Attorney General seat

Posted By Chris Howes, Monday, December 11, 2017

Attorney General Cynthia Coffman

Conservative Tom Tancredo scared the heck out of all the other Republicans running for governor by announcing his candidacy on Halloween. Tancredo has served in the Colorado State House and as Colorado’s representative from the 6th congressional district from 1999-2009. He ran unsuccessfully for governor back in 2010 and then again in 2014. He actually even made a short-lived run for US President in 2007. Just a week later and after months of conjecture, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman threw her hat in the ring too, but many observers wonder if her campaign has been very effective in November. 

Candidate George Brauchler saw the writing on the wall in the crowded field for governor, and within a week had changed his plans over to running for the now vacant attorney general seat. If you think this is confusing, just remember we still have a full eleven months to go before voting begins! 

As for the Democrats, Congressman Jared Polis is getting the most Colorado media coverage and can easily self-fund his campaign due to his formidable personal net worth. Lieutenant Governor Donna Lynne is also in the race and looking for support from the pro-business Democrats in Denver who have supported her current boss, Governor John Hickenlooper. Her call earlier this week for universal healthcare may not do much to help in that effort. Recent commentary surrounding the Lynne campaign is that her message will essentially be: Stay the current course set by Hickenlooper. 

Have a very merry holiday season everyone!

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