Archive for September, 2008


September 22 President’s Column: The Optometric Dream Team

September 22, 2008

Wouldn’t it be nice if your office operated as effectively and efficiently as an orchestra or our Olympic Gold Medal basketball team? Many offices do operate as a finely tuned orchestra. What are their traits and how can your office be as successful? Build your own optometric dream team!


The Aftermath of Ike

September 17, 2008

Please keep all of our colleagues and everyone in the Houston area in your thoughts and prayers. I’m getting reports of heavily damaged offices and homes of our optometry friends and many are without power or fresh water.

I’m sure Optometry’s Charity will have many requests for financial assistance soon. If you’d like to help your colleagues by making a tax deductible contribution to Optometry’s Disaster Fund, please contact the AOA and Optometry’s Charity at 800.365.2219 or


Hurricane Ike – Yikes!

September 13, 2008

I’m watching the weather channel this morning and just can’t help but encourage everyone to please keep everyone in the Texas and Gulf Coast area in your thoughts and prayers. Just a reminder that if you or any of our colleagues need temporary financial help – Optometry’s Charity and the Optometry’s Fund for Disaster Relief is available. In past disasters, many of our colleagues expressed their appreciation for the rapid response from the AOA – so if you know any optometrists that need help have them call 800-365-2219 or log on to for a grant application.  God Bless! Pete


PQRI – Not Just another Alphabet Soup

September 12, 2008

Optometry and the AOA will be the fifth organization to co-host (with CMS) a PQRI – Physician Quality Reporting Initiative – conference call. We will be THE FIRST NON-MD GROUP to host a call. Value based healthcare is here to stay folks so we need ALL optometrists to participate in programs like  PQRI. And don’t forget, you get paid a bonus on ALL Medicare payments if you participate fully in PQRI.

While avoiding the 10.6% Medicare fee cut was critical this past summer – by participating in PQRI and next year in E-prescribing, we can actually see an increase in Medicare fees. But as they say…if you want the bonus you have to participate. If you aren’t sure how to participate in PQRI, you can visit and check out our very extensive explanation – or you can participate in the call next Wednesday:

Special Open Door Forum:

2008 Physician Quality Reporting Initiative – Participation by the American Optometric Association (AOA)


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

2:00 PM – 3:30 PM Eastern Time


(Conference Call Only)


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), along with the American Optometric Association (AOA) will host a special open door forum to discuss participation in the 2008 Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI). This toll-free call will take place on Wednesday, September 24, 2008 from 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm, ET. The purpose of this forum is to gain an understanding of PQRI and encourage participation by providing simple steps that physicians can use to collect and report data to CMS. Successful reporting will make the professional eligible for an incentive payment from CMS.  Physicians and/or a designated staff member, such as an office manager are encouraged to participate on the call.


Conference Leaders: Daniel Green, MD (CMS), Peter Kehoe, OD (AOA), Rebecca Wartman, OD (AOA) & Harvey Richman, OD (AOA)


Conference Moderator: Natalie Highsmith (CMS)


State Legislative Conference

September 7, 2008

Just finished up (well maybe a few hours ago) at the AOA’s State Legislative Conference that was attended by over 200 optometrists and students from nearly all 50 states and schools/colleges of optometry.

The buzz during the meeting was all of the excitement about the future technologies in eye care and how our patients will benefit from these new technologies and the need for all of our states to be prepared for the future.

I’ve attended several State Leg Meetings throughout my career and this was one of the best. Congratulations to our State Government Relations Center volunteers and AOA Staff for a top-notch event. I can’t wait to hear feedback from attendees as well as hear how they go back and share their knowledge with their colleagues.

Watch for a short video encouraging you to get involved in the “Optocrat Party” as the November elections approach. And remember – you MUST build personal relationships with your legislators. The quote of the weekend was it doesn’t matter if you know your legislators first-name – it only matters when he or she recognizes you and knows YOUR first name.

Until next time….



September 4 President’s Column: The Optocrat Party

September 6, 2008

ODs who vote in support of candidates who support our patients and the profession — those are the Optocrats


Welcome to the Launch of the First AOA Blog

September 4, 2008

We are officially launching the Inaugural AOA Blog here at the State Legislative Conference in Indianapolis. We hope that this blog will allow you, the members of the AOA to have a way to share your thoughts and ideas with the leaders of the AOA and for me as President, to share my personal thoughts and directions of the AOA to the membership in a timely and efficient manner.

PLEASE – be sure to read the “Terms of Service” and be compliant. We don’t want to censor anyone, so please follow the rules and let’s make this a great new membership benefit from YOUR AOA.  Right now, the blog doesn’t require registration to read or posts. We hope to keep it that way.  As we get the blog off the ground, comments are moderated to ensure compliance with the terms of service.  We’ll see how it goes!


PS: I did a presentation to my Lions Club on the InfantSEE program today. Not one person in the audience prior to my talk knew that a child should have their first eye exam before their first birthday. Have you done an InfantSEE presentation to a local group in your community? If not, the power point presentation is on the InfantSEE website. Good luck!