The Vision Council Notes That U.S.-China Trade Agreement Will Result in Tariff Reductions on Certain Optical Products

By Staff
Friday, January 17, 2020 12:27 AM ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The Vision Council announced Thursday that the U.S. and China have signed a phase one trade deal that requires structural reforms to China’s economic and trade regimes. The agreement also will lead to a modification of a portion of the existing Section 301 China tariffs. This modification is “a point of interest” to association members who import Chinese-origin product, The Vision Council noted. The overall reforms will be seen in the areas of intellectual property, forced technology transfers, financial services, agriculture, and currency and financial exchanges. In addition, China has agreed to purchase substantial quantities of U.S. origin goods and services in the coming years.

AOA Foundation Opens Nominations for the Dr. W. David Sullins Jr. InfantSEE Award

By Staff
Wednesday, January 15, 2020 12:15 AM ST. LOUIS—Optometry Cares–The AOA Foundation is now accepting nominations for the Dr. W. David Sullins Jr. InfantSEE Award, which recognizes an individual doctor of optometry who has made significant contributions to optometry or his/her community for outstanding public service involving the InfantSEE program, according to an announcement. The award honors the memory of Dr. W. David Sullins Jr., and the late optometrist's inspiring and passionate leadership as a driving force in the profession of optometry. A memorial fund was established after his passing in 2005 and led to the creation of the award.

California Optometric Association Commends Restoration of Eyeglass Benefit in Medi-Cal Program

By Staff
Tuesday, January 14, 2020 12:18 AM SACRAMENTO, Calif.—The California Optometric Association(COA) has noted that as part of the state’s “strong commitment to strengthening the Medi-Cal program” eyeglass benefits for Medi-Cal recipients have been restored, and the association also noted that it will continue in 2020 to advocate for a Medi-Cal reimbursement rate increase for optometrists practicing in the state. “California’s rate is among the lowest in the nation,” a COA official told VMAIL. “We will be advocating for the rate increase again this year.”

Today Is the Last Day Show Organizers Are Offering Free Exhibit Hall Registration for Vision Expo East

By Staff
Thursday, January 9, 2020 12:15 AM
NEW YORK—Today, Jan. 9, is the last day show organizers are offering free Exhibit Hall registration for Vision Expo East, scheduled to take place from March 26 to 29, 2020 at the Javits Center here. Attendees are encouraged to register at http://visionexpony2020.com/VMAIL for a total savings of $150 off the on-site fee. Exhibit Hall registration includes access to more than 600 companies, free networking events, expert panels and exhibitor presentations. Vision Expo East, the definitive trade event for eyecare providers, promises to be more exciting than ever this year with a reimagined concept, show organizers said. The Vision Council, together with co-owner of the Show Reed Exhibitions, is introducing a bold new vision for the signature event with a laser-like focus on discovery, connection and experience. Shaped by feedback from both exhibitors and attendees, the new concept is anchored by curated neighborhoods, enhanced exhibit spaces and refreshed continuing education courses. 

Opticians Association of America Sets Leadership Conference for February

By Staff
Monday, January 6, 2020 12:15 AM
LAKELAND, Tenn.—Registration is underway for the Opticians Association of America(OAA) annual Leadership Conference. The three-day conference opens Thursday, Feb. 13, and runs until Saturday, Feb. 15, at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa in Miramar Beach, Fla. This event is known as one of the most important get-togethers of the year for opticianry leaders and partners, who gather from across the country for education, information, inspiration and unification, according to OAA. A wide offering of unique and engaging seminars, breakout sessions and networking events assure that attendees gain professional tools for growth and have an opportunity to make personal connections that will impact their future. 

AOA Provides an Update on Upcoming Changes to Coding and Reimbursement Procedures

By Staff
Friday, January 3, 2020 12:24 AM ST. LOUIS—The American Optometric Association (AOA), in response to “information disseminated by various individuals and organizations regarding upcoming changes to coding and reimbursement” for evaluation and management services (E/M services), has provided an update about this topic for optometrists. Given the importance of E/M services in patient care, it's critical that all optometrists “are aware of these changes,” the association noted in the post on its website. According to the AOA post, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in 2018 proposed to reduce the payment variation for office/outpatient E/M visit levels by paying a single rate for office/outpatient E/M visit levels 2 through 4 (one rate for established patients and another rate for new patients), while maintaining the payment rate for office/outpatient E/M visit level 5.

Glaucoma, ‘The Sneak Thief of Sight,’ Continues to Affect Vision of Millions of Americans

By Staff
Friday, December 27, 2019 12:21 AM CHICAGO—According to estimates from the Prevent Blindness report, “Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems,” more than 3.2 million Americans ages 40 and over have glaucoma in the year 2020. The number is expected to increase as the population ages. Glaucoma, often referred to as the "The Sneak Thief of Sight," is a leading cause of vision loss that damages the optic nerve. Although symptoms may not be noticeable at first, glaucoma slowly diminishes peripheral vision (side vision), making activities such as driving increasingly, according to a Prevent Blindness announcement this week.

SECO 20/20 Expands Advanced Learning with Groundbreaking New Formats

By Staff
Friday, December 13, 2019 12:24 AM
ATLANTA—The SECO 20/20 conference has enriched its robust options for advanced learning and will provide “learning for every office member,” with each session also offering “actionable takeaways and business best practices,” according to an announcement this week. SECO 20/20, which will be held here March 4-8, has been providing the optometric profession educational opportunities since 1923, the announcement added. Launching at the 2020 conference, SECO will introduce diverse methods for idea sharing to support professionals to manage the changing landscape of clinical, technical and administrative health care. These enhancements include the addition of new programs, new learning formats and a strategic MedPro360 initiative in collaboration with the Allied Ophthalmic Professionals committees, SECO's commitment to world-class education continues to be the foundation for the annual meeting, the announcement said.

NAVCP Sets Partnership to Streamline Credentialing Process and Interaction Between ECPs and Vision Care Plans

By Staff
Thursday, December 5, 2019 12:24 AM WASHINGTON, D.C.—The National Association of Vision Care Plans (NAVCP) announced Wednesday that it has partnered with Gemini Diversified Services to launch an enhanced version of its Universal Credentialing Alliance (UCA) provider credentialing service, which went live Dec. 2. GDS is an independent credentials verification organization based in Orange County, California. NAVCP is deploying GDS’s custom GeminiI software-based solution to streamline UCA’s credentialing process and improve the customer experience for both eyecare professionals (ECPs) and managed vision care (MVC) alliance partner plans, according to the announcement.

National Optometry Hall of Fame Accepting 2020 Nominations

By Staff
Monday, November 25, 2019 12:18 AM ST. LOUIS—Doctors of optometry may now be nominated for the 2020 National Optometry Hall of Fame, a tremendous honor for doctors who have made a major and enduring impact on the profession, according to an announcement by the American Optometric Association (AOA). Inductees will be honored at AOA’s Optometry’s Meeting in June 2020 in National Harbor, Md. The National Optometry Hall of Fame is administered by the American Optometric Association’s (AOA) charitable foundation, Optometry Cares, which works year-round to expand eye health and vision care access to all American citizens and communities, the announcement noted.

American Optometric Association Releases Second Edition of Diabetes Clinical Practice Guideline

By Staff
Wednesday, November 13, 2019 12:18 AM ST. LOUIS—Citing the significant public and economic burden posed by diabetes in the United States, the American Optometric Association (AOA) has issued its revised, evidence-based clinical practice guideline on the disease for doctors of optometry and other health professionals who deliver care to patients with diabetes. 

SECO 20/20 Opens Registration and Seeks Nominations to Recognize Outstanding Optometry Professionals

By Staff
Wednesday, October 30, 2019 12:21 AM ATLANTA—SECO International has announced that SECO, a leading conference providing the ophthalmic industry educational opportunities since 1924, has opened registration for the 20/20 industry event. With the kickoff of the registration cycle, the optometry community also is encouraged to recognize outstanding optometric professionals within the SECO member states with the annual call for nominations to award SECO Optometrist of the Year, SECO Paraoptometric of the Year, and SECO Young Optometrist of the Year. When SECO 20/20 is held March 4-8, 2020, in Atlanta, attendees will have access to more than 50 continuing education credits over the course of the five-day event, with more than 30 of the credits offered over the weekend. The event will feature an array of industry-leading continuing education geared to professionals in all areas: Optometrists, Ophthalmologists, Optometric Students/Residents; Opticians, Opticianry Students/Residents Paraoptometrics, Ophthalmic Medical Technicians, and Administrators, according to the announcement. SECO offers more than 400 hours of continuing education.

U.S. Trade Rep’s List 4A Exclusion Portal for China 301 Duties Set to Open on Oct. 31

By Staff
Wednesday, October 23, 2019 12:24 AM ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The Vision Council has announced that the U.S. Trade Representative has published the procedures for requesting an exclusion from additional China 301 duties for products classified within a tariff subheading set out on Annex A to List 4 (which was published Aug. 20, 2019). The window for seeking product exemptions will open at noon on Oct. 31 and close on Jan. 31, 2020, according to The Vision Council’s announcement. As the association previously noted, the Annex A to List 4 contains the tariff numbers associated with most of The Vision Council’s key member products, including lenses, frames, sunglasses, reading glasses, finished eyeglasses and many low vision devices. VMAIL reported on the lists and the products they included here.

Optometry Giving Sight Establishes New Board of Directors

By Staff
Tuesday, October 22, 2019 12:24 AM GOLDEN, Colo.—Optometry Giving Sight (OGS) has established a new Board of Directors to oversee the organization, according to an announcement. Dr. Juan Carlos Aragon, president of CooperVision’s Specialty Eye Care Division, is the president of the new board. He previously served as Optometry Giving Sight’s chair of their Advisory Council U.S.A. and the Global Board for several years. Joining Dr. Aragón on the board are: Dr. Howard Purcell, president and CEO of the New England College of Optometry; Yvette Waddell, CEO of Brien Holden Vision Institute Foundation; Dr. Susan Cooper, former president of the World Council of Optometry; and Dr. Earl Smith, former Dean of the University of Houston College of Optometry.

Australia Wins Bid for World Congress of Optometry in 2021

By Staff
Friday, October 18, 2019 12:24 AM ST. LOUIS—The World Council of Optometry (WCO) announced this week that the 4th World Congress of Optometry (WCO4) will be held Sept. 2 to 4, 2021, in Melbourne, Australia, and will run in partnership with the highly successful Australian clinical conference and trade show O=MEGA21. (The 3rd World Congress of Optometry begins Wednesday, Oct. 23 and runs concurrently with the American Academy of Optometry’sAcademy meeting in Orlando, Fla., through Sunday, Oct. 27.) The World Council of Optometry is a global optometry association with members in 83 countries, according to its announcement.