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A Word from Our Outgoing Chair

Barbara2017 has been an interesting year for board certification. While there are still no payers requiring it (yet), there are signs that it is becoming a standard that practices and insurers are looking for. Here are some changes we’ve noted:

  1. Large MD/OD practices are increasingly requiring their practitioners to be board certified, and are requesting board certification in their job postings.
  2. Our office is getting daily requests for verification of board certification by insurers and credentialing agencies.
  3. CAQH no longer allows optometrists to claim that they’re board certified because they have taken the standard NBEO exam.

In addition, maintenance of certification counts as a quality improvement measure under MIPS. The Cultural Competency PPM can be used towards “Improved practices that disseminate appropriate self-management materials.”

We expect 2018 to be an exciting year. We are working on a program to measure “continuing competence” in lieu of having another exam at the 10 year mark. This program has been widely accepted in anesthesiology and pediatrics, and is currently being piloted in ophthalmology and internal medicine. You can see what’s happening in pediatrics by clicking here.

We are also working to make the continuing education requirement easier and less expensive to obtain. This year we introduced quarterly webinars that are free to ABO Diplomates and Candidates, and we plan to offer four more in 2018. In addition, distance learning courses with examination approved by a state, District of Columbia, a US Commonwealth or territory board, or COPE (with passing grade) will now count as Category 1 education, enabling you to do more of your CE hours online.

Finally, we have once again transitioned to new leadership. It is my pleasure to introduce the new Chair of ABO, Erich Hinel. Erich became a Diplomate in 2014, and represents the American Optometric Student Association. He practices at the Cincinnati Eye Institute, where he completed a residency in ocular disease before joining the staff.  He attended The Ohio State University for optometry school, and completed a master’s degree in vision science.  Erich was national vice president of the American Optometric Student Association while in school, and has served as an item writer for the ABO Board Certification exam.

Please join me in congratulating Erich and extending your support as he begins his term as Chair.