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frequently asked questions

Where can I get answers to my billing and coding information?
We are committed to assisting your practice with solutions to these challenges! Just send an email with your question to!

Link me to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Provider Update page. 
Click here for the HFS/Optometry page. Once on this page, you can navigate the HFS website.

Where Can I Find More Information on NPI numbers?
Click here to be linked to the NPI section of the CMS website. Not sure what an NPI is and how you can get it, share it and use it?  More information and education on the NPI can be found through this site.  Click here to apply for an NPI online. 

Where Can I Find More Information on the PQRI?
Click here to be linked to the CMS 2007 Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) Website.

What are the CE Requirements and the Next Renewal Date?
The CE requirements for the April 1, 2014 through March 31, 2016 renewal period are as follows:

• 12 hours of certified (tested) CE
• 18 hours of regular CE
– Of which, no more than 4 hours can be practice management and
– No more than 4 hours can be verified self instruction

Total: 30 Hours

ODs are cautioned NOT to sign and submit their licensing renewals until they have completed the required hours and received notice of passage of any exams. Also, certified (tested) CE may not be taken from anyone to whom the OD refers or could refer patients (schools of Optometry exempted). And, no self-instruction or correspondence courses shall be considered as certified continuing education. However, four hours of verified correspondence courses may be used to meet the regular non-certified course requirements. COPE CE is valid only for courses taken out of state. CE presented in Illinois must have an Illinois licensed CE sponsor to be counted.

NOTE: As of April 1, 2004, all Illinois ODs must be able to show proof of current certification in CPR when they renew their license(s). In addition, all offices must have a blood pressure measuring device.

Members may call the IOA office 217-525-8012 if they have any questions about specific programs or the CE requirements.

IOA Convention – Did You Know?
Attending the annual IOA Convention CE every year allows doctors to complete all the CE requirements for each Renewal Period.  Doctors can now complete all the required CE for the 2014-2016 period by attending the CE classes offered at the two IOA Conventions held between the April 1 and March 31 renewal period.

How Do I Apply for an Ancillary License?
Ancillary licenses are no longer required but you are required to flie an ancillary registration for each location where you practice optometry. Click here for this form or it can be found on

What is the IRS Standard Mileage Rate?
Beginning January 1, 2016, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (including vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:
54 cents per mile for business miles driven

What is Optometric Express Access?
A number of services are available on the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations website. Services currently available are: license look-up, Optometry Act and Rules, monthly disciplinary reports, filing a complaint, application forms, approved Optometry Continuing Education Sponsors and licensed mail order contact lens suppliers. 

What is the AOA Website address?
The AOA website - - has a host of up-to-the-minute information: HIPAA compliance, medicare resources, eye conditions and concerns, public programs, nationwide doctor locator and more. To access the member section, just type in your AOA member number and use your birthdate as your password.

Where do I find HCFA Forms?
They can be ordered through the Government Printing Office, AMA, at 1-800-621-8335, using a credit card. OR - Fax a request to 312-464-5600 and they will send an invoice.

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