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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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What’s in it for me? What’s in it for you?

Posted By Chet Seward, Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Rebecca Braverman, MD, CSEPS AAO Councillor
“What’s in it for me?” was the answer I received when I asked a young physician if they were going to join their state ophthalmological society after graduation. I was shocked by the response. When I was a resident, everyone joined their state societies upon completing their training. Times have changed. Even the AMA struggles with declining membership. Personally, I am grateful for all the opportunities CSEPS has given me including support for participation in the AAO Leadership Development Program (LDP). I felt compelled to dedicate my LDP project to help CSEPS and to answer the question “what’s in it for other CSEPS members?” 

I worked closely with CSEPS leadership and Kupersmit Research to develop an online poll of Colorado ophthalmologists for use by CSEPS to improve our services and inform our strategic planning. Sixty-eight respondents completed the survey and the majority were active CSEPS members (90%). Nearly two-thirds of respondents felt CSEPS had a positive impact on the practice of medicine for ophthalmologists in Colorado. Respondents reported advocacy efforts at the state capital as the most valuable service offered by CSEPS. OMIC risk management discounts, education/communication about the changing healthcare environment and opportunities for social networking were also highly rated. Areas for improvement included interest in more social events, an increased online presence and more opportunities to participate in charitable eye care across Colorado. A summary memo detailing the results of the poll can be found here

So, “what’s in it for you?” as a CSEPS member? A lot!

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The power of one

Posted By Chet Seward, Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Niranjan Manoharan, MD
Numbers were running through my head as I walked through the security screen at the Russel Senate Office Building on the way to a meeting with Senator Corey Gardner. Well actually it was a number. I was one of 150 residents and fellows sponsored this year to participate in the AAO Advocacy Day and Mid-Year Forum in Washington, DC in April. I was one of just two residents from Colorado (my colleague Lacey Echalier, MD, joined us for the trip). I was one of the 10-member delegation from Colorado tasked with representing the interests of more than 200 practicing Colorado ophthalmologists. Finally, as a newly minted member of the AAO Advocacy Ambassador Program, I was now one of a growing number of ophthalmologists standing up for their profession. 
Suddenly being “one” seemed a bit nerve wracking.  

It was an eye-opening experience to realize that improving patient care goes beyond the clinic and operating room. But after I got started the nerves quickly went away and the fun began (check out the photos here). Colorado's advocacy representatives met with the offices of Sens. Corey Gardner and Michael Bennett, and Reps. Diana Degette and Jared Polis. We continually honed our talking points and by the last meeting I felt like I was part of well-trained team. The truth is that I was proud to do my singular part in a larger strategy. 

State societies and the AAO are fighting for multiple legislative issues to protect and/or improve patient care (i.e. access to compounded drugs, eye-related research funding, health care reform, etc.). Historically, ophthalmologists have lost some of these battles because legislators just had not heard the important and relevant perspective from the ophthalmologist and patient. That’s why every single visit, connection and relationship with federal and state legislators is important. 

One is a powerful number. Every ophthalmologist can play a role because we need increased advocacy and participation. The Advocacy Ambassador program enables young ophthalmologists to be aware of pressing issues and become involved early in their careers. I encourage all ophthalmologists to learn more about the advocacy process and current issues affecting ophthalmology via the AAO website or even participating in next year's AAO Advocacy Day and Mid-Year Forum.

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Rep. Diana DeGette honored for efforts to preserve access to quality medical eye care

Posted By Chet Seward, Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The American Academy of Ophthalmology recently honored Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette for her important efforts to advocate for enhancing and preserving access to quality eye care in the United States. Rep. DeGette is one of nine 2017 recipients of the Visionary Award for important efforts to advocate for enhancing and preserving access to quality eye care in the United States.

CSEPS leaders were on hand during the award presentation that occurred during the AAO Mid-year Forum. 


From left, CSEPS President Alan Kimura, MD, MPH, and CSEPS President-elect Leo Seibold, MD, share a laugh with Congresswoman DeGette during the Visionary Award ceremony.

Rep. DeGette was instrumental in a bicameral effort to prevent the implementation of a proposal that would have inadvertently jeopardized patients’ access to eye care treatment. Her leadership helped compel the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to reconsider adopting a flawed Medicare Part B drug demonstration as a way to curb rising health care costs. Like AAO, CSEPS is grateful for her leadership.

 

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Having trouble receiving Medicaid payments?

Posted By Chet Seward, Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Health First Colorado (Medicaid) has been live with their new claims processing system a few months now. While many practices are receiving payments, some are still experiencing problems with this vendor change. Health First has published a new known issues webpage so providers can check on the status of some of the widest spread known issues. You can also sign up for a weekly newsletter with information about interchange system updates, claims processing and other pertinent information.

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Get the business insights you need: Benchmark your practice with AAO

Posted By Chet Seward, Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Academy’s annual benchmarking tool provides valuable analytics that have helped ophthalmology practices increase revenue per encounter, justify new staff hires and much more. But to provide the same insights to practices like yours, we need more practices to participate. Participation is free, but you must gather and submit detailed practice information by June 15.

How to Benchmark Your Practice
Don’t miss your chance to gain these valuable insights on how your practice compares to others.

Questions?
C
ontact the AcadeMetrics support staff (academetrics@aao.org) or visit aao.org/academetricsfor more information.

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AAO 2017: Get ready

Posted By Chet Seward, Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Plan on joining your CSEPS colleagues at AAO 2017 in New Orleans. There will be new inspirations and new solutions. This is a must attend event so be sure to get signed up as soon as registration opens on June 28, 2017. Learn more here.

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Will taxes become more popular in Colorado?

Posted By Chris Howes, Wednesday, May 24, 2017
The Colorado General Assembly found a compromise on a number of topics during the 2017 session. The most notable being the Rubik’s Cube of transportation and hospital funding, known as the “Hospital Provider Fee.” At the beginning of the session, Republicans swore up and down they would stand for lower taxes and refuse moving this fee into an enterprise fund. By May 10, three Republican senators had changed their tunes and voted to fund rural hospitals in their districts with the Democrats’ plan. Will this every spill over into support for even more taxes in the future? Doubtful, but a scathing opinion piece from the executive director of the anti-tax Independence Institute makes for interesting reading on the topic.

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Open payments: Do you know what they report about you?

Posted By Chet Seward, Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Each spring, physicians have the opportunity to review the payments drug or device companies say they made to you in the prior year. If you think the data is incorrect, you can dispute it. 

The drug or medical device company that reported the payment then has 15 additional days after the 45-day review and dispute period to change, correct or validate the data. The data goes public on June 30. 

Check your data regularly. Data can be submitted from previous years. A drug or device company could be new to Open Payments and drug or device companies can always correct or remove records. Check your data annually, even if you are certain you did not receive payments the previous year—past years’ data could have been submitted. If you missed your chance to review the data before publication on June 30, you can still dispute records in the Open Payments system until December 31. Afterwards, the system will not allow you to dispute data.

Register for the open payments system here (get tips on how to register here). You may also download a handy one-page fact sheet here.

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What has CSEPS done for you lately? Find out

Posted By Chet Seward, Friday, March 24, 2017
Three months into the year CSEPS is hard at work pressing ophthalmology’s priorities. Twice a year CSEPS reports to the American Academy of Ophthalmology on recent efforts related to advocacy, membership, education and special initiatives. These semi-annual reports serve as a succinct information source for CSEPS members about current activities. Check out the March 2017 report and then let us know if you have any questions, would like to get involved with any of these initiatives or have ideas for future work that will bring even greater value for your CSEPS dues dollar.

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Codequest helps practices

Posted By Chet Seward, Friday, March 24, 2017
More than 60 ophthalmologists and their practice staff attended this year’s AAO Codequest conference in March. CSEPS is proud to partner with AAO each year to provide this valuable program that helps practices code with confidence, ease and precision. Thanks to AAO’s Joy Woodke for her expert presentation and all those practice managers, billers and eyeMDs that attended this year’s conference.
 
Colorado eyeMD practice leaders hear about the latest coding changes. 

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