This issue is dedicated to the memory of Virginia S. Boyce (1912-2009).
40 Years of JCAHPO
In terms of historical dates, few carry more significance for JCAHPO than October 12. On this day in 1969, the very first organizational
meeting of the new Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO) was held at the Palmer House in Chicago, IL. After years
of planning and preparation, it was here that the first set of articles of incorporation were signed by the founding Commissioners as
representatives from the first six participating societies.
- American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology (AAO&O)
- American Association of Ophthalmology (AAO)
- American Medical Association (AMA)
- Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO)
- Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists (CLAO)
- Society of Military Ophthalmologists (SMO)
In honor of this occasion, JCAHPO would like to thank everyone who has contributed to its growth for the past four decades. The JCAHPO
Commissioners, volunteer faculty, staff, and certificants each played a central role in guaranteeing that JCAHPO remains committed to providing
quality education and certification that improves patient care worldwide.
New Pocket Guide
In October, JCAHPO & ATPO collaborated to launch a new educational resource for OMP:
The JCAHPO/ATPO Pocket Guide: A Clinical Skills and Reference Guide for the Ophthalmic Technician
The text includes quick reference tab navigation, detailed illustrations and diagrams in 12 color-coded sections. This is a MUST-HAVE
reference resource for OMP. Tabbed sections include:
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Clinical Skills
- Contact Lenses
- History Taking/Triage/Documentation
- Safety and Infection Control
- Special Tests and Procedures
- Reference and Tools
The JCAHPO/ATPO Pocket Guide is now available for purchase through the JCAHPO Bookstore.
Ask about discounts for bulk purchases!
JCAHPO Webinar Series
The first two presentations in the JCAHPO & ATPO Webinar Series were highly successful and well-attended.
Webinars are the latest way for personnel to earn JCAHPO credits quickly and from the convenience of their home or office.
The first Tuesday of each month, a new topic will be available featuring content that reflects emerging procedures and technologies in eye care.
|*November 17, 2009
||7:30 p.m., CST
||Clinical AMD - Pearls for the Technician
|December 8, 2009
||7:30 p.m., CST
||Chief Complaints – The Technician’s Role in Compliance
|January 12, 2010
||7:30 p.m., CST
||Imaging for AMD - Pearls for the Technician
|February 9, 2010
||7:30 p.m., CST
|March 9, 2010
||7:30 p.m., CST
||Optical/Dispensing - Prescribing
|April 6, 2010
||7:30 p.m., CST
|May 11, 2010
||7:30 p.m., CST
||ERX - A Clinical Perspective
|June 8, 2010
||7:30 p.m., CST
||Disaster Relief for an Ophthalmology Practice and the Technician’s Role
|July 12, 2010
||7:30 p.m., CST
||Refractive Surgery Case Discussion
|August 10, 2010
||7:30 p.m., CST
*FREE to JCAHPO certificants and ATPO members.
Visit the new Webinar pages to register or for more information.
2010 Census - Specify "Ophthalmic Technician"
When census forms are delivered in March 2010, you may be asked about occupational information from the American Community Survey.
If so, make sure that you appropriately list your occupation as an ophthalmic technician. This identifies the profession as a separate career
pathway and brings public recognition and unity to OMP nationwide.
In February 2009, JCAHPO announced that “Ophthalmic Technician” was approved for separate listing by the United States Bureau
of Labor’s 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Committee. The 2010 SOC listing is used by federal statistical agencies to
classify workers into occupational categories for the purpose of collecting, calculating, and disseminating data.
This is a huge achievement for ophthalmic allied health that communicates the complexity and range of tasks that differentiates this
profession from medical assisting. Under the new listing, “Ophthalmic Technician” is classified under the major category of Health
Technologists and Technicians (29-2050), and the sub-group of Health Practitioner Support Technicians and Technologists (29-2057).
Did you know?
According to the September 2009 “Employment Summary” by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, health care has added 544,000
jobs since the start of the recession.
The Importance of Maintaining Your Staff’s Professional Development
"Learning is either a continuing thing or it is nothing."
Whether its real estate, the stock market, or health care, the delicate global economy has become a conversational final destination.
For many, this can lead to overwhelming fear and uncertainty.
Instead of focusing on the problem, consider “money talk” as an opportunity to be introspective and discover
important, often overlooked business realities. Let the laws governing economics swing as they may, and remain calm and measured
when it comes to making practical, smart business decisions. More than anything, resist the urge to scale back. Instead, fortify your practice by
investing in part of its infrastructure: the career development of your OMP.
Any strong business should aim to employ a dynamic work force: a group of proficient, skilled individuals working together in a common pursuit.
The difference between envisioning and attaining this end though, can be challenging.
To start, critically evaluate the staff you currently employ. Who brings a positive attitude? Who interacts with patients well? Who
contributes to office efficiency? Asking these questions and identifying strengths in your employees is a great launching point for understanding
the hand you’ve been dealt. Use this to your advantage in delegating specific tasks to staff who demonstrate clear aptitude.
Develop Personnel Skills
Even before taking a thorough survey of personnel, there are probably several individuals who stand out. It could be the person who has worked
hard for your clinic for several years, or it could be the newcomer. Regardless, these are the sort of dynamic, committed individuals that make
Rewarding staff with reimbursement for continuing education and certification demonstrates that you, as an
employer, value personnel who are career-minded, skilled professionals. Mutual respect is exchanged and a level of trust develops between employee
and employer. The personnel participating in career development will
learn more and be a stronger asset to your clinic. In the end, this is the sort of positive reinforcement that can transform staff morale, incentivize, and improve performance.
For ophthalmologists, continuing medical education (CME) is a vital part of ensuring that patients receive the best possible care. Travel to conferences, weekends on the road, and attending lectures and courses may not be exciting pursuits. Yet CME is
just as important as treating patients or operating a clinic. This is an accepted part of career development for ophthalmologists.
Continuing education (CE) for personnel is equally important. CE aids personnel in developing skills and knowledge that are relevant and effective.
Appreciate how this mindset might benefit your staff and clinic and embrace continuing education as a component for improving efficiency.
Employ Certified Staff
JCAHPO certification is a standard among ophthalmic allied health professionals recognized and respected worldwide by physicians, employers,
administrators, and other OMP. Employing certified OMP conveys to patients and the eye care profession about the level of performance and
training required to serve as an eye care provider. Raise the professional bar in your clinic. This will set aside untrained job applicants, attract
experienced and trained professionals, and relay training expectations to prospective personnel.
Progress – Not Perfection
Empowering your personnel with the tools to reach their full potential can
serve practical long term objectives. Regard professional development as a part of your clinics commitment to its employees, rather than a costly
annoyance. Let ideals lead the way to improving the availability of care and realize that when it comes to growth, there is no finish line.
|For more information click below.|
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The content and views expressed within do not represent or reflect the official policies or position
2010 Medicare Changes May Affect Your Patients’ Coverage
Each year, your patients’ Medicare health and drug plans change. The costs of monthly premiums may increase, as well as the co-pays for office
visits and prescription drugs. And, every year, millions of Medicare patients switch prescription drug plans. In 2008, about 3.1 million Part
D enrollees switched plans.1 Part D plans may also change the drugs they cover, and health care providers may opt out of some current Medicare
health plans and opt into new ones.
As a technician, you are in a unique position to help your patients make informed decisions about many aspects of their health care—including
their coverage. If your Medicare patients ask you questions about their coverage, encourage them to review their health and drug plans annually
and evaluate any changes so they can determine which plans offer them the best value for their money.
Below are some ways you can help:
Remind your patients of enrollment dates:
- The open enrollment period for 2010 Medicare health and prescription drug plans is November 15 through December 31. Patients who
do not select a new plan will automatically continue on their current plan for 2010.
- Patients enrolled in Medicare Advantage can change plans from January 1 through March 31.2
- After March, patients may only join, switch, or drop Medicare if they qualify for special enrollment.3 This includes patients who
are turning 65 years old, moving to a different coverage area, or eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. For more information on special
enrollment, patients can visit www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-Medicare (1-800-633-4227).
Explain how their health coverage may change">
- Remind your patients to consider those Medicare health plans in which your office participates when they review the plans available
for 2010, especially if your office will be changing plans
- Inform your patients that formulary changes to Medicare Part D drug plans may affect their access to certain medications. As a
result, patients may need to switch prescription drug plans in order to continue with their current therapies
Describe the steps for checking prescription drug coverage
- Go to www.Medicare.gov
- Click on “Formulary Finder-2010 Plan Data”
- Enter state name
- Enter drug name(s), then enter dosage
- Review the list of plans offering drug coverage in the state
- Choose the plan that offers the best coverage
Explain terms that may not be familiar to your patients
||The monthly cost patients pay for their plan. For some patients, there
may be no monthly cost.
||The amount of money patients pay themselves before their coverage begins.
||The amount that patients continue to pay after they have met their plan’s deductible.
||The list of drugs that a plan covers. This list of drugs varies for each plan and should be a key factor for patients to consider
when choosing a plan.
Refrences: 1. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; US Department of Health & Human Services. Medicare prescription drug
benefit’s projected costs continue to drop: Part D attracts new beneficiaries and achieves high rates of satisfaction [press release].
January 31, 2008. 2. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; US Department of Health & Human Services. Medicare at a glance.
CMS publication no. 11082; September 2008. http://www.medicare.gov/Publications/Pubs/pdf/11082.pdf. Accessed October 23, 2009. 3. Centers for
Medicare & Medicaid Services; US Department of Health & Human Services. Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Manual. Chapter 3. Eligibility,
Enrollment and Disenrollment. http://www.cms.hhs.gov/MedicarePresDrugEligEnrol/Downloads/PDPEnrollment
August 31, 2009.
New Salary Survey
Every two years, The Association of Technical Personnel in Ophthalmology (ATPO), in collaboration with JCAHPO, conducts a comprehensive
national survey highlighting wage, benefit, and salary analysis for ophthalmic medical personnel (OMP). The report is designed to give employees
and employers a clear, relevant understanding of the professional trends in compensation for ophthalmic allied health personnel.
How much do COTs make in New York City? Chicago? Sandusky, OH? The 2009 National Salary & Benefits Report for OMP answers these, and many more
questions, with detailed data from five sections:
- Demographics (age, ethnic backgrounds, employment)
- Professional and Educational Information
- Practice Information
Get your copy of this must-have professional publication by visiting the JCAHPO Bookstore.
2009 ACE Program A Success
We would like to thank all attendees and participants who made the 2009 ACE program in San Francisco, CA a thrilling success. Volunteer
faculty, staff, JCAHPO Commissioners, and attendees traveled from around the world to take part in this exclusive career development event for
ophthalmic medical personnel. Thank you to everyone for making this year’s program especially memorable.
If you missed this year’s program, mark your calendars for the 2010 ACE program in Chicago, IL, October 15-18. Visit www.jcahpo.org
regularly for educational programs coming to your region.
In support of continuing education and certification for OMP, be sure to watch for these upcoming learning opportunities:
| Left: Stein Prize recipient Holly Bope, COA. Right: President of the JCAHPO Education and Research
Foundation, Peter C. Donshik, MD.
Harold A. Stein, MD Prize
The recipient of the 2009 Harold A. Stein, MD Prize for Best Scientific Paper is Holly Bope, COA, of Rushville, OH. She was honored at the
2009 ACE Program in San Francisco, CA. She received a $2,000 award for her winning paper titled, “Why Am I So Nearsighted?”.
Visit the Foundation Web site for information on eligibility requirements for the 2010 Harold A. Stein, MD award, and other prize and
2009 Continuing Education Scholarships
Congratulations to the following recipients of Continuing Education (CE) Scholarships. These individuals were recently honored at the 2009 ACE
program in San Francisco, CA.
| CE Scholarship recipients at the 2009 ACE program in San Francisco, CA. Not all recipients pictured.
- Christine Crandall
- Dorcas Fikejs, COA
- Karen Foulks, COT
- Yodit Hailemeskel, COA
- Inga Henderson
- Erica Huesca, COA
- Vu Huynh
- Eva Kroneker CCOA
- Lazantriel Nelson
- Carol Pollack-Rundle, COMT
- Shellee Rockwell, COA
- Gloria Shuster, COT
- Bradley Stern
- Shelly Valardi, COT
- Barbara Walton, COT
- Rachel Watney, COT, ROUB
- Judith Whitehead, COT
- Sheryl Wizov, COA
Visit the Foundation Web site for available scholarships in 2010.
| Virginia S. Boyce: 1912-2009
Remembering Virginia Boyce
We announced in the July issue of Eye Lights, that long-time service advocate for ophthalmic personnel, Virginia S. Boyce, passed
away at the age of 96. As JCAHPO Public Advisor (1982-1992) and as President and Chair of JCAHPO’s Education and Research Foundation
(1990-2000), Virginia embodied the spirit of service and leadership among ophthalmic personnel. Out of respect, we honor and remember
her life and legacy in the ophthalmic allied health field.
Virginia’s introduction to the eye care profession began many years ago. She first joined the National Society to Prevent
Blindness (NSPB) (now Prevent Blindness America) in 1937 as a research assistant. After decades of work within the organization, she
was eventually appointed Executive Director of the NSPB in 1972. Ten years later she professionally retired from the position, but
her service work continued.
The NSPB was near to Virginia’s heart, and she had an innate understanding of what it meant to be blind. The challenges facing the
vision impaired moved her, and she took her work on their behalf seriously. She was a woman ahead of her time, and realized that blindness
was not just an issue in the United States. Ultimately, it was a global issue that required the energy, commitment, and resources of the
entire international eye care community. Virginia spent a great deal of time bringing attention to blindness through lectures at educational
events around the world. She served as Secretary of the Board of the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness for six years, retiring
in 1994. Her work with the NSPB totaled 45 years, which included organizing, teaching, helping others, and advancing preventative health care
throughout the world.
In 1960, she was initiated as a member of the Delta Gamma Fraternity at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. During her
time with the organization she made a lasting impact. In 1970, she was honored with The Order of the Delta Gamma Rose, one of the
organization’s most prestigious awards honoring outstanding members.
In retrospect, her role as a champion for blindness prevention would be the defining characteristic of her life. She established
regular school vision screenings and industrial eye safety programs in countless communities, public and professional education in eye
health, and a national Home Eye Test for Preschoolers.
Her work as a professional was also greatly respected, with numerous distinguished health care groups seeking her counsel. She
served on the Board of Directors of the National Health Council, and was a member of the American Public Health Association, the American
School Health Association, the American College Health Association, the National Coalition for Disease Prevention and Environmental Health,
the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, and the Pan American Association of Ophthalmology. She was also a member of the
American Association of University Women, the American Society of Association Executives, and the Health Foundation of Benedictine Hospital
and Medical Center of Kingston, New York.
Few figures have impacted the role of ophthalmic personnel in modern eye care more than Virginia Boyce. Her work with JCAHPO as Public
Advisor and long-time friend will be forever remembered and greatly missed.
| CSOMP President Marc Lafontaine, COMT (left) presents CSOMP's donation to JCAHPO President William H. Ehlers, MD (right).
Thank You Contributors
The JCAHPO Education and Research Foundation thanks the Canadian Society of Ophthalmic Medical Personnel (CSOMP) for its generous
donation of $1,000 in honor of Virginia S. Boyce. The donation was presented to JCAHPO President William H. Ehlers, MD, by CSOMP President
Marc Lafontaine, COMT in Minnesota late last summer. Virginia S. Boyce, who recently passed away, was a long-time advocate of education and
training opportunities for ophthalmic personnel.
Additional thanks to the American Association of Certified Orthoptists (AACO) for their generous contribution of $1,000 in 2009.
The Education and Research Foundation appreciates the support it receives from all contributors. These contributions provide valuable
financial support for continuing education and certification opportunities for ophthalmic allied health personnel. Visit the
JCAHPO Education and Research Foundation's Web site for more information on available programs and services.
Congratulations Ophthalmic Photographers' Society (OPS)
This fall, one of JCAHPO’s longtime member organizations is celebrating 40 years since its founding. The Ophthalmic Photographers’ Society
(OPS) is the nation’s leading society of eye imaging experts. Founded in 1969, the organization specializes in medical photography pertaining to
the field of ophthalmology. Continuing education and the promotion of standards among ophthalmic photographers to advance technology and
understanding of the eye have been the organization’s mission from the beginning.
OPS first submitted an application for membership to JCAHPO in 1972 and was approved shortly thereafter. Since then,
JCAHPO and OPS have coordinated on continuing education programs and initiatives that support certification and standards for highly-trained eye
JCAHPO appreciates the years of service by the OPS that have raised the performance of OMP and the level of available care worldwide.
International Core Curriculum
In 2009, JCAHPO partnered with the International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) as part of the International Task Force on Para-Ophthalmic Vision
Specialists Education program to produce the “International Core Curriculum for Ophthalmic Assistants.” The publication identifies the ophthalmic
allied health personnel shortage at the international level and outlines a standardized educational and training curriculum to improve the level
of care currently available.
In addition to defining educational and training solutions for the international eye care community, the document highlights the importance of
new members of an eye care team who have little or no training. This demographic is identified as the most valuable resource that the
international community has in the campaign to increase the availability of global eye care.
JCAHPO thanks its leadership and certificants who strengthen the value of ophthalmic medical personnel worldwide. With the global shortage of OMP in developing nations, integrating
standards for training and performance is vital. JCAHPO and ICO’s partnership is a significant step in the campaign to eliminate global blindness.
Click here to view the “International Core Curriculum for Ophthalmic Assistants.”
2009 Virginia Boyce Service Award Recipient
| 2009 Virginia Boyce Service Award Winner Helen Metzler, COA, of Sacramento, CA.
Congratulations to the 2009 Virginia Boyce Service Award Recipient, Helen Metzler, COA of Sacramento, CA. Ms. Metzler is a Clinical
Research Coordinator at the University of California/Davis. Over the past 11 years, she has participated in 7 medical/optical missions to
Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Mexico. On these missions, she interpreted for medical personnel, conducted eye health screening
and education, and dispensed eyeglasses.
She has had a permanent and enduring impact on local populations through training local volunteers in eye glass repair and eye health
screening. In the U.S., she coordinated a Sight for Students outreach, and has solicited physicians and industry for donations of
medications, instruments, and supplies. Her article “Ophthalmic Personnel Respond to Global Eye Health Needs” is an approved “CE on the
Internet” article on ATPO’s Web site. She has multiplied her service in developing nations by reaching out to other ophthalmic medical
personnel, and by training local individuals to continue the work.
Ms. Metzler has dedicated her career to global outreach in the same spirit of service of Virginia Boyce. The JCAHPO Education and
Research Foundation was pleased to honor her at the 2009 ACE Dinner and Awards Ceremony.
Do you know an eye care professional volunteering in your community? Visit the Foundation Web site for award criteria and submit
an application for the 2010 Virginia Boyce Service Award.
New Test Scheduling and Cancellation Deadlines
Effective January 1, 2010, the following changes to the guidelines for rescheduling or cancelling an examination appointment with Prometric:
|30 or more days before test date
|5-29 days before the scheduled test date
||$25 (to be collected by Prometric from the candidate)
|Less than 5 days before the test date
||No-show fee paid to JCAHPO*
|Fail to appear for a scheduled test or arrive more than 15 minutes after the scheduled start time
||No-show fee paid to JCAHPO
Contact JCAHPO’s Certification Department at (800) 284-3937 for further questions.
COA Examination Update; COMT Computer-Simulated Performance Test
The COA Multiple-Choice Examination update will be released in early 2010. Please continue to check the JCAHPO Web site for the specific
The COMT Computer-Simulated Performance Test release date has been postponed until early-to-mid 2010. The examination will test the following
- Measure Strabismus
- Version & Duction
- Pupil Evaluation
- Fundus Photography & Fluorescein Angiography
- Neutralize Spectacle Lenses with a Manual Lensometer
COMT candidates who have not previously completed the COT Skill Evaluation will also need to complete the examination. Please continue to
check the JCAHPO Web site for further updates.