AAO and YO programs return to this year's meeting

October 1, 2006
Susanne Medeiros

Editor, Communications Division, American Academy of Ophthalmology San Francisco

The challenges of running the business side of an ophthalmic practice today are daunting: declining reimbursements, an aging population, increasing numbers of patients seeking refractive perfection, an evolving standard of care, and an increasing amount of compliance regulation.

To help administrators, office managers, and physicians meet these challenges, the American Academy of Ophthalmic Executives (AAOE) has created a comprehensive professional education program for the academy's joint meeting with the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology from Nov. 11 to 14 in Las Vegas.

Ann M. Hulett, CMPE, COE, an administrator for the Rocky Mountain Eye Center, Pueblo, CO, and chairwoman of the AAOE board, said those in all aspects of the ophthalmic community cannot afford to miss this year's meeting.

In fact, Hulett suggested sending at least one staff member along with the practice administrator. Physicians should also consider attending with their practice managers and staff members.

"The clinical and business aspects of the practice are so intertwined that a good physician/management partnership is key to our ability to adjust strategically," Hulett explained.

Some highlights of this year's AAOE instruction course program include:

A complete list of AAOE courses is available (http:// http://www.aao.org/aaoesite/annualmeeting/index.cfm/).

"This year's YO Program is back by popular demand and it's better than ever," said Rob Melendez, MD, YO Committee member. "It has been changed from a half day to nearly a full-day program, filled with interesting topics focused on helping you get your first job in ophthalmology. We will also be honored by the president of the academy, Harry Zink, MD, at the YO Program and Reception."

This program addresses topics of interest to all new ophthalmologists including: contracts/buy-ins/negotiating; understanding practice financials and insurance; advocacy; marketing/how to network; and coding.

In addition, the YO Committee once again presents YO Day for new ophthalmologists faced with the transition from training to practice. The YO Committee along with select practice management consultants will share their experience and expertise on a range of topics.