Top Realeyes Presenters


Half-way through this school year, Realeyes presenters are scheduled to visit schools in 70 of 88 Ohio counties.

Realeyes is presented by Ohio optometrists in pre-school through eighth-grade classrooms in their communities to teach students about the importance of vision health and eye safety. Since its start in 2000, Realeyes has been presented to more than 700,000 students.


The top five Realeyes presenters so far this year (2013-14) are:

Dr Rambeau cropped


Dr. Renee Rambeau – 930 students in 36 presentations in Miami County




Dr Kristen Thompson


Dr. Kristen Thompson – 700 students in 17 presentations in Clark County



Dr. Stephen Sasala


Dr. Stephen Sasala – 620 students in 17 presentations in Cuyahoga County




Dr Brooke Bader cropped


Dr. Brooke Bader – 600 students in 11 presentations in Lorain County



Dr Susan Truitt


Dr. Susan Truitt – 500 students in 15 presentations in Union County



Realeyes is presented by Ohio optometrists in pre-school through eighth-grade classrooms in their communities to teach students about the importance of vision health and eye safety. Since its start in 2000, Realeyes has been presented to more than 700,000 students.

Realeyes is funded by a grant from the Ohio Department of Health’s Save Our Sight Fund. Contact the Ohio Optometric Association for additional information at 800-874-9111; email:

Submit One PQRS Before Dec. 31 to Avoid 2015 Medicare Payment Penalties

By Dr. Jay Henry – Optometrists need to participate in the Medicare Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) during 2013 to avoid payment penalties in 2015 on all their Medicare payments. According to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the requirement to avoid the 2015 payment reduction is a “good faith effort” to participate in the PQRS program.

This “good faith effort” is as simple as using one PQRS code correctly on one Medicare claim during 2013. You do not have to be a “successful” PQRS provider and qualify for the incentive payments to avoid the penalties. It is important that you submit one correct PQRS code on a Medicare patient before the end of the year to avoid the 1.5 percent payment reduction in 2015. If you need further assistance on starting PQRS please visit for help.

E-prescribe Incentive Bonus Available

Optometrists who e-prescribe for Medicare patients with an office visit 25 times during the year can receive a 0.5 percent e-prescribing incentive bonus on all allowable Medicare charges for the year. Report code G8553 on Medicare claims with an office visit to receive credit. You can get the e-prescribing incentive bonus and the PQRS bonus and the Medicaid EHR incentive. The only two you cannot do together are e-prescribing incentive and Medicare EHR incentive.

All ODs should begin e-prescribing if they are not already doing so. It is a core requirement of stage 1 and stage 2 meaningful use, but if they are not ready for meaningful use this is a great way to get their feet wet with using computers for patient care. If they have an EHR they should talk to their vendor and use the integrated e-prescribing. If they do not have an EHR, they should visit NEPSI, which has free e-prescribing for every physician in America.

Vision and Students on Individualized Education Programs

Imagine strugglgirl new glassesing to determine the numbers on a clock, distinguish letters on a sign or see the number on a school bus. Imagine getting a headache when reading, doing homework or viewing the board in the classroom. For a student to be able to learn, he or she must be able to see. For students referred to an Individualized Education Program (IEP), this is even more important because vision is critical to improving performance in school.

Ohio law requires that students referred to an IEP must receive an eye exam from an eye doctor. Senator Randy Gardner of Bowling Green said, “Through my family’s experience, I know how important good vision is to the learning process. Correcting vision problems early on can help improve a child’s performance in school.”

Parents need to be informed of this requirement so they can schedule an appointment with an optometrist or ophthalmologist, and then ask the doctor to send a copy of the exam form to the school. Parents should schedule the appointment with the eye doctor within 90 days after the student is initially identified with learning disabilities. If the student had an eye exam during the previous nine months, the requirement is already met. Be sure to inform your school’s IEP coordinator about this state law.

Why is an eye exam required for students referred to special education programs?

Since 80 percent of learning is through vision, a comprehensive eye exam by an eye doctor—optometrist or ophthalmologist—can detect and correct vision problems, which could improve the child’s performance in school. Although one in four school-aged children have a vision disorder, about 70 percent of students on an IEP have an undiagnosed vision disorder. Eliminating or correcting vision problems is the first step to helping these students.

If the eye exam is not done within 90 days of identification for IEP, can the student attend school?

The goal is to help students. Students will not be kept out of school if the eye exam requirement is not met.

Why is an eye exam needed?

While school nurses may detect a vision problem through a vision screening, vision screenings never diagnose or treat a vision disorder. A comprehensive eye exam is a detailed assessment of the overall eye and vision health including measuring for distance vision, eye alignment, focusing, eye shape, depth perception, and more. Eye doctors are trained to make a definitive diagnosis and prescribe treatment such as glasses, contact lenses and medication.

One aspect of learning preparation that is often overlooked is good vision, which is essential for a child to learn. A trip to an eye doctor can help students. Teachers are in a unique position to help students and parents understand the importance of regular eye exams.

“Healthy eyes and clear vision can make all the difference in how a child learns and preforms in the classroom,” said Karla Zadnik, OD, PhD, Associate Dean at The Ohio State University College of Optometry and medical director of Realeyes. “Poor vision makes a child work harder in the classroom, which can result in lower grades. A comprehensive eye exam by an eye doctor is the best way to ensure vision is not holding a child back.”

Stay Connected with the OOA Through Social Media

By Jenna Zigler, OD – With the popularity of social media, the Ohio Optometric Association created several social media sites. This blog you’re now reading is just one example of where optometrists and others interested in our profession can go to stay abrefacebook iconast of what’s happening in our field.

The OOA has a Facebook site, where you can find information about events and meetings, ocular health, and other important stories about our profession. You’ll also see regular updates about Realeyes presentations, the EastWest Eye Conference and more. You can participate by “liking” us on Facebook at

The OOA Twitter site provides multiple daily updates on a variety of topics of interest to our profession, either by “tweets” posted by the OOA or through “retweets,” which are posts by others the OOA follows. Twitter is a fun and easy way to interact with the OOA, so I invite you to follow us – @OhioOptometric – on Twitter at A second Twitter site is specifically dedicated to the EastWest Eye Conference, so follow @EastWestConf before, during and after EastWest at

Pinterest, one of the newest social media outlets, includes Pinterest boards dedicated to interesting ocular health information, entertaining optical illusions, office design ideas and other topics related to the eye and our profession. Pin with us on Pinterest at

Social media is a great way to stay informed about what’s happening with the OOA, so be sure to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, and also check back on this blog,

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services May Deny Claims Starting January 6, 2014

There’s important information you need to know if you are an ordering/referring physician for Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetic, Orthotic and Supplies (DMEPOS) covered by Medicare.

On Jan. 6, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will turn on the Phase 2 ordering/referring denial edits. This means that Medicare will deny Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetic, Orthotic and Supplies claims if the ordering/referring physician is not identified, not enrolled in Provider Enrollment, Chain, and Ownership System (PECOS), or not of a specialty type that may order/refer the service/item being billed.

If you have questions or need more information, send an email to the Ohio Optometric Association at

In this season of giving, consider donating to the Ohio Optometric Foundation

Dr. JacksonDuring this busy holiday season, we’re asking all Ohio optometrists to make a generous donation to the Ohio Optometric Foundation, which was created to help Ohio eye doctors make a difference in the lives of others in their communities.

One-hundred percent of your donations go to programs to help children obtain quality eye care, as well as to fund scholarships for optometry students. The foundation also funds grants and programs to promote public awareness of the importance of comprehensive vision care.

Over the years, the foundation has made a difference in the lives of many Ohioans, thanks to the generosity of our donors. Some examples include:

- Providing free eye exams and glasses to students in Individualized Education Programs who are required to have an eye exam, but who don’t have the financial ability to pay for the exam or lenses.

- A foundation grant helped a clinic in Toledo buy vital equipment, which is used by volunteer eye doctors to provide eye examinations to low-income residents.

- More than $100,000 in scholarships awarded to students in Ohio optometry schools, many of whom have earned advanced degrees beyond their doctor of optometry degree. Other students dedicated themselves to research or service projects to help give back to the communities.

Donations to the Ohio Optometric Foundation are tax deductible, and it’s a great way to support our vital mission to promote the importance of a lifetime of vision care for the residents of Ohio.

You can mail your donation to:

Ohio Optometric Foundation
P.O. Box 6036
Worthington, OH 43085