IOP news & updates
September 1, 2021 | Issue 6
Legislative Corner

Ellis Consulting
Legislative Update, September 2021

Idaho Budget: Idaho ended its fiscal year with a surplus of nearly $900 million, adding to the largest surplus in state history. According to available records, state revenue collections exceeded $5 billion for the first time and represented the single largest annual increase in General Fund revenue. This is in addition to the millions of dollars Idaho is receiving from the Federal Government under the American Rescue Plan Spending (ARPA) provisions. 

Redistricting: Idaho’s redistricting process is scheduled to begin this month based on U.S. Census Bureau data the state received in August. This is 5 months later than typical and will cause a big crunch in getting the process complete in time for primary election filings. Redistricting is the process of redrawing the state’s 35 legislative district boundaries and two congressional district boundaries and is normally a contentious, politically charged process. Idaho, being one of the fastest growing states in the nation, will require significant map changes, and a lawsuit would not be unprecedented nor unexpected. There is even an outside chance that the primary election would have to be moved to later. 

2021 Interim: The legislature approved seven interim committees; however, none of them have a meeting scheduled to date. There are two study committees: one on ARPA expenditures and one on Property Taxes and Revenue Expenditures. Again, no meeting has been scheduled. Lastly, there is one special committee: the Citizen’s Committee on Legislative Compensation.   We will follow any committees of relevance. 

Vaccine Mandate: Earlier this month, St. Al’s and St. Luke’s health systems announced they would
require all staff, students, and contractors to be vaccinated against Covid-19. State officials are debating how much to get involved in private businesses dealings. The Senate Republican Caucus will be holding a series of stakeholder meetings on the topic.   

Medical Debt Collections: The process for collecting medical debts was initially passed in 2020 and amended this year to go into effect July 1, 2021. As a reminder: To utilize a 3rd party debt collector, the following actions must occur. 1. Within 45 days of service or discharge, the provider must submit charges to the 3rd party payor for the patient or, if not a 3rd party payor, the patient themself. 2. Within 60 days of service or discharge, the patient must receive a consolidated summary of services.  The consolidated summary must include the name, address, and phone number of each billing entity that provided services and goods to the patient. 3. The patient must receive a final statement detailing the services and goods provided and payments, reductions, adjustments, offsets that go into the charge, and the final amount the patient is liable to pay. No interest or other fees may be charged until 60 days after the patient receives the final statement. Collections cannot begin until 90 days after the patient receives the final statement and any good faith disputes or appeals by 3rd party payers have taken place. Here is the email sent last month with detailed information.

I hope you are enjoying your summer,
Kris Ellis
Ellis Consulting
Legislative Committee

Rewrite of our Optometric Act Update: Fall 2021

Where did we leave off?
Idaho Division of Occupational and Professional Licenses (DOPL) has been working through the process of meeting with the Governor’s office and other parties to discuss moving forward with the update of our Optometric Act. As a reminder, our Optometric Act is being updated to clarify scope, add the word “surgery” into the definition of optometry, and modernize as well as clean up our statute language and structure. 

What has happened since then?
The IOP is in a holding pattern until we hear back from DOPL as to whether or not they will be moving forward with the update of our Optometric Act. We are supporting the process of these meetings by providing DOPL with information to answer questions that may come up in the process of these meetings, as well as address any misinformation that may come about. 

So, what do I need to be doing here?
The thing that we are always asking you to do - continue to meet and strengthen your relationships with your key person. As of right now, those meetings can just be focused on getting to know your legislator, getting them comfortable with what the practice of optometry entails outside of glasses and contact lenses, and next level things like volunteering at one of their events, donating to their campaigns, etc. If you are having trouble getting ahold of your legislator, please email me ( or our policy advisors: or Lance Giles If you have met with your legislator(s) and don’t want to bother with updating the KP dashboard, that’s fine, but please email your regional director or me so we can keep track of our progress with our grassroots efforts. If you are interested in becoming a key person or have an already established relationship with a legislator, please let us know!

Oh yeah, I forgot about that KP dashboard thing. What’s the deal with that? How do I login again?
The KP (Key Person) Dashboard is a program that the IOP has invested in that allows us to keep track of what has been done with each legislator and important information about each one so that no one slips through the cracks. This dashboard program includes an in-depth how-to guide at the tip of your fingers: what to say in your first email, personal and professional details about your legislator, where and how to contact them, etc. It also includes a place for you to put notes/updates directly to the legislative committee to keep us in the loop of how things are going. The program then collects all the information our key people obtain from each legislator and compiles it so that we can see how favorable legislation may be moving forward, or what action needs to be taken. All you have to do is go to: and enter your cell phone number or email address. As long as we have one of those on file, that’s all you need to log in. If you are unable to log in that way (1) Please update the IOP with your correct contact information and (2) ask your regional director for a link or our Executive Director Lisa at - the link sent to you will be good for 2 hours after it has been opened. 

As always, a big THANK YOU to the optometrists who are working hard at strengthening those legislative relationships already. Your hard work is so appreciated!

Lauren Huber, OD
IOP Legislative Chair 
Membership Committee

Welcome to the IOP to Drs. Kacey Blaylock, Cadence Brunzlick, Chad Clark, Brian Davis, Kimberly Johnson, Lindsay Warner, Renee Rowley, and Jett Scrimsher!

Look for text messages and emails regarding legislative updates and other IOP news; there are exciting things on the horizon for optometry in the great state of Idaho. Make your voice heard, make your membership valuable to yourself and your patients, make sure to be involved!

Please contact Dr. Doug Adams with any membership questions at
IMPAC - Informal Medicare Professional Advisory Council
Dear Colleagues,

I hope you are navigating this interesting and trying time we find ourselves in. Since my last article, there has not been an IMPAC meeting, so I have no updates for you. I will keep you updated on any new topics discussed at the next meeting. I will see those who can make it to the IOP Congress in Coeur d’Alene.

Gideon Bender, OD
Third Party Center

I hope everyone has enjoyed their summers and is ready for fall in the northwest. Personally, I was happy to see that June and August switched places as August turned out to be unseasonably cool. Now it’s time to break out those hoodies and flannels!

On the Third Party side of things, not much is happening. Hopefully, Medicare will finally include vision and dental for the millions of aging individuals who are in need. Statewide, there has been nothing noteworthy. I thought I’d supply a little tidbit of billing info straight out of Review:
How to Handle Third-Party Claim Denials
  • Common errors include:
  • Processing Error
  • Incorrect Information
  • Incorrect Denial
  • Patient Responsibility
  • You must be organized to track the denials and what happens so that you can follow up on any claim very easily.
  • This includes:
  • Provider Relations
  • State optometric association chair of the third-party committee - Me! AOA TPC

Wishing everyone a wonderful Autumn,
Terri L. Haley, O.D.
IOP Third Party Chair
Idaho Board of Optometry

Hello IOP Members,

We just concluded our quarterly Board meeting this morning, and I've learned that bureaucracy is real in the four years that I have served on the board. The staff from the Division of Occupational and Professional Licenses are wonderful to work with. Still, the Board often feels handcuffed as we work to balance our responsibility to protect the public with our responsibility to govern the practice of optometry in the great state of Idaho. 

Please know that we are working to give purpose to the Board. With that, legislation will be proposed in the near future to modernize our law and allow you all to practice in the way that you were taught. This does not come easy, and I encourage you all to think outside of your mode of practice and engage with those who are tasked with deciding whether your law will be updated. Get to know your legislators. Let them know why your chosen profession is important to you.  

It has been a privilege to serve you on the Board of Optometry. I was elected chair for the remaining year of my time on the Board. I am always happy to answer any questions you may have, so feel free to reach out to me.

Will Fagan, OD
Chairman, Idaho State Board of Optometry
Paraoptometric Committee

Greetings Paras and Doctors!

 Wow, wow, wow! We are completely booked for the in-person training for Congress 2021! Thank you to all those who signed up early! For those of you who could not register early for in-person, the good news is that you can still sign up for virtual learning! We will have all classes available for both CPC and ABO CE if needed! We have a great variety of classes that will touch on every part of the office - from the front desk, technicians to billers and opticians! Check out the IOP Events page for more information on speakers and classes!

I am always an advocate for getting yourself educated and certified in your profession. Each state sets its own regulations when it comes to required certifications for technicians and opticians. In fact, if you went to our neighbor Washington as an optician, you need both ABO and NCLE certifications, plus schooling! ABO is the American Board of Opticianry and is usually geared toward opticians, but the NCLE is more for contact lenses. CPC is the Commission on Paraoptometric Certification with the AOA - it covers a broad spectrum in the office but tends to be geared more to technicians. CPC does have a certification for billers, as well. As of this letter, ABO will have a booth in our exhibit hall at Congress, so please make sure to visit their booth if you plan to attend. If you have any questions about certification, you can reach out to the organizations themselves or me

Do you know of a para that goes above and beyond in and out of the office? A para is anyone who works in your office that assists the doctor in any fashion. Answering phones and scheduling - PARA. Pretest - PARA. Assists in glasses shopping/ordering -PARA. We are currently seeking applications for Idaho Para of 2021 and would love to receive a nomination from your office! Any doctor can nominate their paras - shoot a quick email to Lisa White at Nominations must be received by September 15th.

Looking forward to your in-person and online attendance for Congress! As always, if you have any questions, you can always reach out to me at

Tami Arnett, CPOA, ABOC
IOPPS Committee Chair
Greetings Members,

With COVID protocols constantly changing, companies limiting travel due to COVID, and competing with GWCO, we weren't sure if Congress, let alone an exhibit hall, was even an option in 2021. We took a chance and went for it. We made the right choice! The exhibit hall is at 85% capacity and we have a full house for in-person attendees. Thankfully, the Idaho State Board extended the live virtual CE acceptance through 2021, and we have an additional 40 attending virtually. We look forward to seeing many of you in October!

If you can not attend in person, I hope you will join us virtually for the IOP Membership Meeting on October 15th at 5:30 pm PST.

As always, please don't hesitate to contact me with your questions and comments.

Thank you for your continued membership and support.
Lisa White
Executive Director