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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: How's That VUCA?

Posted By Chet Seward, Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Chet Seward,
Executive director

I love words. They have the power to spark ideas and tap into our innate desire as humans to connect, be understood and grow as part of something bigger than ourselves. That love includes a respect for acronyms. Luckily, health care is a rich environment for acronym appreciation. I came across a string of capital letters the other day that got me thinking about the current state of things and what it means to you as a member of CSEPS. 

The acronym is VUCA. No, it isn’t short for the latest, cutting-edge retinal laser or a trendy, hipster-tequila cocktail. VUCA stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. In the late 1980s the US Army War College helped to raise VUCA’s popularity as military leaders sought to make sense of the post-Cold War world. On many levels VUCA seems to summarize the health care system today. Whether it is the continual stream of practice-paralyzing policy changes by public and private payers, constant threats to viability given changing payment formulas, demands for greater price and quality transparency, time constraints, or lurking specters of liability lawsuits, it is a VUCA world out there. 

There are also a lot of good things out there. Friends, family and a dynamic ophthalmology community can help make the difference. So can CSEPS. As a member you already know that we give you the information you need to help make sense of health care VUCA. When things are in flux, we fight for your priorities at the state capitol and beyond. We also offer opportunities to connect with colleagues and continue to grow the Colorado ophthalmology community. Change is ever-present. CSEPS is a constant for you and your patients.

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Legislator House Call

Posted By Chet Seward, Tuesday, August 14, 2018

From left, Dean Carlson, MD, Rep. Larry Liston and Ron Pelton, MD, PhD

State legislators work through hundreds of bills, covering thousands of topics each legislative session. Sometimes it can be hard to prioritize key issues. For several years CSEPS members have helped legislators understand the importance of surgery only being done by surgeons by offering the chance to witness a surgery. In July, Rep. Larry Liston from district 16 in El Paso, spent some time with Ron Pelton, MD, PhD, and Dean Carlson, MD, to get an up close look at the intensity, intricacy and complexity of eye surgery. The visit was illuminating. 

CSEPS is grateful to Rep. Liston for his time and legislative leadership. A big thank you also goes out to Drs. Pelton and Carlson, along with their clinical teams, for hosting Rep. Liston. If you would like to connect with your legislator and share a little day-in-the-life of an eye surgeon, then please contact Chet in the CSEPS offices to coordinate.

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Summer Social Success

Posted By Chet Seward, Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Thank you for all those that turned out for the CSEPS summer social at Topgolf on July 19. Topgolf provided a perfect setting to enjoy good food and drink, catch up with friends, share a few stories, and enjoy hearty laughter at some good and some bad golf shots. CSEPS offers up these types of events throughout the year, so take advantage of our next social event to break away from the grind.


CSEPS President Leo Seibold, MD, fires up a shot. From left, Chet Seward, Leo Seibold, MD, Jesse Smith, MD, Marc Mathias, MD, and Michael Taravella, MD, are all smiles at Topgolf.

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AAO action request: Document postoperative visits

Posted By Chet Seward, Tuesday, August 14, 2018
The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) encourages all ophthalmologists to document postoperative visits each time with CPT code 99024. This is a crucial step to the valuation of ophthalmic surgical codes.

Background
A year ago, AAO worked together to alert ophthalmologists about required postoperative data under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015. In the 2019 proposed Physician Fee Schedule rule, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provided AAO with some interim results of that effort but reminded AAO that the data collection continues. The good news is that CMS has not proposed to implement any payment changes for January 1, 2019 based on the data collected so far giving us a chance to improve responses.
As you recall, the 2015 law barred the CMS from eliminating 10- and 90-day global surgical payments, which the agency deemed misvalued due to studies that showed that some surgeons were not providing the "built in" postoperative visits. Instead, the law authorized CMS to collect data on such services to review the valuation of surgical services from a representative sample of physicians. That is why it is essential that you document these postoperative visits as data collection continues. 

Initial data collection outcomes
Ophthalmology's overall participation rate was significantly higher than the very low 45% average during the first six months of data collection, but some providers are not documenting even a single postoperative visit. Having the best possible estimate of the number of postoperative visits is crucial to support the valuation of our surgical codes. Please document these postoperative visits each time with CPT code 99024.

Tags:  practice management 

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Colorado EyeMDs Take to D.C.

Posted By Chet Seward, Friday, June 8, 2018


A contingent of Colorado ophthalmology leaders recently trekked to the nation's capitol to advocate for pressing priorities, while championing the importance of quality, safe eye care. The group met with members of the Colorado Congressional delegation as part of hill visits coordinated by the American Academy of Ophthalmology during the Mid-year Forum. 

CSEPS thanks the following physician leaders that took time away from their practices and their personal lives to make the trip and make a stand for Colorado ophthalmology: Drs. Rebecca Braverman, Robert Fante, David Johnson, Ron Pelton, Cullen Ryburn, Leonard Seibold, Erin Seick, Prem Subramanian and Michael Wildes. 

Check out  more photos  from the trip.

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Executive director's update: Showing up

Posted By Chet Seward, Friday, June 8, 2018

Chet Seward,
Executive director

Thanks for making it.

 

 

That one-liner isn’t just a cheeky nod of gratitude for reading through the entire newsletter to get to my article. It’s also about being a member of CSEPS – for making and maintaining the commitment to your profession in Colorado. 

 

 

It has been said that the first rule of leadership is showing up. That’s what you do every day in clinic or in the OR with your patients. And that is what we do at CSEPS on behalf of Colorado ophthalmology. We show up and live out the CSEPS mission to promote excellence in patient care through advocacy, education and fostering professional fellowship. CSEPS is the only organization in the state dedicated solely to the needs of ophthalmologists and the patients you serve. Your participation in CSEPS is critical.

 

Showing up is the first rule and the first step. I ask that you keep showing up and continue to make CSEPS a priority by attending our meetings, donating to EYEPACand our small donor committeeto fuel our advocacy efforts, and answering our calls to action. CSEPS is a leading organization because of you. 

I will end where I began. Thanks for showing up. Please keep doing it.

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Opioid prescription fill limit bill signed into law

Posted By Chet Seward, Friday, June 8, 2018
As an ophthalmologist odds are that you do not prescribe many opioids to patients for patient. Odds are high that you also are aware of the continuing crisis that Colorado is facing with the opioid epidemic. While recent reports show that Colorado opioid prescriptions are declining, other data indicate that illicit opioid deaths continue to increase. Peer reviewed literature clearly show that one of the leading causes of addiction is via prescription opioids. 

The Colorado legislature recently passed a suite of bills to help reverse the crisis, one of which (SB18-022) instituted prescription limits for acute pain. CSEPS supported this bill. The bill immediately became effective once Governor Hickenlooper signed it into law on May 21. That means that as a prescriber you need to know that, among other things, you must limit a patient’s initial opioid prescription for acute pain to a seven-day supply. There are other conditions and exceptions to the bill. Treating your patient’s pain appropriately is paramount and so is combatting this public health crisis. Be sure you are aware of the details surrounding this new law and help Colorado reverse the opioid epidemic.

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Codequest 2018 takeaways

Posted By Chet Seward, Friday, June 8, 2018
“We are going to be audited.” That is not a sentence you want to hear at your practice, but thanks to the practice management experts at the American Academy of Ophthalmology this year’s Codequest program in Denver on April 28 equipped over 60 attendees with the knowledge and tools they need to stay out of hot water with auditors while ensuring that Colorado ophthalmology practices get appropriately reimbursed what they are due. Topics covered included how to avoid costly mistakes that trigger audits in evolving health care markets, how to audit-proof ophthalmology documentation with new, payer-specific checklists for top surgical procedures and reviewing the latest requirements on modifiers. Codequest is the recognized, leading program on ophthalmic coding, and CSEPS offers a session each spring. Thanks to all those that attended this year.

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Thanks Dr. Carter

Posted By Chet Seward, Friday, June 8, 2018

CSEPS thanks AAO President Keith Carter, MD, for coming to Denver on May 21 to provide an update on the latest state of affairs nationally. Dr. Carter's presentation also detailed many of the priorities and projects currently underway at AAO. The value proposition of AAO membership and CSEPS membership is clear.

AAO President Keith Carter, MD, reviews Academy priorities

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Executive director's update: Time to turn it down or up?

Posted By Chet Seward, Friday, April 13, 2018
Is it just me or is it getting louder? While that question clearly fits recent interactions at home with my teenagers who seem to have developed a pre-existing condition known as “loud talker syndrome” given the earbuds that are glued to their ears, professionally it is definitely one to ponder. Perhaps a better way of phrasing it would be, is civic engagement becoming shrill? 

I don’t know if the answer to that question is yes or no. Maybe social media, or the 24-hour news cycle, or current political discourse is driving people apart. 

What I do know is that in a seemingly divided world, CSEPS is a unifying force. We bring Colorado ophthalmologists together to solve problems and improve care. Whether it is through upcoming events like the meeting with AAO President Keith Carter, MD, FACS, Codequest, our first legislative reception or our new practice management online community, CSEPS offers members like you the chance to connect and engage in a broader dialogue on issues and interests that are important to ophthalmologists and the patients you serve.

So here is to turning up you participation with CSEPS. Get plugged in and stay plugged into your organization, the only one in the state solely focused on your priorities. I will be right there with you – that is of course after I attempt to take the earbuds away from my kids. Wish me luck.

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