5 ways AOA membership can bring your practice success
If optometry is your calling, then the AOA is where you belong.
AOA and affiliate membership offers doctors—and their staff—the support they need to build and maintain a thriving optometric practice. Whether it’s through essential clinical resources, contemporary continuing education (CE) and professional development, practice management and career development tools, or leveraging the national momentum of patient and public campaigns, AOA member benefits help set up your practice for success.
But there’s so much more: AOA membership means you’re adding to the collective strength of our profession’s sole advocate. The AOA and affiliates work tirelessly to challenge barriers that may hinder optometry’s delivery of primary eye health and vision care in our communities. As an AOA member, you contribute to these advocacy efforts that help advance and protect our profession.
“I never felt like I truly belonged somewhere like I did when I started school at Southern College of Optometry; my AOA membership was a huge part of that connection,” says Meghan Elkins, O.D., staff optometrist at the Hershel “Woody” Williams VA Medical Center in Huntington, West Virginia.
“Within the AOA I found a family. I found people willing to offer whatever I needed to see my career grow beyond what I thought possible. Because I saw that type of enthusiasm in others, I knew I also wanted to give myself to our profession, to my peers, to our communities and to our younger doctors.”
Check out the full list of AOA member benefits or keep reading for five benefits you can use for success:
1. Clinical care and coding resources.
AOA members can access a digital library of clinical care publications and resources that help guide your clinical practice, as well as extensive resources to help doctors and practices answer coding questions.
Access the AOA’s evidence-based clinical guidelines on topics ranging from diabetes to adult and pediatric These guidelines combine the best available, current scientific evidence and research with expert clinical opinion to recommend appropriate steps in the diagnosis, management and treatment of patients. Compiled by the AOA’s Evidence-Based Optometry Committee, these guidelines undergo a systematic and rigorous review process to provide clinicians actionable information.
Access the AOA’s billing and coding resources for advisory and educational information related to accurate procedure and diagnosis codes, understanding and preparing for payer audits, changes in Medicare and coding policies, and ICD-10 information. Contact the AOA’s “Coding Experts” for questions regarding medical records and coding for additional information about specific instances.
2. AOA Business Card and AOAExcel® business solutions.
Exclusively available to AOA members, the AOA Business Card from AOAExcel® gives business owners the ability to maximize the return on purchases with 2% back in rewards on all purchases and no maximum cap on rewards. Additionally, AOA members will receive a one-year reimbursement on their national AOA dues when spending $15,000 on their card in the first four months following account opening. There is no annual fee for the AOA Business Card, and there is no personal guarantee as the practice is underwritten rather than the individual doctor of optometry. Developed and powered by financial technology firm Mercantile and issued through Hatch Bank, the AOA Business Card is available to any business entity owned by an AOA member.
Additionally, AOA members can leverage the personal and professional services of AOAExcel’s endorsed business partners to help their practice flourish, including:
- Personal and business insurance solutions
- HIPAA compliance
- Student loan refinancing
- Retirement savings planning
- AOAExcel Career Center
- Practice financing and transition assistance
- Vendor discounts and credit card processing
3. Educational resources and content.
AOA members have exclusive access to the AOA EyeLearn Professional Development Hub, an online CE and professional development library with recorded lectures, webinars and other resources—many available for AOA CE hours or Commission on Paraoptometric Certification credit—oriented to advancing clinical proficiencies and practice management expertise. Newly redesigned with greater accessibility, AOA EyeLearn is where members can watch and join the impactful, expert-led #AskAOA webinar series with actionable information on topics that immediately affect your practice.
4. Practice tools and staff training.
AOA member doctors can enroll their practice staff as AOA associate members—at no additional cost to the paraoptometric or enrolling doctor—and gain access to educational and staff training resources that help develop their skills. Leveraging access to AOA EyeLearn, AOA associate members can participate in the regularly scheduled Paraoptometric Speaker Series of webinars or access the ever-expanding library of staff training videos. These resources also help orient paraoptometrics toward professional certifications that can help grow your practice.
Learn more about how to enroll your staff as AOA associate members, or access the newly updated 2022 Paraoptometric Examination (CPO, CPOA, CPOT, CPOC) Candidate Handbook before paraoptometrics schedule their certification examinations.
5. Connections and networking.
AOA membership can open the door to lasting connections in both our profession and among your patients. AOA members receive a special registration rate for the profession’s premier event, Optometry’s Meeting®, where attendees will find contemporary optometric CE and professional development, influential networking experiences and industry connections that can help your practice get ahead.
Additionally, AOA membership grants doctors access to the AOA’s Find-a-Doctor online search where more than 91,000 prospective patients clicked to search for a local doctor of optometry within the past year. Those searches were driven by the AOA’s Eye Deserve More public campaign that emphasizes the value of routine, comprehensive eye health with AOA doctors of optometry. Last year alone, the Eye Deserve More campaign generated 2.5 billion impressions in national and local news outlets, as well as another 26 million impressions in social and digital ads.
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The clarification addresses common questions about how doctors can provide audio-only telehealth without running afoul of HIPAA requirements.