USRetina Annual Meeting in Denver, April 20-21 2018


All USRetina Physician Members and Practice Administrators are invited to attend the USRetina Annual Meeting in Denver, April 20-21st, 2018. USRetina has made exciting gains in recent months, and we want to keep you informed about the value we continue to provide for members. The event will take place at the JW Marriott Cherry Creek in Denver, CO, with check-in on Friday, April 20, and meeting 8am-5pm Saturday, April 21st.

  1. RSVP by completing the registration form — here.
  2. Click here or call the JW Marriott at 1-866-706-7814 to reserve your discounted room by April 5. Request the “USRetina Group.”

We welcome you and your colleagues to attend and discover the difference a high-value network can make as we work together to improve the future of retina. Stay-tuned for updates on meeting sessions by visiting or logging onto your secure Member Center.

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USRetina New Member Spotlight: Q3 2017

USRetina is pleased to announce the newest members to the GPO.   The following member practices have joined our association this past quarter:

  • Prairie Eye and Lasik Center
  • Chesapeake Retina Centers
  • Coastal Eye Surgeons
  • San Antonio Retina Associates, PLLC
  • Stella Douros, MD
  • RGV Retina Specialists
  • Retina Institute of California
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Join USRetina at Galatoire’s Bar 33 in New Orleans

After AAO Retina Subspecialty Day is done and dinner is finished, meet your USRetina colleagues at world-famous Galatoire’s Bar 33 on Bourbon Street for cocktails, small bites and dessert to end your evening.

Reception Information

8-11pm — Friday, Nov 10, 2017

Bar 33 at Galatoire’s Restaurant

209 Bourbon Street, New Orleans

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Visit Booth #17 at AAO in New Orleans, November 10

All USRetina members and vendor partners are welcome and encouraged to stop by our booth to hear about the latest GPO offerings and news that may directly impact your practice.

Not a USRetina member but interested in learning more? Come by the booth to talk with a USRetina team member and see the difference a high value retina network can make.

Interested in attending AAO?  Click here to view more information about the event.

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USRetina New Member Spotlight: Q2 2017

USRetina is pleased to announce the newest members to the GPO.   The following member practices have joined our association this past quarter:

  • Oregon Eye Consultants (Medford, OR)
  • Retina Associates of Hawaii, Inc (Honolulu, HI)
  • Garland Eye Associates (Garland, TX)
  • Augusta Retina Consultants, Inc (Augusta, GA)
  • Eye Surgeons of Indiana (Indianapolis, IN)
  • Eye Surgeons Associates, PC (Monroe, MI)
  • Eye Physicians and Surgeons, P.A. (Wilmington, DE)
  • Khaled Tawansy, MD (Bakersfield, CA)
  • Milestones Retina Eye Care (Pasadena, CA)
  • Amitabh Bharadwaj, MD (Pinole, CA)
  • California Retina Associates (Chula Vista, CA)
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Post-Election Advocacy Briefing

It is far too soon to know where the dust will settle on many issues impacting our practices. What we can clarify for USRetina members is that no “stop work” directives have been issued to CMS staff as of this publication. In other words, all initiatives underway are still moving forward. However, everyone knows that a key item on President-elect Trump’s agenda is the repeal of the Affordable Care Act or at least the repeal of components of it.

CMMI, its funding, and demonstrations are most definitely in the cross-hairs. The proposed Part B demonstration is a CMMI/Affordable Care Act demonstration. It is still too early to know if the current administration will try to move it through quickly or abandon it.

Importantly, the MACRA initiative or Quality Payment Program is part of a separate piece of legislation to replace the old SGR. Therefore, it is not at risk at this point; however, the rules could be modified under the new administration.

The USRetina advocacy team will continue to keep members updated about our ongoing efforts in the coming days.

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Steve Charles, MD, Awarded the 2016 Retina Research Foundation Award of Merit

Congratulations to USRetina member Steve Charles, MD, FACS, FICS, who was awarded the Retina Research Foundation (RRF) Award of Merit at the Retina Society Annual Meeting in September. This prestigious award is to “recognize outstanding vision scientists whose work contributes to knowledge about the retina and retinal diseases.”

Dr. Charles is the Founder of Charles Retina Institute, and is an internationally-recognized vitreoretinal surgeon, performing over 36,000 retinal surgeries in 25 countries. Dr. Charles has helped shape many of the advancements used today in the treatment of retinal disease.

The mission of the RRF is to reduce the occurrence of retinal blindness worldwide by funding programs in research and education. Since 1978, RRF has selected many world-renowned scientists for the Award of Merit for outstanding achievements in retina research and momentous contributions to new knowledge about the retina or retinal disease.  It is certainly an honor that Dr. Charles is now included among this impressive group of recipients.

To learn more about Dr. Charles and the RRF Award of Merit, click here.

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Dr. Kourous Rezaei of Illinois Retina Associates Moderates International Survey Revealing Global Differences Among Retina Specialists

A recent “global trends” survey, moderated by Dr. Kourous A. Rezaei, ASRS International Affairs Committee Member and retinal physician at Illinois Retina Associates, has revealed significant discrepancies in practice between retina specialists in the United States and those in other regions. The survey gathered responses from over 1,100 retina physicians from a total of 40 medical societies, including the American Society of Retina Specialists.

The results revealed that retina specialists in the United States take a different approach to managing endophthalmities after intravitreal injection, compared with physicians in nearly every other global region.

“This, I think, is a big discrepancy between the U.S. and Europe,” says Dr. Rezaei in a recent article, “and also almost the rest of the world, where most of them do vitrectomy.”

72% of U.S. respondents said they would handle such cases with a tap and inject strategy. In every other region, less than 50% of respondents gave the same response. In most regions, pars plata vitrectomy is the most commonly used treatment strategy.

This wasn’t the only survey question to illustrate a difference between the US and the rest of the world. Another question asked whether visual acuity improves then stabilizes, or improves before declining in patients on long-term VEGF therapy. A majority of US respondents, 64.1%, said that visual acuity stabilized.

“This is the opposite of what the real-world data indicate,” notes Dr. Rezaei. To view the full survey, click here.

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Dr. Dante J. Pieramici Discusses “Managing Severe Open Globe Injuries Through the Years” in ‘Retina Today’

Dr. Dante J. Pieramici explores ophthalmologic history and the evolvement of ophthalmologic surgery in his recent Retina Today article entitled, “Managing Severe Open Globe Injuries Through the Years.”

For most of human history, open globe injuries — severe full thickness defects of the eye wall caused by traumatic injury —meant losing the affected eye or its vision. Lacerations, ruptures, perforation, or penetration of the eye made it impossible to restore vision, and surgical techniques put the patients in danger of infection and other severe complications. The prognosis for open globe injury patients prior to the mid-20th century was grim.

Today, advances in modern medicine have supplanted the pigeon blood, leeches, medicinal herbs, and other treatments that were the only recourse for ancient, medieval, and early modern physicians. By the 19th century, enucleation became a favored technique, as pioneered by George Lawson. The early 20th century brought advancements in X-ray imaging and magnetism, improving the ability to remove intraorbital foreign objects — especially those that were ferromagnetic — through a scleral incision.

Dr. Dante J. Pieramici is a retina specialist and partner at California Retina Consultants and Director of the California Retina Research Foundation. His recent article is the first in a series, which will continue to detail the history of open globe injury management. You can read the full article here:

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Dr. Alan Kimura Participates in Colorado Society of Eye Physicians & Surgeons’ Day at the Capitol

Last month, Dr. Alan Kimura of Colorado Retina Associates attended the Colorado Society of Eye Physicians & Surgeons’ (CSEPS) Day at the Capitol. This event, organized by glaucoma specialist Dr. Leo Seibold of the University of Colorado School of Medicine, is designed to provide an opportunity for optometrists, ophthalmologists, and retina specialists to meet with state legislators at the Capitol.

This advocacy event brings together eye physicians from across the state, including many young physicians with a strong interest in advocacy. Among the attendees were Drs. Cara Capitina and Gabriela Rodriguez-Colon, the 2016 ambassadors for the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Mid-Year Forum for Advocacy.

During the CSEPS Day at the Capitol, Dr. Kimura and his colleagues met with state legislators, including Colorado state representative Beth McCann. Among the topics discussed were scope of practice for optometry, the Surgical Scope Fund, and how beginning ophthalmologists can get involved in advocacy efforts.

Dr. Kimura is one of two physicians that lectures to ophthalmology residents at the University of Colorado. He focuses on incorporating advocacy topics into his interactions with these young physicians. “I always weave in population health, the patient experience of care, and costs into my retina lectures to them,” he reports. “Residency is the ideal time to speak about advocacy, for once residents are out of training and just starting their practice, it is very challenging to get them to take even a day off of work.”

Events like the CSEPS’s Day at the Capitol provide a prime opportunity for retina specialists and other eye physicians to connect with legislators to advocate for policies that improve the quality and availability of ophthalmologic care for patients. You can find out more about the event here:

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