Advocacy Updates

The American Optometric Association Advocacy Group publishes weekly updates and information about the most important topics that directly affect our members and their practices.

March 20, 2015

As Medicare Pay Cut Looms, AOA and Congress Continue Working toward Permanent SGR Fix

With doctors of optometry and other physicians facing a roughly 20 percent scheduled Medicare pay cut beginning April 1, momentum has been building on Capitol Hill for an effort aimed at scraping the program's flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR) pay formula once-and-for-all. Late last week, details emerged of renewed negotiations between House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) and Democratic Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on a plan that would repeal and replace the SGR, introduce small and time-limited pay updates, and create a consolidated system of existing and new avenues for providers to earn significant payment incentives for delivering high-quality care.

March 13, 2015

Bill aims to help optometry serve the underserved

AOA is making a new push to reinstate ODs into the National Health Service Corps (NHSC).

February 27, 2015

Top 5 reasons to attend AOA's Congressional conference

It's time to make your voice heard with lawmakers on Capitol Hill: Registration has opened for the AOA's 2015 Congressional Advocacy Conference in Washington.     

February 20, 2015

AOA steps up fight against 1-800 Contacts anti-patient bills

In its ongoing fight against 1-800 Contacts' efforts that interfere with critical patient safety and public health safeguards while maligning individual optometrists and the wider profession, the AOA is stepping up its call to action among state affiliates.

February 13, 2015

CMS to ease meaningful use reporting periods

Federal regulators plan to ease the burden of complying with meaningful use of electronic health records (EHR). This is a change the AOA has long advocated for, and will provide yet another opportunity to voice concerns and make the program work better for optometrists.

December 5, 2014:

AOA and MOA announcement about Ford Motor Company

The American Optometric Association (AOA) and the Michigan Optometric Association (MOA) are pleased to inform you that beginning Jan. 1, 2015, Ford Motor Corporation active salary and hourly UAW workers along with their dependents will have access to optometrists for medical eye care. 

November 21, 2014:

How to comply with PQRS requirements in 2015

Changes are coming for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS). Participation in 2015 means avoiding a 2 percent cut to your Medicare payments in 2017.  Additionally, in 2015 bonuses will no longer be given for successful participation.

November 14, 2014:

AOA scores important wins in 2015 Medicare fee schedule

Medicare's 2015 physician fee schedule includes critical changes the AOA has fought for-provisions that will have a long-lasting impact on optometry and the delivery of medical eye care to Medicare patients.

November 7, 2014:

AOA leaves its mark on midterm elections

The AOA made its impact on the midterm elections. Making the most of nearly $2 million in investments from AOA members, AOA-PAC supported 333 candidates and incumbents, achieving a 95 percent election success rate.

October 31, 2014:

Optometry makes push for inclusion in GME overhaul

The AOA anticipates that Congress or federal agency officials may soon consider changes to the graduate medical education (GME) system. When this happens, the AOA will be at the table fighting for optometry-and inclusion in this program.

October 24, 2014:

AOA secures key position within FDA Network of Experts

AOA has secured a key slot affording optometry an important opportunity to contribute its medical expertise to the federal government. The AOA is now calling on members to get involved.

October 17, 2014:

Task Force issues new diabetes screening recommendation

A new recommendation on diabetes screenings could change the way health care professionals tackle a disease that affects a growing percentage of the American population.

October 10, 2014:

AOA calls antitrust protection before Supreme Court case

With a Supreme Court case looming that could affect how state boards regulate professions - including optometry - the AOA is taking action. The AOA contends that state optometry and other licensing boards should not be subjected to federal antitrust scrutiny and oversight.

October 3, 2014:

CMS releases Open Payments data on ODs, other doctors

Drug and device manufacturers paid optometrists approximately $965,000 in the latter part of 2013, according to an initial AOA analysis of public data released under the federal Open Payments program. This represents just a small percentage of the total payments made to doctors.