Dear TOS members and colleagues:
I am resigning as President and member of TOS, effective December 31, 2014. Like you, I joined AOS and TOS because I wanted a representative voice in the profession. Fighting Board Certification was the heartbeat and pulse of AOS. Without this strong, unifying purpose, TOS has been grasping at issues, unable to find direction and move forward. Regrettably, I failed to build harmony and cooperation, and instead, a rhetoric of acrimony, hostility, and division prevailed.
My message to the AOA is this: "Splinter groups form when you do not adequately represent and serve the interests of your members. You are the Voice for Optometry. Only you can effectively fight for us."
I was honored to serve as TOS President. I was humbled by your trust and support of TOS. I am disappointed at the end result, but I do not regret the friends made and the lessons learned over the past year. Many thanks to all who have encouraged and guided me.
Lisa Shin, O.D.
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by Gary S. Litman, OD, FAAO
I practice full scope optometry with an emphasis on medical eye care. Since the beginning of 2014 and increasingly getting worse, I have experienced a growing number of denials for branded prescriptions. This has compromised my ability to treat patients with the most effective medications. I have been waiting for organized optometry to address this issue, but so far I have not observed any discussion.
I stay up-to-date on the newest and most effective treatments via medications and technology. On every front, we are seeing a push for optometrists to become more medically oriented. My concern is that insurers and pharmacies are preventing me from prescribing these new, more effective medications.
In recent months, in every category of ophthalmic drugs I E-Prescribe, I receive a significant number of denied branded drugs with a recommendation for generics or OTC drugs. I have observed on occasion, pharmacies substituting generics for branded drugs without my consent. I have observed patients who have the same insurance for the previous two years and have been taking specific branded drugs effectively get denials and a request for prior authorization. Most of these drug denials are
By Dr. Janet Carter
With the introduction of a program of optometric board certification by the National Board of Examiners in Optometry late last year, there are now several viable choices for those who wish to pursue certification in general optometry. But before making a decision to apply for a program, the practitioner must first determine if formal board certification is something they wish to accomplish. Board Certification in general optometry is entirely voluntary. There are currently no third-party payers that require certification of their optometric providers, no requirement for such to participate in plans offered through the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"), and no indication that Medicare will require board certification of optometrists in the foreseeable future. It is true that employers, hospitals, and the like may use certification as part of their determination of admitting privileges and/or salary. Perhaps more importantly, participation in the "Maintenance of Certification" (MOC) aspect of board certification represents an ongoing commitment by the practitioner to lifelong learning and to keep up with technological and scientific developments in the profession.
The practitioner must also distinguish between programs that certify optometrists in general clinical optometry and sub-specialty certification. In Medicine, the board certification system came into existence because physicians graduate with a degree that gives them broad eligibility to practice a wide variety of specialties, regardless of their actual training. The MD board certification helps to insure that they have had sufficient training and education in their chosen specialty area. Optometrists, on the other hand,