USRetina Hurricane Relief Fund

Dear Colleagues,

Several of our member practices have been affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Hurricane Irma in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina & South Carolina.

The USRetina Board of Managers would like to propose the creation of a Hurricane Relief Fund, based on contributions from employees of network practices, matched by their physicians and further matched by USRetina.

Donations are not mandated, but they are requested at the discretion of each practice and their partners.

All funds collected by USR will be matched and distributed to affected practices for use in supporting their employees or community.

Contributions must be sent to the following address, with checks made out to USRetina:

  • USRetina Hurricane Relief
    ATTN: James Cleveland
    1001 S Monaco Pkwy, Suite 370
    Denver, CO 80224

Please direct any questions to Pam Knight at 303-570-5475 or

Thank you for your participation,

USRetina Board of Managers

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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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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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Visit Booth #424 at ASRS 2017 in Boston, August 11-15

All USRetina members and vendor partners are welcome and encouraged to stop by booth #424 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 ASRS?  Click here to download the ASRS program and event guide.

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USRetina Annual Event in Atlanta, March 31 – April 1

All USRetina Physician Members and Practice Administrators are invited to attend the USRetina Annual Event in Atlanta, March 31 – April 1. 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 Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Atlanta, GA, with check-in on Friday, March 31st, and meeting 8am-5pm Saturday, April 1st.

  1. RSVP by completing the registration form — here.
  2. Call the Mandarin Oriental at (404) 995-7555 to reserve your discounted room by March 10. 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.



Governmental Landscape in a Time of Uncertainty
Repeal and Replace: Updates on the Affordable Care Act
Medicare Update: The Future of CMMI

  • Thomas Barker focuses his legal practice on complex federal and state health care legal and regulatory matters with a special expertise in Medicare and Medicaid law and regulations and the regulatory implementation of the federal health care reform law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Protecting & Defending Your Practice: Whistleblowing as a Threat to Your Organization
Whistleblowing is Real! Updates on How to Prevent This Trend

  • Steven Pearlman is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the firm’s Whistleblowing & Retaliation Group.  Steven is also at the forefront of defending whistleblower retaliation claims, and routinely conducts investigations arising from whistleblower reports.

Regulatory Issues – MIPS/MACRA – How and When to be Compliant
The Quality Payment Program – MIPS Reporting and Succeeding within the New Reimbursement Paradigm.  What You as a Retina Practice Need to Know.

  • J.R. Murray is a seasoned health policy and regulatory executive with over 20 years’ experience as a policy professional and trusted advisor to senior healthcare leaders. Mr. Murray is the managing partner of Pan American Risk Management, LLC (PARMA).
  • Thomas Evans, M.D., is president and CEO of the Iowa Healthcare Collaborative. Dr. Evans has served on the board for the National Patient Safety Foundation and on the delegations for both the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Family Physicians.  He is a nationally recognized speaker on leadership, medication safety, and patient and family engagement.

Growth, Success and Leadership in Business – Now We Go Home . . . So What?
Fresh Strategies to Communicate with Greater Clarity and Impact About What You Want to See Happen in Your Practice

  • An accomplished author, Jones Loflin has spent 22 years as a speaker and trainer, working to deliver powerful ideas and practical solutions to individuals around the world.
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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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USRetina will exhibit at Retina Subspecialty Day during AAO 2016. All USRetina members and vendor partners are welcome and encouraged to stop by Booth 48 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 Booth 48 to talk with a USRetina team member and see the difference a high value retina network can make.

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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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Practice Efficiency & Benchmarking Thursday Evening Dinner at AAO

All USRetina Physician Members and Practice Administrators are invited and encouraged to attend the USRetina Practice Efficiency & Benchmarking Dinner on Thursday, October 13 at the Omni Hotel, Chicago — 676 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611.

To RSVP, contact Pam Knight at, or call 303.570.5475.


6 PM — Cocktails & Networking
7 PM — Dinner & Keynote on Practice Efficiency by Dr. Robert Wiggins, MD, MHA
8 PM — Benchmarking Survey Results Presentation (closed session for participating practices only)

Completion of the Benchmarking Survey is requested by Friday, September 23. To download the survey spreadsheets or view more information about the survey, log-in to the secure Member Center and visit the 2016 Benchmarking Survey page.

Speaker: Robert Wiggins, MD, MHA

Our keynote speaker for dinner on Thursday, October 13, is Robert Wiggins, MD, MHA, who will present “Going Lean: Tools for Improving Workflow in the Ophthalmology Practice.” Dr. Wiggins serves on the AAO Board of Trustees as the Senior Secretary for Ophthalmic Practice, on the AAOE Board of Directors, and on the OMIC Board of Directors as Finance Chairman. He is also the President of AAPOS, and is the Managing Partner at Asheville Eye Associates.

Robert Wiggins Color

As one of the nation’s leading authorities on ophthalmic practice, Dr. Wiggins will share insights on the changes happening to eyeMD practices, including MACRA payment reforms, technological innovation, frustrating administrative complexity, and increased physician burnout. This interactive presentation will help ensure the viability of your practice using LEAN management methodology.

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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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