August 7, 2020
Sponsored by OMIC
Dear Colleagues,

The AAO is requesting your help on this issue:

As proposed, the Medicare 2021 Physician Fee Schedule will result in an overall significant, negative 6% impact to ophthalmology.
Please take two minutes to write to your legislator:
  • Make your voice heard.
  • Use the Academy’s advocacy tool to tell your elected officials to act to prevent Medicare fee cuts for surgical and other physician services
Call your members of Congress today.
  • Urge your representative and senators to preserve patient access to surgical care and stop drastic payment cuts for surgical services.
  • Call 202.224.3121 and ask to be connected to your elected officials’ offices.
  • Use our Academy talking points to guide your discussion
MSEPS wants to thank OMIC for their support of our newsletters. Please check out their link to show them our thanks.

Please check the AAO and MedChi websites for the most current COVID-19 information. For archived versions of these updates visit the MSEPS website.
Stay healthy!

Renee Bovelle, MD
MSEPS President
Aetna Drops Avastin PA Requirement

MSEPS took action with the AAO by signing on to a letter to Aetna sharing ophthalmology’s concerns regarding new prior authorization requirements for Avastin. With the Academy and other societies raising concerns about the threat to patients during the pandemic, Aetna agreed on Wednesday to drop its Avastin prior authorization requirement almost a month after enacting the policy. Read more about the successful effort

Virtual Events
The Approach to the Swollen Nerve: CME Webinar
by the Retina Group of Washington

August 10, 2020 - As part of RGW’s commitment to the ophthalmology community, we are pleased to offer another exciting CME Course.
You must register online to receive CME credit for this course. Registration Deadline is August 7th.

MSEPS Presents: The Ophthalmology 20/20 CME
Webinar Series
August 20, 2020 - We are happy to work with MedEdicus to provide this
MIGS CME program for members and non-members.
To register, log in to your MedEdicus account, or create a new account.

To register for the Ocular Therapeutix webinar,
please use the following link:
Disclaimer: MSEPS does not endorse the organizations sponsoring linked websites or events, and we do not endorse the views they express or the products/services they offer. 
Promote Yourself With MSEPS Social Media

@MSEPSMD is on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and we would love to showcase what ophthalmologists in Maryland are doing. Do you have an announcement? Want to promote a paper you have authored? Have a great picture of you caring for your patients? Send it to us and we will help boost the good work you are doing. Email your submissions to Also, be sure to follow us on all our platforms and join our facebook group.
Calling All Residents and Fellows!

Did you know that membership to MSEPS for residents and fellows is complimentary? MSEPS wants to invite all residents and fellows from Maryland and DC programs to join MSEPS.

How do residents and fellows benefit for being MSEPS members?
  • Complimentary registration to our annual conference.
  • Access to resident focused programming and our scientific programming at our annual conference.
  • Poster contest with cash prizes at our annual conference.
  • Access to events with our Young Ophthalmologists geared toward new physicians.
  • Participation in eye screening day in Annapolis. Learn about how MSEPS advocates in Maryland and provide eye screenings to lawmakers and their staff.
  • Opportunities for leadership roles on our board and with conference planning.

Take advantage of complimentary membership! Join today!
August 7, 2020
Dear MedChi Members and Maryland Physicians:

As we look forward to another weekend, here's what we have for you today:


  • CMS will hold "Lessons from the Front Lines" on Tuesday, August 11 at 5:00 pm. Call 833-614-0820 and enter passcode 3498643 or register for the webcast link.

  • MedChi Committee on Ethics & Judicial Affairs and the Center For a Healthy Maryland presents “Lessons Learned: Ethical Dilemmas Faced During The COVID-19 Pandemic” on Thursday, September 24 at 6:00 pm. RSVP to Josette Fullard or reach out for more details.


  1. In addition to those individuals already authorized to collect COVID-19 specimens for testing, any individual licensed, registered, or certified by MDH or a MD health occupations board who has appropriate training may collect COVID-19 test specimens. (page 3)
  2. COVID-19 point of care testing platforms (6) are authorized to perform COVID-19 test analysis, provided (1) that the facility is a CLIA-certified lab, and (2) the appropriate certificate of waiver is obtained from OHCQ. (pages 3-4)
  3. POC results must be reported to MDH (along with technical changes to the COVID-19 test results reporting section, pages 4-5)

  • Organizations who are performing point-of-care COVID-19 testing are required to report results to the Maryland Department of Health through CRISP if they do not have access to an existing mechanism for reporting. CRISP now provides clinicians with a reporting tool within the Unified Landing Page (ULP) that allows facilities that offer point-of-care COVID-19 testing to report data, for all testing completed, to the State. Click here to read more about the CRISP Point-of-Care Reporting Tool.

  • Bipartisan legislation has been introduced in the US Senate to allow any licensed health care practitioner in good standing to provide health services anywhere for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Temporary Reciprocity to Ensure Access to Treatment (TREAT) Act will broaden and standardize the actions that have already been taken by many states to provide consistent and comprehensive licensing and reciprocity rules.


  • We are aware of several services for physicians and other health care providers who would be interested in stress relief services during the time of the pandemic. The Physician Support Line was launched on March 30 to provide free counseling to doctors facing challenges during the pandemic. Its website describes it as a “national, free, and confidential support line service made up of 600+ volunteer psychiatrists, joined together in the determined hope to provide peer support for our physician colleagues as we all navigate the COVID-19 epidemic.” More information is available at the website. The support line can be reached at 1-888-409-0141. Physicians in Maryland are reminded that stress or other issues can also be addressed by appointment through the Maryland Physicians Health Program, 410-962-5580 or 800-992-7010.
We are your advocate and your resource, and we're here for anything you need. Please don't hesitate to reach out.

Thank you for all that you do as physicians, healers, and heroes.

Gene Ransom
MedChi CEO
Telehealth Resources

Backline from Dr. First is a Telehealth platform used by MedChi's CTO and can be used by any physician.

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