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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: Putting the work in

Posted By Chet Seward, Thursday, February 7, 2019

Chet Seward,
Executive Director
Growing up my dad’s interpretation of a great weekend was to order dump truck loads of fill dirt and bedrock so that we could all have “some fun” building new garden planters. As a northern Illinois family physician who wasn't beyond making a house call for busy farmer patients during the corn harvest, Dad wasn’t afraid to work hard. Rather than spending carefree Saturdays riding dirt bikes, my teenage brother and I served as free labor and became great friends with shovels, wheelbarrows and blisters. 

At CSEPS we know that one of the primary jobs you “hire” us to do is to advocate for your priorities and those of your patients at the state capitol. We have an incredible team of eyeMD leaders and outstanding lobbyists that work hard for you under the gold dome. It is important to remember that the power of their public affairs punch is dependent upon you. We need your help, especially this year given the activist nature of the legislature and the keen interest to address pressing health care problems. Get plugged into our advocacy activities, respond promptly to legislative alerts, invite a legislator to visit you at your practice to see a surgery, donate to Colorado EYEPAC and the AAO Surgical Scope Fund, and plan on attending the upcoming legislative reception. It will be time well spent.

I can only imagine the brother bellyaching that my father endured at the time, but as I look back now I have fond memories of being out in the yard with him. Yes it was hard, but there was also joy and purpose in the work. The same is true today with the CSEPS mission. Join us in the work ahead – blisters not included.

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Wyoming optometric scope of practice

Posted By Chet Seward, Thursday, February 7, 2019
Legislation in Wyoming to expand the scope of practice of optometrists has cleared the senate and is now in the house awaiting further action. As reported by the Casper Star Tribune, the bill would allow optometrists to perform certain “noninvasive” procedures, enable optometrists to perform certain surgeries and make important changes to optometry board oversight functions. According to AAO the bill would “amend optometrists’ scope of practice to include surgery using lasers and scalpels. It is similar to legislation that was introduced in states like North Carolina. It represents an optometric scope of practice expansion on the same level as what was enacted in Oklahoma, Kentucky and Louisiana.”

CSEPS respects and appreciates the important role that optometrists play on the eye care team. CSEPS is also resolute in the belief that surgery must be done by surgeons. Further action on the Wyoming bill will be carefully monitored.

If you would like to learn more about the bill, then visit the Safe Surgery Wyoming site and consider liking the page on Facebook.

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Coding doesn’t get easier. So professionals get better.

Posted By Chet Seward, Thursday, February 7, 2019


Level up at American Academy of Ophthalmology Codequest™ 2019

Join the most knowledgeable coding experts in ophthalmology for a half-day of professional education and training session on March 9, 2019, in Denver. We’ll steer you through regulatory roadblocks and the complex maze of federal and commercial payers’ rules, arriving at solutions for appropriately maximizing all your reimbursements.

Developed by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and presented in partnership with CSEPS, Codequest provides unparalleled instruction relevant to all practice sizes, and each session includes valuable information specific to your region.

Codequest’s all-new 2019 program will help you understand:

  • The most important updates of CPT, ICD-10, HCPCS, CCI, MUE, LCDs and payment changes for 2019
  • Imminent changes to E/M codes and extended/subsequent ophthalmoscopy
  • Up-to-date documentation rules for exams, tests, minor and major surgeries 
  • How to select the correct modifier for every situation. Learn how to avoid the common modifier mistakes that cause practices to lose thousands of dollars each year. 
  • How to resolve claim denials: identify the cause and implement solutions
  • Informed recommendations for coding and billing success (e.g. prior authorization, MIGS coverage, vial drug administration and more)

Codequest is the only place you’ll find these best-practice tips: 

  • 30+ recommendations from successful practices
  • Prior authorization checklist – what is your form missing?
  • How to code from an operative report
  • MIGS:  What’s covered, what’s not
  • Calculations for multidose vial drug administration
  • Exam and testing coverage and frequency for patients on high-risk medication
  • Billing for two surgeons in the same operative session 

Avoid late registration fees. Get more information and register now.

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Mark your calendar for April 4, 2019: CSEPS legislative reception

Posted By Chet Seward, Thursday, February 7, 2019


Make time to attend this free event and make an impact on the future of ophthalmology. With a push of a button to vote on a bill state legislators can radically change where and how you can practice ophthalmology. Look no further than the optometric scope of practice battles in Wyoming and Utah, or current trial lawyer attempts to destabilize the medical liability climate in Colorado, and you will understand the importance of having strong relationships with legislators. 

 

Join CSEPS and your colleagues at the annual legislative reception to meet your legislators, learn more about how public policy is affecting your practice and your patients, and build lasting relationships with policymakers. Consider it an investment on behalf of your patients, your practice and your profession. Register now.

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Election results

Posted By Chet Seward, Thursday, February 7, 2019
After a statewide nomination process and subsequent election, Rebecca Braverman, MD, has been chosen as president-elect of CSEPS. An actively practicing pediatric ophthalmologist and strabismus surgeon in Denver, Dr. Braverman joins a highly capable and creative crew of eyeMD leaders helping to guide CSEPS into the future. 

During that same member-wide election two new members were added to the CSEPS board of directors. Karl Olsen, MD, hails from Ft. Collins and is part of a busy practice where he specializes in cataract/anterior segment and comprehensive ophthalmology. He will serve as an at-large member of the board. Lacey Echalier, MD, is the first resident/fellow member of the CSEPS board of directors. Dr. Echalier brings an invaluable perspective to this new position on as an oculo-plastic fellow at the University of Colorado.

Congratulations and thank you for your leadership Drs. Braverman, Olsen and Echalier!

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OMIC meeting recap

Posted By Chet Seward, Thursday, February 7, 2019
With this year’s Super Bowl turning out to be a defensive slugfest, the OMIC risk management seminar held on January 28 featured seemingly prescient title – Don’t drop the ball: Diagnostic deficiency disasters. Presented by OMIC committee member and CSEPS past president Rob Fante, MD, the program was a big hit for the almost 25 ophthalmologists that attended. It offered a chance to catch up with colleagues and learn more about how to avoid the most expensive category of malpractice claims – failure to diagnosis and delay in diagnosis. 

A big thank you goes out to all those that attended, Rob Fante, MD, for an engaging presentation, and to our great friends at OMIC for their partnership.

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Executive Director's Update: Checking the Lists

Posted By Chet Seward, Friday, November 30, 2018

Chet Seward,
Executive Director

As the end of the year rapidly approaches I have been checking my lists. Not the jolly-guy-in-a-red-suit type – I have been focused on the the list of things CSEPS has accomplished this year. It's  a long one. Highlights include:

  • Our membership numbers continue to be strong; 
  • Successful education events included one on risk management featuring OMIC, AAO President Keith Carter on the future of ophthalmology, Codequest, and an employment law seminar for young ophthalmologists; 
  • We sent another big contingent to DC to lobby for eyeMD priorities, had two more state legislators witness eye surgeries and see first-hand the intensity and skill of your profession, and held an incredibly well-attended inaugural legislative reception. 
  • Our advocacy work paid off as no eye care scope of practice expansions occurred and we made some other important progress on payer issues and the opioid crisis; 
  • It wasn't all work, as social mixers at TopGolf and with Colorado optometrists featured heaping helpings of laughter and camaraderie. 

None of this would have been possible without an incredible team. That "You Rock!" list starts first with you as a member of CSEPS. Thank you for your membership and for stepping up again to lead and serve in 2018 by answering legislative calls to action, attending CSEPS events, interviewing legislators, donating to EYEPAC, and last but certainly not least providing world-class eye care to patients every day. Special recognitions must also be made. My sincere thanks goes out to AAO and all of the ophthalmologists and staff of the Secretariat for State Affairs who are invaluable partners. Big thanks goes out to the CSEPS Legislative Committee who sifted through way too many bills over countless hours, and to our fierce and tireless lobbyists Chris and Angie Howes. I am grateful to all of the members of the CSEPS board of directors for your steady and strategic leadership. Special thanks for their service on the board as their terms end go out to Drs. Anjali Sheth, Brad Gustave and the irreplaceable Alan Kimura. Last but not least, I must share a heartfelt thank you to President Leo Seibold, MD, who is an embodiment of what it means to be a servant leader. 

 

Here's hoping that your end of year lists are similarly long, accomplished and grateful. Thank you for your membership. Happy holidays!

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Political forecast: 2019

Posted By Chris Howes, Friday, November 30, 2018

The results for Republicans on election night were not very pretty. The final tally in the Senate was: 19 Democrat seats to 16 Republicans seats. Veteran lawmaker (and veteran US Marine) Leroy Garcia was elected by his caucus to serve as Senate President. Boulder senator Steve Fenberg will serve as Majority Leader.

Speaker-elect KC Becker

Over in the House, the news was even better for Democrats, as they picked up 5 new seats, bringing the final tally to 41 Democrat seats to 25 Republican seats. A record-setting 25 of those 41 D seats are now held by women. All of those results assisted KC Becker in being elected as the next Colorado Speaker of the House. Alec Garnett of Denver will take over as the new Majority Leader.

We expect committees in both chambers to be chosen by leadership any day now. The huge difference in the House next year will be Democrats enjoying a TWO vote margin on most, if not all, committees. This will be a really big change for the vote-counters in the lobby.

The Democrats have announced that all the bills passed in 2018 in the Dem-controlled House that were killed by Republicans in the Senate will be coming back for a second, and no doubt successful run in 2019. With few exceptions, Republicans will have little chance to stop their legislative agenda now. There has been some scuttlebutt in the lobby about how Democrats have learned their lesson from their legislative excesses in 2014 when they won the battle over bills, but then promptly lost the war and control of the entire Senate chamber, so we will reserve judgement on how fast they will come charging out of the gate. We can sensibly expect many in their caucus to believe that their election night rout gives them a fresh mandate to govern on the issues they so passionately campaigned on.

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Work plan 2019

Posted By Chris Howes, Friday, November 30, 2018
Governor-elect Jared Polis

There is a new sheriff in town now, with brand new ideas on how government should function and a completely different style and background from Governor Hickenlooper. We will be setting meetings with members of the new Polis administration as soon as they get settled in their new offices. In those meetings with the administration and members of the new leadership teams in the House and Senate, we will reinforce ourlegislative agenda with them, but we will also have a number of questions to pose: Is the idea of a ColoradoCare program coming back any time soon and should our members prepare for the idea of single payer health care? What is the impact on your election to employers looking to fully staff successful businesses in an era of record-low unemployment?

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Conversations, connections and fun: CSEPS/COA social mixer

Posted By Chet Seward, Friday, November 30, 2018

The tradition of breaking bread, sharing a drink and enjoying meaningful connections between ophthalmologists and optometrists continued in November. CSEPS and the Colorado Optometric Association (COA) once again co-hosted a no-agenda social mixer. The fun and funky location at Death & Company set the stage for a great evening. Thanks to all those that attended. If you missed it, then make a note now to make the next one. 

CSEPS President Leo Seibold, MD, (l) and President-elect Chris Thiagarajah, MD, (r) flank COA President Jon Pederson. OD. Chet Roe, MD, Jesse Smith, MD, and Marc Mathias, MD, are nothing but smiles.

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