September 2018


eyeContacts in action

by Tami O’Brien ASCRS manager of PAC and grassroots

Rep. Roskam, center, visits with Dr. Smith and practice administrator Nanci Labracio at the Smith-Perry Eye Center in Hinsdale, Illinois.

ASCRS•ASOA eyeContacts are engaged with elected officials in their communities. Whether it be discussing issues with their senator while hand-delivering an eyePAC check on behalf of the society, inviting their representative to visit their practice, hosting a fundraiser for a key candidate, or simply responding to an ASCRS grassroots action alert, eyeContacts are active to the extent that suits their availability and comfort level.

Rep. Peter Roskam visits practice of ASCRS member Brian Smith, MD

In August, ASCRS member Brian Smith, MD, met with Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL), chairman of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, to deliver a campaign contribution on behalf of eyePAC. The meeting was a follow-up to ASCRS’ participation in a fundraising event for Rep. Roskam in Washington, D.C., during July’s Alliance of Specialty Medicine Legislative Fly-In. ASCRS and the Alliance have been working closely with Rep. Roskam on ways to reduce the regulatory burden on physicians.
Rep. Roskam visited Dr. Smith at his practice, the Smith-Perry Eye Center, in Hinsdale, Illinois. During their meeting, they discussed the importance of preserving a viable Medicare fee-for-service payment option, since there are no ophthalmology-specific Alternative Payment Models (APMs) available at this time, as well as maintaining the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) for quality reporting. In addition, they talked about other issues, such as the need for Congress to address various barriers to specialty care, including prior authorization and step therapy.

Congressman Jim Banks meets with ASCRS and ASOA members at Indiana practice

In August, Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) visited the Grossnickle Eye Center in Warsaw, Indiana, where he met with ASCRS member Christopher Knight, MD, and ASOA members Janie Whitehead, Diana Ostrom, and Josh Gordon. Rep. Banks spent nearly an hour at the newly remodeled practice and was able to tour the ambulatory surgery center, which performs more than 400 surgical cases per month.
Ms. Whitehead, who is the patient accounts manager at Grossnickle, and her colleagues took the opportunity to discuss key issues affecting ophthalmology, including the importance of preserving a Medicare Part B fee-for-service option and improving the prior authorization process. “Insurance companies are always adjusting the way they are paying claims,” Ms. Whitehead said. “Unfortunately, these changes do impact our patients. What might be prescribed by the doctor may not be covered by the insurance company. So we work with patients to make sure they receive the best care.”
If you would like to become an eyeContact, contact Tami O’Brien, ASCRS manager of PAC and grassroots, at

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