The ONLINE EYE EXAM: Can you compete?


Announcing The Optometric Society's public service campaign.  How is our campaign different from others?    Ours is a grassroots driven effort which depends on widespread participation for its success.   We will feature real life patient stories on a website aimed at the public.   Over the next year, TOS will sponsor a series of contests, calling for patient case reports and videos.  We want to send a strong message to the public:  a comprehensive eye exam is worth the commute, the wait, the time, and the cost! 

Announcing the winners of our first contest on OD  1st prize goes to Dr. Douglas Haigh and second prize, to Dr. Karl Stoler.   Dr. Haigh contributed a case on choroidal melanoma and Dr. Stoler submitted four cases.   Many thanks!   

Our next contest will be the Optometry Student Instagram Video contest. No one under 18 and over 40 years old, or with pre-existing medical conditions (diabetes, hypertension, known eye disease, etc.) would be allowed to take an online eye exam. However, we know that serious ocular and systemic diseases can be first diagnosed between the ages of 18-40.   This is a golden opportunity to communicate the importance and value of optometric care to the public.  

In our video contest, we are looking for a fun, simple, and effective way to communicate the risks associated with online eye exams. This could be a patient interview, or your discussion of an important patient case, or a spoof on the online exam. Be creative!   READ MORE


When Insurance and Pharmacies Compromise Patient Care

generic drug

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

Our letter to Steven Lee and Aaron Dallek

Monacle - Website Expanded

To:   Steven Lee, O.D. and Aaron Dallek
From:   The Optometric Society
Date:   August 29,  2014
cc:    Dr. Grant La Farge, Lynn Hart,

The New Mexico Medical Board has affirmed that Opternative is indeed the practice of medicine, and  therefore should be governed by the New Mexico Medical Practice Act.   We recognize that your online refractive technology has excellent potential as a visual screening and refractive device in a medical setting or as an online visual screening program.   However, we do not support the use of online questionnaires to give a glasses or contact lens prescription, without an immediate, accompanying physical examination of ocular health.

Weigh the Benefits and Costs before Joining any Maintenance of Certification Program

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,