Paraoptometric Recognition Week

An Opportunity to Shine the Spotlight on Your Staff


Eyefinity celebrates Paraoptometric Recognition Week!

There’s no debate that an optometry practice can’t run efficiently without a well-staffed office. For successful practices, this includes an experienced team with a wealth of knowledge in the industry. And for some, that includes having paraoptometrics that are CPO certified.

A CPO has attained national recognition via certification by demonstrating an understanding of the concepts used in optometric care.

According to Melissa Mueller, CPO, who currently manages the Optometric Center, P.A. in Boise, Idaho, and who has served on the Idaho Paraoptometric Board for eight years, “CPOs are committed to the optometry field as a career and not just a job.”

The investment staff put into getting CPO certified to be a paraoptometric deserves appreciation. That’s why the AOA Paraoptometric Resource Center observes Paraoptometric Recognition Week annually during the third week of September, this year set for Sept. 17-21.

For paraoptometrics like Mueller, certification meant an investment in her own personal growth in the industry, and showing patients the value of the expertise a practice can provide.

“I wanted to become part of the optical community to delve into a passion I knew I had,” she said. “I knew getting certified would help me become part of the larger community. I also wanted patients to know that I loved the field enough to become certified.

“I have grown in my career by having to build my knowledge of the optometry field to take the certification tests. I have also met other certified people that have challenged me to be a better manager.”

Eyefinity understands the importance of paraoptometrics in practices and in the industry, so much so that it has CPO certified more than 75 employees in various divisions of the company—from engineers, to marketing, and Customer Care—to better understand its customer needs.

“It shows that we’re committed to understanding what people do with our software in their actual practices,” said Eyefinity’s Director of Education Rebecca Johnson, who performs CPO training for Eyefinity staff bi-annually. “We’re willing to take the same steps that their employees might take. It gives us a better understanding of what doctors and office staff do in their practices. Being certified helps us understand how all the pieces link together.”

Johnson said being CPO certified brings another level of professionalism to the staff of a practice.

“Doctors must see more patients per day than ever before, so it’s in their best interest to have staff that are CPO certified to help take some of the tasks off the doctor’s plate,” she said. “I believe that CPOs also give the staff more of a voice in optometry. Being CPO certified also makes staff more efficient and effective, and gives doctors piece of mind.”

And it’s not just the trust and respect from doctors and other staff members that makes it worthwhile.

“The recognition from your patients is tremendous,” Mueller said. “I even suggest hanging your certification certificate on the wall in the office so patients can see it. They will ask you what a certified paraoptometric means, so be sure you are able to answer it.”

Happy AOA Paraoptometric Recognition Week!

In an effort to recognize the dedication and commitment of Certified Paraoptometric (CPO) professionals in the optometric field, The American Optometric Association (AOA) has designated September 18 to 24 as Paraoptometric Recognition Week. People with CPO letters listed after their name have achieved national recognition via certification, demonstrating their understanding of the concepts and vocabulary used in optometric care.

posterAchieving certification is not an easy task, which is exactly why Eyefinity has challenged our employees to make the grade. Here’s the break down of what the certification tests: basic science (29%), clinical principles and procedures (37%), ophthalmic optics and dispensing (18%), and professional issues (16%).

Why is CPO certification so important to Eyefinity employees?

 

“The more we understand the industry, the more we know about a day in the life of our customers,” says Rebecca Johnson, Director of Education. “We need to understand their business the best we can to ensure we provide the best solution we can.”rebecca-headshot

Rebecca adds, “We want to go beyond providing software to help manage a practice, we need to understand ‘the why.'” Why providing the appropriate code for an eye examination is important; why cycloplegic drugs are used to dilate eyes; and why anti-reflective coating makes a difference for the patient. By studying for and receiving certification, we gain an understanding beyond that of just software. We understand the terminology, process, and workflow, which makes us better equipped to develop and support intuitive software solutions for you, our customers.

“We’ve seen a growth in the comfort level of our employees,” says Jeff Lombardi, Director of Customer Care. “They’re proud to have ‘CPO’ attached to their signature lines because they feel a better connection with our community and have a better understanding of the industry topics.”

So to join the celebration of Paraoptometric Recognition week, Eyefinity would like to recognize the following employees who have achieved Paraoptometric certification:

Andrew Lee
Blake Leeper
Briggs Mushrush
Candy Reiser
Carrie Chambers
Chris Rankin
Chris Rickard
CJ “Chris” Johnson
Crystal Marchand
David Silva
Dean Davis
Don Hudson
Donora Wichmann
Doreen Stanley
Ed Schaub
Elaine Thomas
Ethan Eldridge
Gary Sandler
Glorius Tran
Harriette Harrington
Hien Le
Isaac Kinter
Jane Maramba
James Deveraux
Janell Galindez
Jeff Wainscott
Jenny Royer
Jim Saeturn
John Xiong
Josh Sweetow
Juanisha Darby
Kim Ice
Kris Garcia
Kristen Ramer
Kyle Kerrigan
Linda Park
Loren Riley
Lorriane O’Brochta
Marissa Struve
Marsha Vaughn
Matt Speer
Melody Counts
Michael Opsteegh
Mike Smith
Nichelle Ritterhoff
Nick Brown
Nigeria Muhammad
Pang Vang
Paula Thomas
Phillip Rubio
Rachel Meyer
Rajesh Hegde
Rebecca Johnson
Rhonda Regguinti
Rob Allen
Rodolpho Esparza
Sarah Gallegos
Shane Bagley
Sharif Hassan
Sheila Black
Stacey Graves
Steve Aiken
Steve Honesto
Steve Woldford
Sue Fishel
Terry Dixon
Theresa Pfeiffer
Troy Eberlein
Wayne Kunert

If you are a certified Paraoptometric give a shout out using the comment function below so we can highlight you also!

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Meaningful Use Registry Deadline: February 29

blog_stopwatchAn important meaningful use deadline is approaching. February 29 is the last day to register with a specialized registry and fulfill the public health objective for meaningful use in 2016. Eyefinity recommends the following registries:

You must register with a specialized registry by February 29 to demonstrate “active engagement” with a specialized registry in 2016. Your registration fulfills your specialized registry obligation for the year. Depending upon the scope of your practice, you may be required to register with a second registry.

Eyefinity is actively working with AOA to develop an integration between AOA MORE and ExamWRITER and Eyefinity EHR. Through this integration, you’ll be able to meet the public health objective, submit your clinical quality data, and electronically report your PQRS data. This integration will be available later this year. Continue reading

ICD-10 is a New Era

By Dr. Robert (Bob) Day, Jr., Broadway Eye Center, Garland, TXdr_bob_day_web

When I started learning ICD coding, my dad, Dr. Robert Day, Sr., was President of the American Optometric Association (AOA), and they had just published the first Current Optometric Information and Terminology (COIT) book in June 1974.  It was optometry’s first attempt to participate in the new medical trend of systematically classifying diseases.  Optometry was just beginning to become more than simply prescribing a pair of glasses to help patients realize improved vision.

Learning ICD-9 versus ICD-10 is very much like comparing learning multiplication tables to learning calculus.  I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know my multiplication tables, but I remember struggling to learn calculus all too well.  I probably learned multiplication in the second or third grade. It was a straightforward process where one problem produces only one answer.  For example, 2×2 can only equal 4—easy enough, right? Then you advance to calculus (particularly differential) where one problem can produce multiple possible answers.  The learning process is far more complex, and the answers, at least initially, are far less obvious. But it can be done; you just need to spend the time to identify your best resource and to understand your goal.

Even now, I calculate simple multiplication in my head, but for calculus I need the help of technology (a calculator) to do calculus.  Likewise, ICD-9 is committed to memory, but for ICD-10, I will depend on technology in the form of my electronic health record system to handle most of the ICD-10 coding.

Speculation abounds, but it’s reasonable to assume that ICD-10 will mark the end of the paper super-bill and coding from memory. Under ICD-10, the AOA’s Express Mapping Card alone is four pages with almost 300 codes.  ICD-10 is clearly more complex, and trying to manage it without the help of technology will drastically add time and expense to your coding.

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Eyefinity Announces Strategic Technology Partnership with Modernizing Medicine, Inc.

Eyefinity EHR logoEyefinity and Modernizing Medicine, Inc. (MMI) have announced a new technology partnership that will integrate Eyefinity’s award-winning practice management portfolio with MMI’s Electronic Medical Assistant® (EMA), a cloud-based electronic health record (EHR) solution, resulting in a fully-integrated offering for the optometry industry. This partnership will provide optometry practitioners and physicians with the next generation of cloud-based technologies that will enable their practices to meet the demands of an evolving industry, with an adaptive learning engine and intuitive user interface built by medical industry experts and optometrists for maximum workflow efficiency.

Eyefinity EHR, launching in late 2013, brings together the collective strength of Eyefinity—the long-time industry leader for practice management and EHR solutions, as well as the number one software provider for federal stimulus payments for demonstrating meaningful use—and MMI, a proven leader in EHR technology for more than 1,000 physician practices across the country in specialty markets including dermatology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, plastic surgery, and cosmetic surgery. MMI was listed at No. 47 on Forbes’ annual ranking of America’s Most Promising Companies for this year.

“Eyefinity is bringing the newest EHR technology to eyecare professionals and physicians, built specifically with the optometry practice in mind,” said Steve Baker, president of Eyefinity. “Our exclusive partnership with MMI enables us to bring a medical-based EHR system to the optometry sector and integrate it with the robust Eyefinity Practice Management solution, with the intent of giving doctors the ability to deliver an unparalleled patient experience and increase practice revenue.”

Eyefinity EHR features include:

  • Native iPad technology. Provides fast, easy workflow in the palm of your hand.
  • Cloud-based documenting. Charts available at multiple practice locations eliminating costly hardware; built-in data backup included.
  • Adaptability to diagnosis style. Adaptive learning eliminates the need for complicated templates.
  • Patient portal. Patients can easily input medical history and demographic from either home or a tablet and information can be updated by the patient in future visits.

“We are excited to partner with a leading company like Eyefinity in taking EHR technology to the next level,” said Daniel Cane, President and CEO of MMI. “Eyefinity EHR, powered by EMA, is built to maximize a practice’s efficiency in providing patients with quality care, and is exclusively available from Eyefinity for the optometry market.”

For the latest information on Eyefinity EHR, including videos about this new product offering coming later this year, visit www.eyefinity.com/thelist. Interested in this new technology? Register to get on our exclusive list to be the first to learn more.

VSP and AOA sit down for an open forum on healthcare reform

Last night, VSP and the AOA sat down for an informative 90-minute discussion about the inclusion of stand-alone vision plans in the Insurance Exchanges. VSP remains concerned that the AOA has no plans for assuring optometry’s access and parity in healthcare reform.

Watch the video below where Dan Mannen, OD, FAAO,  shares his concerns about “putting the fox in charge of the hen house and place our future in the hands of health plans that routinely discriminate against our profession, blocking our access and paying us less for like services.”

If you missed last night’s discussion, you’ll still be able to watch a recording the video here later today: http://vspprovesit.com/healthcare

Curious about the issues?  Find out more below (sourced from http://www.vspprovesit.com/healthcare-issues)

Issues Defined

If the Exchanges move forward as structured, private practice eye doctors will have to provide care to their patients through health plans.This new structure could lead to a variety of unintended consequences for both patients and their eye doctors.

  1. Optometrists may be locked out – Health plans have a long history of preventing optometric participation on health plan panels across the country. The Harkin Amendment, which has been touted as providing parity for all healthcare providers, does not guarantee access or parity. So, optometrists will have to rely on health plans to change the way they currently do business and allow them on their panels.
  2. Optometrists could be forced to accept reimbursement from plans like Davis, Spectera, and CompBenefits – Current law allows these plans to directly participate in the Insurance Exchanges, while disadvantaging stand-alone plans because they are not associated with a health plan. Health plans are likely to turn to these programs when and if they need an optometric network.
  3. Optometrists could see fewer patients – There are currently 100 million people in the U.S. relying on vision benefits from stand-alone vision plans. Research shows that these individuals with a stand alone benefit get vision care much more frequently than those who have a benefit through a medical plan. As patients transition out of Stand-Alone Plans and into vision/medical bundled programs, doctors are likely to see far less utilization from these patients in the future.
  4. Optometrists could lose Kaiser patients – Two thirds of Kaiser enrollees also have VSP coverage. In states with high Kaiser penetration, this could gradually disappear as employer groups enter the Exchanges and cannot continue to contract with VSP through those Exchanges.