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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: Your voice in action

Posted By Chet Seward, Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Chet Seward,
Executive Director


During dinner parties I like it when I get the invariable question, “What’s new at work?” Now you might be thinking that I like getting the chance to geek out on the latest in health policy (my wife likely would agree with you). But the fact is that despite how confounding health care is today, almost everyone has a story about trouble with or the importance of vision. So, I get to relate the latest CSEPS work to those stories and today’s challenging policy concepts come to life.

That type of storytelling has been a powerful part of CSEPS advocacy on your behalf this year on topics ranging from protecting peer review and the state’s stable liability climate, to health plan over-reach, to prescription drug costs. The annual legislative reception earlier this month was rife with storytelling as ophthalmologists from around the state connected with policymakers and their staff on your priorities. The same was true at the AAO Mid-Year Forum (MYF) where Colorado eyeMDs took to Capitol Hill on your behalf. 

Whether you attended MYF or our legislative reception, CSEPS is your voice in action. We are your professional advocates championing world-class physician and surgeon eyecare in Denver, DC and even at dinner parties. Thank you for being a member. Pass the potatoes.

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CSEPS 2019 legislative reception

Posted By Chet Seward, Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Ophthalmologists from across Colorado converged at the University Club, just two blocks from the state capitol, on April 4 for the annual legislative reception. The event provided an opportunity to connect with Colorado legislators and their aides on issues that are critically important to the profession. It also offered a chance to share some stories and a few laughs, as well as build lasting relationships. Key policy priorities included protecting vision by ensuring that surgery is only done by surgeons, preserving peer review protections, fighting attempts to increase the non-economic damage caps, ensuring appropriate health plan provider networks, and reducing prior authorization burdens. Check out some of the pictures from the event here.

It wasn’t all socializing and policy problem solving. Thanks to the work of CSEPS Past-president Leo Seibold, MD, and residents and fellows at the University of Colorado, a video of common eye surgeries was shown. In addition, thanks to friends at Zeiss, an OCT machine was on-hand to provide eye scans for legislators. The video and the scans helped to underscore the complexity, delicacy and importance of vision, proper prevention, the need for skilled eye physicians and surgeons. 

A thank you goes out to all of our members that made time to invest in their future and the future of eye care in Colorado by attending this event.

Leo Seibold, MD, explains results from an imaging exam. From left Drs. Eric Williams, Ron Pelton, Rob Fante, Vivek Koduri and Austin Rohl made time to attend.
Sen. Paul Lundeen hears about the importance of surgery being done by surgeons from Robert Fante, MD, and Lyrssa Dragan, MD. From left, Drs. Taylor Slingsby, Eric Weldy, Garrison Weir and Cullen Ryburn enjoy a little time together.

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DC advocacy makes a difference

Posted By Chet Seward, Wednesday, May 15, 2019
https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.cseps.org/resource/resmgr/media/myf2019movie2.mp4


Another strong contingent of Colorado ophthalmologists made the trek to DC to participate in the AAO Mid-Year Forum (MYF) on April 10-13. The trip included visits with the Colorado congressional delegation to champion eyecare priorities. Key topics included streamlining and standardizing prior authorization requirements in Medicare Advantage programs, urging more generic drug competition and a better supply of critical ophthalmic medicines, opposing STEP therapy requirements that usurp physician-patient relationships and clinical judgement, and calling for continued vision research funding. 

CSEPS thanks Drs. Leo Seibold, Alan Kimura, David Johnson, Prem Surbramanian, Rebecca Braverman and soon-to-be-Coloradan Roman Krivochenitser for expertly representing the state’s patients and the eye physicians and surgeons that serve them. Big thanks also goes out to Colorado residents Tori Miller, MD, and Eric Williams, MD, who were AAO Advocacy Ambassadors. 

Have you ever wondered why busy ophthalmologists make time for these critical advocacy trips? Get inspired to get involved and attend the next Mid-year Forum by watching a video of Drs. Krivochenitser, Seibold and Williams. See other pictures from the trip here.

















(Top left) From left Leo Seibold, MD, Eric Williams, MD, Tori Miller, MD, Roman Krivochenitser, MD, Alan Kimura, MD, MPH, David Johnson, MD, Chet Seward, Prem Subramanian, MD, and Rebecca Braverman, MD, enjoy a little springtime advocacy.

(Top right) Eye surgeon leaders Drs. Roman Krivochenitser, Leo Seibold and Eric Williams.

(Bottom left) Charging on – Drs. Kimura, Johnson, Seibold, Subramanian and Williams after a meeting at Sen. Bennett’s office.

(Bottom right) AAO Advocacy Ambassadors Eric Williams, MD, and Tori Miller, MD.




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Check out your MIPS scores on Physician Compare

Posted By Chet Seward, Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Your patients are watching. As demand for more transparency in health care increases you should be aware of what your patients see about you. Scores for the 2017 Merit-Based Incentive Payment System are now available for download from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Physician Compare database. Act now to take advantage of the preview period which ends on April 27. The American Academy of Ophthalmology and CSEPS recommend that you prepare you for that a patient might have regarding your performance. Download your 2017 performance results.

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Codequest 2019 in the books

Posted By Chet Seward, Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Thanks to all those that turned out for the latest installment of cutting-edge ophthalmology coding education at the AAO Codequest conference on March 9 in Denver. Almost 60 physicians, practice managers and coding specialists from across the state learned how to avoid the latest regulatory roadblocks and the complex maze of federal and commercial payers’ rules to help maximize reimbursements appropriately. CSEPS extends a hearty thank you to AAO for once again partnering to bring this important program to Colorado.

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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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