About the Macula Society

Founded in 1977, the Macula Society is a forum for new research in retinal vascular and macular diseases. Membership is by application, with acceptance criteria including extensive contribution to retinal literature. The Macula Society recognizes outstanding achievement by its members and others through awards and lectures, and holds an annual meeting open to members, their guests co-authors, and supporting company representatives.

 

 

AAO.ORG
To: Society Presidents & EVPs/Executive Directors 

Action Requested
1.  Encourage your society members to use Academy's advocacy tools
2. State societies: Personalize the attached template letter and send to your congressional delegations. 
3. Encourage your society members to register for the Academy's Virtual Advocacy Day

As our nation addresses the coronavirus pandemic, the Academy understands the challenges that ophthalmology practices are facing across the country. The Academy is partnering with other specialty organizations to press Congress to help physicians now and during the long-term recovery from COVID-19. We are reaching out to ophthalmic state and subspecialty/specialized interest societies to request support in our advocacy efforts. 

The Academy appreciates the passage of several aid packages to address the devasting impact of the pandemic. However, we know that many ophthalmology practices will have difficulty recovering from months of deep financial losses without additional assistance. The Academy has launched a grassroots campaign to Congress to provide further assistance to physicians and their patients. Your members can use the Academy's advocacy tools to urge their lawmakers to provide additional help to ensure that ophthalmologists can continue to care for their communities during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Your members can also participate in the Academy's first ever Virtual Advocacy Day on May 12th. This is another key opportunity for ophthalmologists to share their stories about how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted both their patients and their practices. Academy staff will schedule appointments with congressional offices and share training materials, talking points and other resources to ensure your members have successful meetings with their lawmakers and congressional staff. More information can be found on the Academy's website and your members can sign up using our registration link.

We are asking societies to share these resources with your members and encourage them to support the Academy's efforts. If your society has any questions about our grassroots campaign or our Virtual Advocacy Day, please email the Academy's grassroots coordinator, Dash Delan or call him at 202-737-6662. Dash can also assist state societies with sharing the template letter with members of Congress from your state.

Background Information
Congress has already started work on new legislation that expands on the $2 trillion stimulus bill known as the CARES Act. As legislators try to reach agreement, physician groups want to make sure further legislation takes significant steps to help health care providers. The Academy, the American Medical Association, the American College of Surgeons and other specialty physician groups have urged Congress to act on several priorities that address both the immediate needs practices are facing as well as actions to assist with their long-term recovery.

Specifically, we are asking Congress for the following actions:

Immediate Relief During COVID-10 Pandemic:
  • Include the bipartisan Immediate Relief for Rural Facilities and Providers Act (H.R. 6365/S. 3559) in the next coronavirus relief package. This legislation would leverage the Small Business Administration (SBA) to ensure access to low-rate, deferred-interest loans specifically for physicians and provide a one-time stabilization grant for physicians based on their payroll. 
  • Enact needed changes to the Medicare Accelerated and Advanced Payment Program to lower the interest rate on balances due at the end of the recoupment period, lengthen the repayment period for physician practices and provide the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) with additional flexibility to set repayment terms. 
  • Provide additional funding for the newly authorized and expanded small business loans under the SBA. 
Recovery Assistance for Resuming Normal Operations After COVID-19 Pandemic:
  • Provide relief from policy changes for evaluation and management services that are scheduled for 2021. The Academy supports the increased values for E/M payments that will take effect Jan. 1, but we have concerns about some of the E/M policy changes that were finalized in the 2020 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule that will negatively affect specialty surgeons. We are calling on Congress to direct CMS to apply planned payment increases for E/M services to the post-operative visits included in the global surgical codes. We also want Congress to waive budget neutrality for the physician fee schedule to avert cuts to Medicare payments that will occur due to a new add-on code CMS intends to implement next year. If Congress waives budget neutrality, it will allow CMS to move forward with its plan and avoid the cuts to other physician services that would have been required to offset the cuts of the new add-on code payments. 
  • Extend relief from the budget sequestration cuts to Medicare payments through December 31, 2021 to continue providing financial relief as physician practices resume normal operations. Under the CARES Act, this relief is provided through the end of 2020. 
  • End the current six-year physician payment freeze by implementing a positive physician update like those that other Medicare providers received in 2020. 
By taking these actions, Congress will ensure that physician practices remain available to care for their communities during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
For more information about the Academy's advocacy efforts related to COVID-19 pandemic, please email the Academy's director of federal affairs, Rebecca Hyder or the grassroots coordinator, Dash Delan. Both can also be reached at 202-737-6662.
Sincerely,
Dan Briceland, MD - Senior Secretary for Advocacy
Michael Repka, MD, MBA - Medical Director for Governmental Affairs

Save The Date

44th Annual Macula Society Meeting

February 3-6, 2021

Fontainbleau

Miami Beach, Florida


Save the Date for 2021

45th Annual Macula Society Meeting 
June 8-June 11, 2022
Berlin, Germany
The Ritz Carlton 
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Officers

President
Carol L. Shields, MD

President-Elect
Mark W. Johnson, MD

Secretary
Glenn J. Jaffe, MD

Treasurer
Daniel F. Martin, MD

Executive Secretary
Lawrence J.  Singerman, MD

Immediate Past President
Joan W. Miller, MD

Established 1977
Lawrence J. Singerman - Founder

Committee Chairs

Awards
H. Richard McDonald, MD

By-Laws Chair
Christina J. Flaxel, MD

Credentials
Dean Eliott, MD

Education Endowment
Lawrence A. Yannuzzi, MD

Meeting Planning
Julia A. Haller, MD

Nominating
Judy E. Kim, MD

Program
Anita Agarwal, MD

Research
David N. Zacks, MD

Website
Demetrios G. Vavvas, MD

AAO Representative
Sharon D. Solomon, MD

International Representative
Robin H. Guymer, AM, MBBS, PhD

Young Member
Nadia K. Waheed, MD

Past Presidents

Joan W. Miller, MD
Arnall Patz, MD
J. Donald M. Gass, MD
Morton F. Goldberg, MD
Robert C. Watzke, MD
Stephen J. Ryan, MD
John G. Clarkson, MD
David H. Orth, MD
Alexander J. Brucker, MD
Lee M. Jampol, MD
Thomas M. Aaberg, MD
Travis A. Meredith, MD
Kurt A. Gitter, MD
William F. Mieler, MD
Daniel Finkelstein, MD
Lawrence A. Yannuzzi, MD
Evangelos S. Gragoudas, MD
Jerry A. Shields, MD
Michael L. Klein, MD
Emily Y. Chew, MD
Mark S. Blumenkranz, MD
Neil M. Bressler, MD
Paul Sternberg, Jr., MD
Gil Grand, MD
Andrew P. Schachat, MD
James C. Folk, MD
H. Richard McDonald, MD

Joan W. Miller, MD

Member News
The Future of Artificial Intelligence-Enabled Ophthalmic Image Interpretation:
Accelerating Innovation and Implementation Pathways” Conference
September 3-4, 2020

Click here to view Flyer


Announcing Leadership Development Program XXIII, Class of 2021


Special Interest Group

The ICO is excited to let our  society members know about the formation of a new special interest group for ophthalmic educators, ICO Ophthalmic Educators Group (ICO-OEG). More information on the ICO-OEG is available here.

If you have any questions regarding this request please contact us directly at educators@icoph.org


43rd Annual Macula Society Scientific Program and photos

Members may login and view the videos from the 43rd Annual Meeting

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