New Ophthalmic Imaging Product Integrates Advanced Eye Exam Technology with iPhone App

Top Line: Welch Allyn has utilized advanced ophthalmology technology already in the hands of physicians to create the Welch Allyn iExaminer, a product that consists of a hardware adapter and associated software that allows healthcare providers to capture, store, send and retrieve images from the Welch Allyn PanOptic Ophthalmoscope using the iPhone 4 or 4S.
Close Up: The PanOptic features patented optical technology that creates a viewing area of the fundus and retinal nerve in an undilated pupil that is five times larger than that of a traditional ophthalmoscope and increases magnification by 26 percent to more easily see retinal details. Now available in select international markets, the iExaminer rapidly captures and transmits the retinal images created by the PanOptic for easy, cost-effective eyeground image documentation.
The iExaminer adapter aligns the optical access of the PanOptic to the visual axis of the iPhone 4 or 4S camera to capture high resolution pictures of a patient's fundus and retinal nerve. The iExaminer software application, available from the Apple App Store, then allows physicians to save images to a patient file, as well as e-mail and print the images.
"This is the first affordable device to give almost anyone, anywhere the ability to capture a picture of the back of the eye," said Dr. Wyche Coleman, inventor of the iExaminer. "I was able to take this very lightweight, portable, inexpensive iExaminer to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in sub-Saharan Africa and take a picture of a patient's fundus. From the top of the mountain, I then transmitted it to a doctor at Johns Hopkins University in the United States where he was able to analyze the image."
Vital Stats: The Welch Allyn PanOptic Ophthalmoscope features the patented Axial PointSource Optics that gives healthcare professionals a dramatically wider, more panoramic view of the retina, or fundus, of the eye. The technology provides a 25 degree field-of-view, making it possible to see the different features of the fundus more efficiently than the 5 degree field-of-view provided by a standard ophthalmoscope. The design also creates a much greater working distance between the provider and the patient, greatly improving the comfort level of both during the exam, while at the same time delivers a 26 percent increase in magnification to make it easier to see retinal details. The PanOptic Ophthalmoscope works will all Welch Allyn 3.5 volt power source handles. The iExaminer is currently pending 510(k) clearance from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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Corcoran Compliance Connection Debuts Ophthalmic Reimbursement Software

Ophthalmic Reimbursement Software
Top Line: Kevin and Suzanne Corcoran, co-owners of Corcoran Consulting Group, have launched a new company, Corcoran Compliance Connection, LLC, to provide ophthalmologists and optometrists with an on-line, expert, software program linked to the medical practice's electronic medical record (EMR) to improve the accuracy of coding on claims for reimbursement.
Close Up: Corcoran Compliance Connection relies on the chart documentation in the EMR as the basis for very accurate, real-time coding recommendations.
"Our clients tell us that coding software of current EMR programs are unreliable and difficult to use," said Kevin J. Corcoran. "Corcoran Compliance Connection performs that analysis for the user using robust algorithms derived from our twenty-five years of experience in reimbursement consulting."
According to a June 21, 2012 report by the Deputy Inspector General for the HHS Office of Inspector General, "Although EHR systems can automatically assign codes for E/M services, 88 percent of Medicare physicians assigned codes manually in 2011. The remaining 12 percent had codes assigned manually by staff (e.g., professional coders)." Kevin Corcoran said, "Clearly, there is an enormous unmet need for a trustworthy and reliable expert coding and compliance system to support physicians, and we anticipate that Corcoran Compliance Connection will do so for ophthalmologists and optometrists."
"In our experience, we have found that coding for eye exams is accurate and supported by the medical record in only 60 to 70 percent of all office visits," said Suzanne L. Corcoran. "The 30 to 40 percent of claims for reimbursement of office visits that are not coded correctly or not supported by the chart notes pose a challenge for the practice. Corcoran Compliance Connection can help reduce these errors and substantially improve compliance."
Vital Stats: This proprietary web-based application interacts with a physician's electronic medical record (EMR) to provide fast, accurate coding for eye exams based solely on the EMR entries, in a secure, HIPAA compliant environment, utilizing the available CPT and HCPCS codes, integrated with applicable CPT modifiers.

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Zeal Optics Announces New Support App for Goggles Available at iTunes

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Goggle Tech Support App
Top Line: Zeal Optics now offers technology support for its ski goggles with a new iphone and ipad app, available from iTunes.
Close Up: Zeal Optics’ new app provides consumers with answers to any question that might come up while using a Zeal Optics Tech Goggle. Along with the new app, Zeal also has live person customer service support as a part of the dedication to supporting the category.
“Whether you are a retailer or a customer, you always need to be able to get your questions answered,” says John Sanchez, president of Zeal Optics. “With Zeal’s new Goggle Tech Support App, we are able to help our consumers better utilize every element of their technology goggles, from HDCamera support with iON to Z3 GPS.”
Vital Stats: The Zeal Optics Tech Support app is free from iTunes. It is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, and requires iOS 4.0 or later.

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AlwaysCare Enhances Benefits Portal for Eye Care Professionals

Top Line: AlwaysCare Benefit has launched a new vision care provider portal on AlwaysAssist.com, the company’s online benefit management site.
Close Up: AlwaysCare offers voluntary and employer-paid group benefits that make life a little easier for its members, employee benefit administrators and dental and vision care providers with one bill, one point of contact, one phone number, one customer service center and one website to manage their supplemental benefits.
AlwaysAssist.com offers eye care professionals (ECPs) the online tools to access and manage their patients’ benefits:
• Check member eligibility
• Create, rescind/change and view vision care authorizations
• Pend authorizations and file claims at a future date
• Calculate member responsibility (Value Added Providers only)
• Submit and view vision claims
“Our participating ECPs play a valuable role at AlwaysCare and we continue to look for ways to make working with us even easier. Eye care professionals now have online tools to work more efficiently with our members
and continue offering our clients the best experience possible,” said Gene Sherman, DMD, MBA, AlwaysCare senior vice president of business development and provider relations.
Vital Stats: The new Vision Provider Portal is the latest phase in the redesign of AlwaysAssist.com. The initial steps of the redesign, completed in December 2011, enable group benefit plan members and administrators to search, locate and view their AlwaysCare plan benefits as well as manage plan enrollment and administration data. Now both dental and vision providers can submit and view claims on the site.

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