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A bi-monthly blog detailing the latest news and perspectives from the president of the Colorado Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons.

 

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President's update - Nov/Dec 2016

Posted By Chet Seward, Saturday, December 24, 2016

Over the past two years, we have sponsored our first piece of legislation in years, enjoyed many great educational programs, begun creation of an ophthalmic surgery charity network, and enhanced our relationships with other branches of medicine as well as with our colleagues in optometry. It has been a tremendous privilege to serve as CSEPS president over this time, not least because of the opportunity to interact with some of the best people in the world of ophthalmology. Our executive director, Chet Seward, is a wonderful man and a terrific asset, and our Board is filled with enormously talented and dedicated physicians, including our next president, Dr. Alan Kimura, whose national connections and experience will be invaluable for Colorado.

Among our current challenges is the new Medicare Quality Payment Program (QPP), which goes into effect next month, replacing meaningful use, PQRS and other programs. QPP uses a point system based on physician self-reporting and other data that will result in a negative, neutral, or positive payment adjustment for Medicare payments. Non-participation in QPP in 2017 will result in a 4% penalty in 2019, but fortunately this can be avoided by some basic participation (for example, one quality measure or one improvement activity for any point in 2017). If you do more then it can result in a bonus payment. For an overview of QPP, click here

There are currently four facets to QPP. 1) You can choose one or more quality measures (there are over 270 of them) and report chart audit covering at least 90 days. 2) You can attest that you have participated in four or more quality improvement activities for at least 90 days. 3) Your EHR might be able to qualify under the Advancing Care Information segment of QPP. 4) Finally, you can analyze your practice’s cost to Medicare per beneficiary to be compared against national norms. The first three appear to be much more manageable for most of us than the last one.

You don’t need to be daunted by QPP (as I was) because Medicare will pay for a consultant to come to your practice and help you get started. For Colorado, the contractor is Telligen, and the program specialist can be reached at 303-875-9131 or by email at Devin.Detwiler@area-D.hcqis.org.

This will be my last official communication as CSEPS President but I would welcome your thoughts and ideas anytime. Thanks so much for your support. 

Robert Fante, MD

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President's update - Sept/Oct 2016

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, December 6, 2016

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”  Although life is undoubtedly better for us today than it was in the days of Charles Dickens (one of my favorites), there are certain parallels that come easily to mind.  Ophthalmology, like western society in general, has made such spectacular advances that they are difficult to grasp. DSEK, DSAEK, ICL, RLE, VEGF, MIGS, premium IOLs, and intraocular telescopes, are some of the futuristic techniques with which we are now able to save and enhance our patients’ sight.  On the other hand, the hassles of the Affordable Care Act, HIPAA, MACRA, meaningful use, etc., threaten to rob us of the satisfaction and joy we would otherwise feel from our work.  And of course, the ColoradoCare Amendment (#69), if passed, would potentially change our practices substantially in many unknown ways, and would certainly add to our tax burdens.  CSEPS is dedicated to celebrating and protecting ophthalmology’s achievements while working to help you to adapt to the hassles or to fight them whenever we can.

Please consider getting involved.  Getting involved could be as simple as talking to one of our CSEPS board members about issues you’d like to have us address, or even telling us about great things you’re doing at your office so that we can share them.   Our board includes: Ron Pelton and George Ulrich in Colorado Springs; Dave Johnson, Rob Fante, Alan Kimura, Bill Richheimer, Adrienne Ruth, Leo Seibold, and Jasleen Singh in Denver; and Kent Bashford in Fort Collins.  If you are more energetic, we would welcome your direct involvement in programs ranging from upcoming collegial evenings such as the Oktoberfest CSEPS/COA Social Mixer, or educational events such as the Medicare Physician Quality Payment Program, or with our nascent statewide charitable surgery referral network Vision4Coloradoor even hosting a state legislator as an observer for a day of surgery.  If you are on the western slope, we would especially welcome and encourage you to get involved.  Feel free to call (303-839-1616) or write me.

Thank you for everything you do to help our patients and our profession!

Robert Fante, MD

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