With so much at stake, AOA’s direct, grassroots lobbying efforts have positioned the profession well. These efforts continue to play a central role in fighting for increased access to care while still ensuring OD’s, and the patients we serve, are treated fairly. However, it has largely been the proactive and behind-the-scenes work of AOA-PAC that has really helped us secure a greater voice in Washington, DC. Today, a growing number of pro-optometry leaders in Congress are helping to guarantee and protect our hard-earned seat at the table and win successful battles along the way.
Here are a few examples:
- Through both legislative and regulatory actions, AOA saved or generated an estimated $260 million in Medicare payments for physician services in 2014.
- On average, the impact per Medicare-participating optometrist is nearly $10,000.
- More than 10,000 optometrists received Medicare incentive payments for achieving meaningful use of certified health records from 2011 to 2014.
- worth nearly $234 million
- Since 2004, optometrists are collectively earning 83% more money on Medicare physician services,
- an increase worth more than $500 million per year.
- During that same period, ophthalmologists are earning 31% more
- Across the board all physicians combined are earning 56% more.
- AOA-PAC Secured OD inclusion in Stimulus Health Care Incentives which stated that states may include optometrists in the Medicaid EHR incentives, with $63,500 over 6 years; several states have taken this step. The AOA estimates over $3 million have been issued to optometrists under the Medicaid EHR incentive program.
- Won federal recognition that kids vision care is essential and includes comprehensive eye exams and glasses
- Pushed back massive Medicare physician fee cut two times for 2014
- After AOA fought for inclusion of optometrists in these Medicare incentive programs, thousands of optometrists took advantage and collected an additional $4.5 million in PQRS and eRx incentive bonuses in 2012.
While our success in the past has been significant, we can never be sure that we will be able to fight and win our battles on Capitol Hill in the future without your help. With so much more work to do, we hope you will consider investing in AOA-PAC today. Donate here.