The Illinois Optometric Association exists to protect, promote, and advance the profession of Optometry by providing exemplary resources and support towards serving and enhancing quality patient care.
The vision of the Illinois Optometric Association is to be the primary advocate for the advancement of optometry through education, legislation, public service, and membership development by providing a unified voice for all optometrists to ensure the practice of Optometry at the highest level while providing patients with exemplary care.
About a month ago, I had the privilege of representing you at AOA Optometry’s Meeting in Boston. One of the hot areas of discussion at Optometry’s Meeting was the planned transition by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) away from paying for quantity and to begin paying based on quality of health care delivery. The new system proposed by CMS is called MIPS (Merit-Based Incentive Payment System). The rules for MIPS are still being finalized, but implementation is currently scheduled to start January 1, 2017. A provider’s MIPS Composite Performance Score in 2017 would directly impact their payment for all of their Medicare services delivered in the year 2019. Beginning in 2019, providers may be penalized or receive a bonus of up to 4% of their Medicare billings based on their MIPS score in 2017. This incentive/penalty is scheduled to grow to +/-9% by the year 2022 based on performance in the year 2020. This MIPS line item is budget neutral so for every dollar sent as a bonus another provider will be receiving a penalty to offset it.
For those who are tempted to ignore MIPS because Medicare payments are not a significant percentage of their current practice, there has also been talk about other private health insurance companies also jumping on board and basing their reimbursements to providers in the future based on MIPS scores so we ALL need to be aware of MIPS. In order to avoid MIPS penalties in the future, providers must submit their EHR data through a clinical registry. If you have not already signed up for optometry’s registry, AOA MORE, I encourage you to do that today by visiting www.aoa.org/more.
As the MIPS rules are being finalized, the IOA’s 3rd Party Trustee, Dr. Eric Botts will be providing more detailed information in the coming months about MIPS and what goes into your MIPS score (Spoiler Alert- Meaningful Use, PQRS, and your cost to deliver care will all be factored into MIPS) so please be watching for further correspondence. For now, be aware that a "seismic" change in how we are paid is coming and be sure to sign up for the AOA MORE registry so that you will be prepared.
It is hard to believe, but after eight years, this is my last e-news article. It has been a pleasure to serve our profession. One of the accomplishments I am most proud of is the increase in our PAC fund. It has grown tremendously in the past few years. I encourage everyone to continue to give to the max amount that you are able. Even if it is $10 a month! As I leave the board I exit at the same time as Mike Horstman. Mike has led us for as long as I have practiced. He has been a rock for the IOA and he will be missed. I wish him the best in retirement!
See you at Convention!
Hope everyone is surviving this summer heat! With summer winding down that only means one thing... IOA Convention is right around the corner! If you haven't registered already, do it now. Online registration is available too! It will be a great meeting in Springfield this year as we will be "Honoring our past, Embracing our future!" I look forward to meeting all our old and new members in Springfield!
If there is anything myself or other IOA Trustees can do to help you and solidify our profession please do not hesitate to reach out to us! See you all in Springfield!