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President's Update: September/October 2018

Posted By Chet Seward, Tuesday, October 9, 2018

One thing that continues to amaze me is how little effort it takes to make a big impact for our profession. Defending our profession and protecting our ability to provide superb eye care to the patients of Colorado does not require a weekly visit to the state capitol or a second home in Washington D.C. It can be as simple as joining or continuing your membership in CSEPS. As your state ophthalmology society, we are largely funded by dues which are essential to lobby on your behalf. Another surprisingly simple way to have a big influence is by reaching out to your legislator for a visit. I would like to congratulate a couple CSEPS members who recently did just that. 

Last month, Ron Pelton, MD and Dean Carlson, MD, of Colorado Springs met with state representative Larry Liston (district 16) to provide a real-life exposure to the complexities of eye surgery. This meeting was in part the fruit of an earlier connection made at our inaugural legislative reception this past April that representative Liston attended. These types of relationships can develop in many different ways but are critical to building an alliance for ophthalmology. By simply contacting your legislator’s office you can help to do the same in your district and CSEPS is here to assist in getting the ball rolling. 

Also last month, I had the pleasure of meeting with US Representative Mike Coffman (CO-6) at the 

It was great to spend time with Congressman Coffman and have Erin Sieck, MD, there to help hit the policy highlights.
UCHealth Eye Center on behalf of the AAO and CSEPS. After touring the facility and demonstrating the technology, staff and resources required to provide cutting-edge eyecare, we sat down to discuss a few key issues facing ophthalmology across the nation. Specifically, this included truth in health care advertising, relief from burdensome prior authorization requirements, and the rising cost and decreasing availability of drugs recently. Underlying all these issues was the essential goal of creating an ally for our profession. While it is hard to know the long-term benefits, we are already seeing immediate results. After the meeting Rep. Coffman pledged his support to help address the prior authorization abuse. 

We will continue these grassroots efforts at CSEPS to ensure your ability to practice ophthalmology across the state. I again invite you all to consider joining in these efforts locally. You will be amazed how a small amount of time and effort can prove extremely rewarding.

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