October 2016




ASOA opens doors to opportunities

by Denise Monasterio ASCRS Communications Manager


There has never been a more important time to get practice management right. Practice administrators and ophthalmologists are mutual stakeholders in running a practice; the business side and the clinical side depend on one another for successful patient care and outcomes, for efficient business operations, for proper coding and billing, and to ensure compliance with laws and regulations in a complex and evolving health care system.

Physicians receive their medical training and licensure before beginning to practice as doctors. But those who run the business side of ophthalmic practices more often learn on the job or rise up from other administrative or technical positions to take on the critical role of a practice administrator—a role that requires a unique combination of clinical knowledge and business expertise. So where can administrators go to gain the critical knowledge and skills they need to be top notch in their profession? Administrators can turn to the American Society of Ophthalmic Administrators (ASOA), the premier organization for the business side of the ophthalmic practice. Founded in 1986 by administrators for administrators, ASOA’s mission is to advance the skills and professionalism of ophthalmic practice management. ASOA offers various avenues for personal and professional growth, and provides support, tools, and resources for administrators, managers, physicians, and office staff to meet the daily challenges of managing a practice and gain expertise in key areas, including basic ophthalmic knowledge, human resources, financial management, operations, risk management, regulatory compliance, and information technology.

“For the ophthalmic administrator, ASOA is the most important resource for staying connected to the current issues in ophthalmology,” said Daniel Chambers, MBA, COE, ASOA president. “Membership provides access to a wealth of information.”

Educational resources

ASOA members have access to a great number of benefits to further their education, such as: • Administrator Beginner’s Circle (ABC): A program for new administrators (4 years or less in ophthalmology practice management) that provides valuable resources to support and guide them in their new career.

• ASOA Learning Center: An online center that offers continuing education and professional development opportunities focused on specific topics such as basic ophthalmic knowledge and finance and accounting.

• Mentor Match: A unique platform that allows members to sign up as a mentor or mentee and provides an opportunity for members to connect and seek guidance from others in their field.

• EyeMail: An online discussion forum that allows members to communicate directly with peers.

• Resource Library: A repository of tools and templates including cash flow, budget, patient visit spreadsheets, job descriptions, scheduling checklists, sample policies, and more than 100 useful resources.

• Web seminars: Online web sessions held throughout the year and archived for download on various topics such as “Emotional Intelligence for Exceptional Patient Outcomes” and “Business Operations: Moving from Technician to Manager.”

Industry meetings

A major benefit of being an ASOA member is access to leading ophthalmic administrative meetings throughout the year. Every spring, ASOA, in conjunction with the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS), holds the ASCRS•ASOA Symposium & Congress (the next meeting will be in Los Angeles, on May 5–9, 2017). The meeting includes quality education for practice management staff from leaders in the field. ASOA also hosts a dedicated practice management track at the Combined Ophthalmic Symposium in Austin, Texas in conjunction with ASCRS and the American Society of Ophthalmic Registered Nurses (ASORN). In addition to these two meetings, ASOA hosts regional meetings in different locations around the country as part of its ASOA on Tour initiative. ASOA on Tour was developed to provide practice managers with convenient, alternative opportunities for face-to-face education, while still providing the quality level of programming ASOA is known for.


ASOA publishes the award-winning Administrative Eyecare magazine six times a year. Each issue addresses topics such as administration and human resources, information technology, coding and reimbursement, and specialties such as ambulatory surgical centers, cosmetic services, hearing services, optical shops, and retina. Each issue also features an in-depth article on a trending topic in ophthalmology management and provides news on association initiatives and member leadership.


Earning a professional certification is one way administrators can ensure they are familiar with the broad body of knowledge required of practice managers today and be formally recognized among their peers in the field of ophthalmic administration. ASOA provides the training and education to obtain the Certified Ophthalmic Executive (COE) designation. The COE is the national standard for ophthalmic practice management and is an elite certification that promotes excellence and professionalism in ophthalmic practice management. It is administered by the National Board for the Certification of Ophthalmic Executives (NBCOE). The COE recognizes those who have achieved the experience, knowledge, and skills identified by the NBCOE as essential to practice management.

In addition to the COE, ASOA supports the Certified Patient Service Specialist (CPPS) certification, administered by BSM Consulting, that serves as the national standard of excellence for nonclinical office staff. The CPPS program is an affordable and convenient online certification program. A full listing of member benefits and information about joining ASOA can be found on the ASOA website at www.asoa.org.

Contact information

: dmonasterio@ascrs.org

ASOA opens doors to opportunities ASOA opens doors to opportunities
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