Providing you with the education, information and resources you need to serve your patients remains our number one priority. The GOA is committed to providing you with vital information during this time of uncertainty.
From the AOA: Doctors receive immediate relief funding from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) following AOA advocacy

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed into law March 27, included an AOA-backed provision creating a new $100 billion fund to provide immediate financial assistance to hospitals and health care providers on the frontlines of the current public health crisis.

Soon after the law's enactment, various stakeholders began urging the Trump Administration to earmark the new funds for purposes other than what Congress intended. AOA continued working with U.S. Senate and House leaders to ensure that the funds would, in fact, be directed to those on the frontlines most in need of relief, including doctors of optometry and other physicians.

On April 6,  AOA President Barbara L. Horn, O.D., delivered a forceful letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)  urging the agency to make the direct payments immediately and to ensure that doctors of optometry would be recognized as fully eligible physicians under the new program.

Today, doctors of optometry and other physicians who billed Medicare in 2019 began receiving checks from the HHS to continue to support their practices during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.

The money provided by HHS is not required to be repaid.

Read more from the AOA here .

How your payments determined:
From the Georgia Board of Optometry: COVID-19 FAQs

How does the Board plan on dealing with complaints filed against licensees during this COVID19 pandemic period?

If the Board is called upon via consumer complaint to decide whether a licensee has acted inappropriately under these circumstances, compliance with CDC recommendations may be one of the factors that will be used to determine whether unprofessional conduct has occurred.

Has the Board considered increasing the number of continuing education hours that can be obtained via alternate media (online courses for example) during this pandemic?

Since we are only in the first few months of our two year licensure cycle, the Board does not feel it would be necessary to make such a change at this time.

The decision of the CDC regarding routine eye care will cause financial difficulties for many licensees and their employees, what is the Boards position?

Solving this world-wide health crisis and bringing the pandemic under control will require sacrifices by all Americans. The sooner we conquer this disease, the sooner we all can get back to serving our patients and our communities.
A Letter From GOA President Mehrdad E. Saadat, O.D.

Dear GOA members

GOA has received many questions for guidance from the GOA on policies involving conducting business during the COVID-19 pandemic. I would like to state,  just because you are an essential healthcare provider, does not mean that all of the services you provide are essential.

To be clear the CDC has specific guidelines asking optometrists not to perform routine I exams during this time. The Georgia state board of optometry the licensing entity in the state has referenced that policy in a statement on their website. Please review  This link for more information.  Governor Brian Kemp’s shelter in place executive order considers optometrists to be essential providers. In addition, the governor's shelter in place order asks people to only obtain essential services during this time.

The GOA advises its members to adhere to the policies set forth by the AOA, CDC, Secretary of State, State Board of Optometry, Governor's office. 

Finally, if you do need to evaluate a patient, be mindful and utilize all of the safety precautions set forth in the governor's shelter in place order when seeing patients to provide essential services.  

Stay safe and healthy my friends, 

Mehrdad E. Saadat, O.D.
President - Georgia Optometric Association
*The above information is prepared by the GOA staff for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Individuals should consult a lawyer, the IRS or a tax advisor to address questions related to their individual circumstances.