Article

LEADING OFF: Coronavirus: Prevention Tips for Optometrists

Last updated 8/10/20. ‚Äč

The coronavirus has now infected 1,031,659 individuals in the United States, with total deaths at 60,057, reports the CDC. What can O.D.s do to protect from the condition, which masquerades as a common cold and develops into lower-respiratory tract infections, such as pneumonia?

“Any time you’re dealing with a patient with a potentially infectious virus, doctors of optometry and other health care providers should make sure they have a clear understanding of the proper protocols to prevent the spread of infection,” says AOA President Barbara L. Horn, O.D. “Vigilance and just using good hygiene — thorough handwashing, using gloves, disinfecting equipment and other recommendations provided by the CDC — in the office when in contact with bodily fluids, such as tears, will go a long way toward preventing infection. It is important to proactively reinforce such infection mitigation techniques with doctors and staff. . .”

Coronavirus up close

In addition to handwashing (see https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html ), the CDC also urges avoiding touching one’s eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands and close contact with those who are ill.

Paul Kellam, a professor of Virus Genomics at Imperial College London, told the Daily Mail he suggests health care workers wear eye protection, in addition to face masks, as the flu and other viruses can be transmitted to the eye via droplets from a sneeze, for example.

Dr. Horn encourages doctors to be aware of potential coronavirus activity in their area. If they live in any of the currently affected areas, they can minimize the risk of exposure by encouraging patients to stay home if they have cold, flu or respiratory symptoms. (Also, see https://bit.ly/39IktBK .)

The coronavirus originated in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. There are now (Feb. 18) 72,436 confirmed cases and 1,868-related deaths in mainland China. OM
 

Additional resources: 

Date added News item(s)
8/10 Healthy Eyes Advantage reports more than 1,800 HEA members have taken advantage of the company's offer for no-cost, COVID-19-related regulatory legal advice from Kyle Haubrich. These interactions have focused on aspects of the CARES Act, specifically the Paycheck Protection Program. Based on this information, HEA has entered into a partnership with SPIN, a collaboration offered by Mr. Haubrich's firm, Sandberg Phoenix, and North Short Computer Inc. The collaboration will deliver a unique approach to regulatory compliance (HIPAA, MACRA/MIPS, OSHA, Anti-Kickboack, etc.) to thoroughly assess practices' risks from both a legal and IT perspective. The program is avaialble to HEA members at exclusive discounted pricing.
Be sure to check out this month's Business Strategies column, where Dr. Gary Gerber discusses top lessons learned during the pandemic.
Eyecare Business checks in with two eyecare professionals for their tips on training staff and caring for kids in today's environment. 
Also from EB, our sister publication has partnered with GPN to present data from exams, frames, lenses and contact lens sales across the country. View the information up to Aug. 4 here
8/4 International Association of Contact Lens Educators have launched an online student trial exam to support educators whose students are currently unable to attend institutions. Available via a new teaching online platform, IACLETOP, revamps a previous paper assessment available to educators, with some enhancements including a choice between the 100 multiple-choice question exam or a reduced 50, randomized questions and smartphone compatibility. To learn more, visit iacle.org/programs/student-trial-exam/
7/27 Essilor Custom Contact Lens Specialists’ “Focus on Education” webinar series is offering a free webinar on Aug. 13, 8 p.m. EST on navigating COVID-19 with a specialty lens practice. The program is sponsored by Contamac and hosted by Dr. Howard Purcell, president and CEO of New England College of Optometry. This group panelist discussion webinar—with Dr. Anita Gulmiri, Dr. Katie Greiner, and Dr. Melanie Frogozo—will cover topics such as utilizing telemedicine for contact lens cases during the lockdown period, changes made to working with medically necessary contact lens patients during the pandemic, navigating working with children wearing contact lenses to adults wearing scleral lenses, and more. Register here.
7/20 The founder of Optical Success Academy Conor Heaney shares advice for how to net positive change as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic via Eyecare Business.
7/9 The Vision Council and Reed Exhibitions, organizers of Vision Expo meeting announced the decision to cancel Vision Expo West 2020, originally scheduled to take place in Las Vegas Sept. 23 to 26. Attendees and exhibitors who had registered for the meeting will receive separate, personalized communications in coming days. More information on The Vision Council's offerings at west.visionexpo.com/.
7/7 CooperVision has extended the deadline for its essential hospital workers program, whereby front-line workers can be offered complimentary lenses by their eye care providers. The new deadline is Aug. 31.
7/2 Two optometrists share their COVID-19 early days experience. One, Dr. Emmylou Swartz, tried her hand at being a writer while the VA medical center that employs her saw fewer patients during the shutdown. Two, Dr. Alan Arabi, saw several action items during shelter-in-place orders that improved his overall practice. Find both under "News" or click here.
6/30 EyeBridge Consulting Associates and ImageMark Business Services are offering COVID-19 signage and related resources specifically designed for eye care practices. If interested, visit safe-distance-products.com.
CooperVision has begun producing hand sanitizer at its manufacturing sites. A portion of this supply supports internal requirements, however, additional volumes are being donated to community organizations and customers. 
Columnists and professionals related to Contact Lens Spectrum and its products offer words of encouragement through COVID-19 and its related changes to daily life, including Drs. Edward S. Bennett, and Shalu Pal. View them here.
Eyecare Business editor Kerri Ann Ramo gathers information from one optometrist who chose to reopening progressively. For example, scheduling patients one per hour while staff members get new protocols under their belt. Read it all here
6/22 With your patients doing more tasks virtually, it is an opportune time to make sure your practice's social media presence is updated regularly. To help in this effort, Optometric Management offers the "Social Media" page written by Senior Associate Editor Shannon Simcox. View the June page at https://www.optometricmanagement.com/issues/2020/june-2020/business-social-media.
Due to continued state restrictions and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines related to COVID-19, the Council on Optometric Practitioner Education (COPE) has made the decision to extend the temporary rules modification to allow COPE administrators and providers to present CE activities through an interactive online format and give Live COPE CE credit through Dec. 31. COPE previously announced a temporary modification to the rules through June 30.
Will pandemic-beleaguered patients focus on watching their wallets in the optical? Eyecare Business tapped three ECPs for their expert outlook on spectacle savings and presenting product in light of the pandemic.
6/15 Dr. Melanie Frogozo discusses the benefits of empirical fitting of specialty contact lenses in a recent issue of Contact Lens Spectrum. Specifically as it relates to COVID-19, this process means a new, unworn lens will be fitted to one patient only. Read more about it here.
Also via Contact Lens Spectrum, Drs David Kading and Courtney Melchione make the case that telemedicine is here to stay. Read that article here.
Allergan has partnered with eye care professionals to produce a video on patient safety. It is designed to be shared by physicians to their patients to alleviate their anxiety. View and share it here. 
International Association of Contact Lens Educators launched a new initiative, called "Teach. Learn. Connect." It is an online education program and communications campaign including live and recorded webinars, a half-day virtual conference in September, a new online platform, and a social media campaign. For more information visit IACLE.org
6/10 Clerio Vision's COVID-19 promotional pricing program, which financially supports independent eye care practitioners via supplies and Extreme H20 six-pack products at $5 per box, has signed up nearly 200 customers. It runs through July.
Insights into Sports Vision newsletter discusses "The Athlete in Your Chair You May Have Overlooked" touching on esports athletes as game sites have seen increased traffic amid the pandemic. View it here. 
6/9 Southern College of Optometry plans to reopen two of its three patient clinics, The Center, located on the Madison Avenue campus, and FocalPoint, at the Crosstown Concourse, on June 15.
6/8 Eyecare Business's "Inside the Front Lines" describes how two veteran eye care professionals have reopened their businesses. Read it here.
Contact Lens Spectrum's "Fog Away" provides tips for this annoying problem for masked spectacle and sunglass wearers. Read it here
The Vision Council has added new content to its website Reopeneyecare.com, including a "Road to Reopening" section. Visit the link to view. 
6/4 X-Cel Specialty Contacts has launched the Choose Your Heroes program. Through July 31, the company is extending 50% off specialty contact lenses for patients who are medical workers, first responders, police, fire, teachers and members of the military. For more information, visit xcelspecialtycontacts.com.
CooperVision has extended the deadline, to July 3, for its Essential Hospital Workers Complimentary Contact Lens Program, which allows optometrists to offer free lenses to patients who are essnetial hosptial workers in their community. Find out more information about the program at bit.ly/3gSnHXz
6/1 Via Eyecare Business, 54% of eye care practitioners are now open for business and more via its most recent wave of a COVID-19 survey.
Dr. Melissa Barnett reviews some tools and procedures that can help in adjusting scleral lens fitting during the pandemic via Contact Lens Spectrum's Scleral Lens Monthly
5/29 Dr. Ruth Bush, associate dean for medical education at University of Houston College of Medicine, provides tips proper mask use, including those for storing and cleaning at bit.ly/2AjTWOG.
5/26 Dr. S. Barry Eiden addresses how telehealth has allowed practices to address some less serious and even severe urgent eye care situations during stay-at-home period in Contact Lens Today. Follow the link and scroll down to "Research Review" at bit.ly/2X28ATC.
Eyecare Business editor-in-chief Erinn Morgan sat down for an exclusive interview with Luxottica N.A. leader Fabrizio Uguzzoni to share an inside look at how the company has pivoted to help optometrists navigate the COVID-19 criss at bit.ly/36I958R.
5/22 The Lighthouse Guild provides tips for patients who are blind or have low vision in practicing social distancing. View them at bit.ly/2LTitwK.
ABB Optical has collaborated with EyecareLive, a telemedicine technology, at no cost for two months. Visit eyecarelive.com/abb/
5/21 ABB Optical Group has introduced ABB Revitalize initiative with services, special offers and other resources to support optometrists in returning to practice. For more information and to sign up, visit abboptical.com.
CooperVision will host a series of webinars to provide "Best Practices to Get You Back to Practice" beginning on May 28 at 9 p.m. with "Making Schedule Changes an Integral Part of Reopening" with Drs. Carrie Alfieri and Elizabeth Muckley leading the disucssion. For more information and to register, visit bit.ly/CooperVisionBestPracticesWebinars.
X-Cel Specialty Contacts is now offering free Atlantis Scleral Patient Kit via it's Bounce Back to Business program. The kit is included with any Atlantis spare pair purchase through Aug. 31. More information can be found at xcelspecialtycontacts.com
5/20 The Vision Council's research team will present an updated view on consumer, member and eyecare provider sentiment on Thursday at noon EST. Members and nonmembers are welcome to attend. Register here.
The British Contact Lens Asssociation (BCLA) has released guidance on contact lens wear and coronavirus—one for eyecare practitioners and one for consumers—as well as a "Returning to Practice in COVID-19" guidance sheet. All three guidance documents can be found on its website here.
IDCases published a case report detailing five cases of non-remitting conjunctivitis, the sole sign and symptom of COVID-19 in these patients. Read it here
Reopeneyecare.com is a digital platform designed to help optometrists navigate the reopening process, launched today via The Vision Council. 
5/19 The Treasury Department released the Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness application and detailed instructions for it at home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm1010.
5/18 CooperVision is now offering eyecare professionals the opportunity to complete the Brilliant Futures™ Myopia Management certification training online. The online training program uses an autonomous learning approach that allows optometrists to progress at their own pace, at the time and place of their choice. Head to coopervision.com/practitioner/myopia-management and fill out the information form for more information.
5/15 Optometric Management columnists offer their well wishes as the entire industry weathers the storm. View them all from the likes of Drs. Gary Gerber, Austin Lifferth and Steve Vargo at bit.ly/3bH3kZX.
Johnson & Johnson Vision is offering its eye care professional partners several resources to help them through the pandemic including term extensions, education and digital resources. All the details are available at bit.ly/2ZcK2ZP.
Eyecare Business provides a round up of points to consider communicating to patients before in-person care, such as that a staff member witll text to let the patient know when they can enter the building and that everyone age 10 and up has to wear a mask. More at bit.ly/3fQpCLS.
Contact Lens Spectrum is offering a no-fee CE course "Key Considerations for Contact Lens Practitioners During the Coronavirus Pandemic." Professionals involved include Drs. Lyndon Jones, Karen Walsh, Mark Willcox, Philip Morgan and Jason J. Nichols. To register or for more information: bit.ly/2Ly3KH8
Contact Lens Spectrum also provides a discussion on guidance that may be provided to patients regarding the application of multiuse cosmetic products in terms of pandemic infection control in Contact Lenses Today. Follow the link and scroll down to "Ocular Surface Update" at bit.ly/2WYPUTt
5/14 Amid the crisis, Caitlin J. Morrison, O.D., F.A.A.O., F.S.L.S., shares five tools optometrists may to look to in order to manage their offices from anywhere at bit.ly/3bzI2wW.
5/12 The AOA is set to hold virtual learning livecast sessions on June 24 to 27, which will include 60 CE and professional development courses for attendees. Space is limited. Members can pre-register and more information can be found at aoa.org/virtuallearninglivecast.
Dr. Jason Miller provides tips for adjusting the contact lens fitting process in the wake of COVID-19 at bit.ly/3ctctX1.
5/11 Now, is the perfect time to review the managed vision care plans in which you participate to discern how to make them profitable when you return to full-time practice. One way to accomplish this, with regard to frames: “Don’t set fees based entirely on what the vision plan pays. Make sure your practice isn’t losing money in the process. To determine the ‘lowest end,’ in terms of pricing, assess the reimbursement and dispensing fee for the various frame-pricing categories. Consider shipping and handling costs, as well. Make a strong effort to dispense second pairs (e.g. occupational lenses, prescription sunglasses, nighttime driving glasses, fashion glasses and sports glasses) . . .” For additional tips, see “Maximize Your Vision Plan reimbursement,” at bit.ly/2WkQVVC.
"While I don’t underestimate the scale of the current problem, I’m confident that industry will support practices and that the demand for eye care and eyewear will still be there when we come through this." This and more from Dr. Gary Gerber in looking to the future at bit.ly/2yLD2bo.
"If you had asked me in December 2019 whether the practice that I have spent my adult life building—over the last 35 years—could be at risk of failure at the end of March 2020, I would have said that it was inconceivable." Dr. Clarke D. Newman continues at bit.ly/3dBc4lo
Essilor Vision Foundation is providing free resources to help optical practices let patients know thier eye doctor's office is open. They can be found at www.evfusa.org/ODkit
ABB Optcal Group has introduced a national industry trends report through ABB Analyze, powered by Glimpse. The report compiles data from users across the country and aggregates key industry metrics optometirsts can mointor during COVID-19. View it at glimpselive.com/national-trend.php.
5/8 Clerio Vision will offer all of its Extreme H2O six-pack products for $5 per box to independent eyecare practitioners who have been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis. Orders will be shipped directly to patients at no cost. The program is running through July 2020. Clerio has also begun selling N-95 masks and hand sanitizer at its own cost to help Extreme H2O customers to affordably get back up and running.
5/7 CooperVision announced that they will provide essential hospital workers with complimentary contact lens refills. To obtain, eye care professionals must submit the application form, availble for download at the link, and email it to CVcares@coopervision.com. Once the application is processed the lenses will be shipped directly to the address for the patients. For more information: bit.ly/3dqgQCc.
5/6 Management Tip of the Week newsletter discussed possible solutions to bringing staff members back to the office, specifically when factors involving the CARES Act are involved. Dr. Scott A. Colonna's piece can be found here. Subscribe for the newsletter to receive it in your mailbox every Wednesday at bit.ly/TOTWsubscribe.
5/5 Are you gearing up to add a new vendor to your existing product selection to increase traffic in your practice after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides? If so, Carey A. Patrick, O.D., offers several steps to make the negotiation successful, including taking a look at the frame company’s billing terms: “For example, if the practice’s accounting cycle is 30 days, but billing terms require the practice to pay for the product 15 days after delivery, also known as net 15, the practice may incur finance or late fee charges, depending on when the invoice arrives. Consider negotiating, so that these coincide.” See “Negotiate Successfully With Frame Vendors,” at bit.ly/2VSzfl8.
5/4 Contact Lens Spectrum's Amber Guame Giannoni, O.D., looks into whether there is a connection between COVID-19 and conjunctivitis: bit.ly/3b3tCoO
North Carolina Optometric Society, in partnership with the AOA, sent out a press release that cautioned patients against visiting the emergency room for primary eye care services during the coronavirus pandemic. Read it at nceyes.org/ncos-cautions-against-er
The Vision Council is discussing sanitation of frames and eyewear at bit.ly/2YsfhQ6. The webpage provides guidelines for sanitizing as well as links to manufacturer's disinfection guides. 
5/1 Dr. Sherrol Reynolds answers questions regarding the three U.S. clinical trials on the antimalarial drugs hydrochloroquine sulfate and chloroquine phosphate: bit.ly/3bXOYoL.
X-Cel Specialty Contacts has launched Bounce Back program to support specialty contact lens practices and patients. For more information visit xcelspecialtycontacts.com/.
4/30 Florida Room Chats tackle the question "What specific marketing ideas do you have that we can work on for the rest of the year?" View this and other episodes at bit.ly/2z7IFR4.
Two advantages of offering online patient communication are: 1) More and more patients are using email, apps and texts to reach out to their health care providers; and 2) Automated communication can make your practice more efficient. Dr. Mile Brujic discusses this technology in more detail at bit.ly3bNdmt8.
The Vision Council sent a letter to congressional leadership on behalf of its members to request more support in the next stimulus package. Read the full letter here
Centre for Ocular Researach & Education (CORE) has updated it's resource website COVIDEyeFacts.org with more evidence-based guidance for eye care professionals. 
4/29 Optical Women's Association newest podcast covers "The 5 Pillar Business Approach to Surviving COVID-19" with guest Alessandro Baronti, president and CEO of De Rigo REM. Listen at www.opticalwomen.com/podcast.asp.
Eyecare Business will host a Facebook Live discussion today at 12:30 EST to discuss reopening protocols with Drs. Jerry Hayes, Adam Ramsey and Art Epstein. Tune in at facebook.com/eyecarebusiness.
4/28 The AOA has released guidance for post-COVID-19 reactivation. Find it here: bit.ly/2KT01E1.
Noting the explosion of web traffic during the pandemic, you might focus your marketing efforts on social media. If that’s the case, check out OM’s “Social Media Toolkit” series, which includes ideas, tips, and downloadable resources: bit.ly/35a4HP4.
4/27 Sister publication, Eyecare Business, has put together a roundup of resources available via optical companies, managed care partners and others at: bit.ly/2yMokRa.
Dr. Karen DeLoss shares her experiences in quarnatine at her office, as part of Contact Lens Today. Scroll down to "Columns" to read: bit.ly/2yMoI24.
Katherine Mastrota, MS, OD, explains how the pandemic has made her and her coworkers better, more understanding caregivers. Again, as part of Contact Lens Today. Scroll down to "Columns" to read: bit.ly/2VECwVk.
Visibily will provide eyecare practitioners free access to its virtual vision test technology. To find more information, visit govisibly.com/
NovaBay Pharmaceuticals, in partnership with Shenzhen Microprofit Biotech Co., has become the exclusive U.S. distributor of a rapid, finger prick test to determine the presence of COVID-19 or a potential indication of antibody immunity to the disease. The company has submitted the test kit for emeregency use authorization via the FDA and says it will also submit thekit for 510(k) clearance. 
CooperVision, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, is providing free shipping for direct-to-patient contact lens delivery. Read more about it in O.D. Notebook: bit.ly/3cT9CXi.
Walman has introduced a "Grand Reopening Playbook" billed to be a guide to reopening safely with topics covered like practice management, equipment, dispensary, financial, etc. The guide is avaialble at walman.com/grand-reopening-playbook.
4/24 The CARES Act included money intended to help providers, read more from Ophthalmology Management's Managing Dry Eye newsletter at bit.ly/2S4T2M3.
4/22 Setting up or maintaining an e-commerce platform for your practice could be a valuable use of your time during a slowdown in patient appointments. Dr. Brianna Rhue reviews factors to consider when implementing one here, perhaps it's a starting point for your platform!
Consider these 10 action steps to keep yourself mentally strong during the coronavirus pandemic at bit.ly/2VQHrkF.
Over the next three Mondays, MacuLogix will offer a series of three webinars, titled Marketing Mondays, to connect practice owners and optometrists with the company's marketing brain trust. Registration and more information available at maculogix.com/marketing-mondays/
4/21 U.S. gaming has increased significantly during the pandemic. According to Verizon, video game usage during peak hours has gone up 75% in the first two weeks of stay-at-home measures. Consider how you might best serve these patients in the future. Dr. Amanda Nanasy provides a rundown on esports athletes and their visual needs at bit.ly/esportsom.
World Glaucoma Association members have shared their tips for practicing in the pandemic environment. View it here: https://vimeo.com/407916163.
Management Tip of the Week encourages optometrists to consider marketing efforts during an office closure or slow down. Maddie Langston, IDOC consultant, offers options for contact lens orders and social media content. Read more at bit.ly/2XVq4SG.
CMS, which previously announced a deadline extention from March 31 to April 30 to submit 2019 data for MIPS Quality Payment Program, has indicated that "MIPS eligible clinicans who have not submitted data by the extension will qualify for automiatic extreme and uncontrollable circumstances policy and will receive a neutral payment adjustment for the 2021 MIPS payment year." This and more information at go.cms.gov/3ardJYX.
4/20 Drs. Jason Nichols, Lyndon Jones, Karen Walsh, Philip Morgan and Mark Wilcox discuss via video roundtable the paper they recently had published in Contact Lens and Anterior Eye, titled "The COVID-19 Pandemic: Important Considerations for Contact Lens Practitioners."
Read the full text of the article at bit.ly/2RQyK95. View the video at bit.ly/2VN6GVj.
Eyecare Business has been polling its readers to find out the impact the virus is having on them. Their results show an increase in offices that are only seeing emergency patients, that are expecting the virus to have a significant financial impact and that are creating novel ways to interact with patients: bit.ly/2VWVuFJ.
4/17 Euclid will host two upcoming Facebook live sessions related to coronavirus pandemic. The first, occurring on Tuesday from 1:30 to 2 p.m. EST, is titled "Rebounding from COVID-19 from an Optometrist CEO Perspective." The second, occurring Thursday, again from 1:30 to 2 p.m. EST, is titled "Home Alone: Remotely Managing Patients, Parents Staff and Myself." The sessions feature moderator Craig Norman, F.C.L.S.A., and speakers Joe Boorady, O.D., F.A.A.O., Rob Gerowitz, O.D., and Trevor Fosso, O.D., F.A.A.O. No registration is required. Attend by tuning into Euclid's Facebook page, at facebook.com/euclidsys/ at the time of the event.
4/16 Been wondering about how much inventory of contact lenses you actually need. To be sure your inventory isn’t costing you, use this time away from your practice or your decreased hours to “Choose your workhorse lenses,” or those that you fit the most, and “Ask Your Sales Rep Which Powers to Inventory.” For more, visit “Get The Most From Your Contact Lens Inventory:” bit.ly/2XeeFNl.
Dr. April Jasper answers the question "what are some lessons you have learned so far in this first couple weeks of social distancing?" in Florida Room Chat, a video series. See this and previous installments at bit.ly/2z7IFR4.
4/15 Y. Shira Kresch, O.D, provides tips for optometrists who are diving into telehealth: bit.ly/3cmfFn0.
4/14 Does your practice have “balances 90 days to 120 days outstanding and whole insurance balances or remaining patient balances written off for avoidable reasons, such as missed deadlines to submit the correct insurance claim or a desire to avoid patient conflict?” If you are unable to fill your schedule during the COVID-19 pandemic, why not focus on collecting outstanding debts and talking with your office manager about implementing the 10 tips offered by Ann Rea Miller, O.D., in “10 Steps to an Efficient Accounts Receivable:” bit.ly/2XdRnar?
4/13 VSP Global announced it has waived program criteria check-in for its Premier Program. Practices participating will keep their current status and benefits as of April 10 through the end of 2020. Additionally, all VSP network practices now have access to Premier Academy360, the library of education and training resources, including "Applying for Small Business Administration Loans 101." Visit vspproviderhub.com/premier/academy360.html.
The Centre for Ocular Research & Education has launched COVIDEyeFacts.org, which consolidates research, info sheets, resources, and more about contact lenses and COVID-19.
4/9 CMS issues new infection control and guidance for non-emergent, elective medical services and treatment recommendations at go.cms.gov/2y4rIpT.
American Optometric Association has canceled Optometry's Meeting, schedued for June 24-28 in Washington D.C., due to the coronavirus pnademic. The AOA has answered frequently asked questions related to the cancelation here
4/8 April Jasper, O.D., F.A.A.O., discusses what's next after the coronavirus pandemic in her Eyecare During the Coronavirus Pandemic contribution at bit.ly/2xVCWNJ.
Drs. Ed Bennet and Stephanie Woo report on how practitioners and laboratories are working in synergy during this time to maintain specialty contact lens patients’ vision. Read it here: buff.ly/3aUe4nZ.
Frequently asked questions and answers from practice owners on the CARES Act and PPP loans, compiled at bit.ly/2JO9ziK.
4/7 The British Contact Lens Associaton's Contact Lens and Anterior Eye journal has expedited publication of a new open access evidence-based review of the current situation with contact lenses and COVID-19. Check it out at www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1367048420300552.
Solutionreach is offfering a free 4-part "Practice Combeback Plan" webinar series starting on April 9 from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. PT. Register at register.gotowebinar.com/register/2156376904025421580.
CMS hosted a webinar on Tuesday providing more information on the US Department of Health and Human Services 1135 waiver. The presentation can be found at go.cms.gov/3e2sqo9.
The Vision Council is set to host a webinar titled "What your business needs to know to successfully plan, respond and navigate coronavirus" on Thursday, April 9 at noon EST. It is open to all and registration is found at bit.ly/2XeA0Gt.
Vision Expo's partner Reed Exhibithions is producing a live webinar, titled Navigating the CARES Act for Small Businesses, and taking place on Wednesday at 11 a.m. To participate, register for limited spaces at https://bit.ly/3e7z0Kq.
If now is an opportune time to analyze the patient care process in your practice, consider reviewing Dr. Neil Gailmard’s seven-part “Pick One Thing” series in the Optometric Management Tip of the Week newsletter. Beginning with the front desk greeting, each installment in the series addresses one portion of the patient care process. Tip No. 769 discusses how to analyze pretesting.
4/6 ABB Optical Group has introduced an online Virtual Resource Center, available to ABB customers, with tools, focusing on helping eye care practitioners with patient outreach, provider education and practice process and strategy tools. Visit abboptical.com to check it out.
CMS has extended the deadline for 2019 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) data submission to April 30 at 8 p.m. EST, in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Find the update and more information from CMS at qpp.cms.gov/participation-lookup.
4/3 With the down time created by COVID-19, it’s an opportune time to address frame board management? One idea for approaching inventory is to view frames as renters that reside on the frame board, write Jay Binkowitz, creator of GPN and founder of the EDGE software, and Yvonne Pelkey, a business services trainer with Total Eye Care Partners. See “Manage Frame Boards,” at bit.ly/2F3IOqM.
4/1 Nathan Hayes, IDOC consultant, provides actionable steps for making the most of this time to the benefit of your practice in Tip of the Week. View the newsletter here and subscribe at bit.ly/TOTWsubscribe.
American Foundation for the Blind is providing guidance for those students, who are blind or low vision, and now find themselves being schooled at home: bit.ly/AFBedresources.
3/31 Walman Optical has introduced a complimentary help line to aid independent eye care practices during the pandemic. Ask Walman is available to everyone, and is a confidential service. It's open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST at (855) 868-1076 or walman.com/AskWalman.
Dr. Scot Morris provides a business checklist in his Eyecare During the Coronavirus Pandemic series: bit.ly/ScotMorris
Additionally, Dr. Pamela Miller provides tips on being precautious while operating as normal, also in Eyecare During the Coroavirus Pandemic series: bit.ly/PJMiller.
3/30 Eyecare During the Coronavirus Pandemic series continues with Dr. Justin Bazan offering the tip to send an email to patients reminding them of the impending grace period deadline to FSA spending and how they can utilize those funds at the practice: bit.ly/JBazan.
Eyecare Business is hosting a Facebook Live panel discussion on Wednesday, April 1, at noon. The topic: “Leading Through Uncertainty: Critical Business Strategies for Eyecare Professionals During COVID-19.” Panelists include Drs. Eric White and Bridgette Shen Lee as well as Sheena Taff, optical manager and optician. Tune in at facebook.com/eyecarebusiness.
Power Hour podcast hosted a special, two-night event titled #Save2020Eyecare. On Wed., March 25, and Thurs., March 26, executives from ABB Optical, Alcon, Bausch + Lomb, ClearVision, CooperVision, DeRigo Rem, Essilor, EyeMed, HEA, Johnson & Johnson Vision, Luxottica, NECO, Sanitas Advisors, Visioneering Technologies, VisionOne, VSP and Walman Optical gathered in a town hall environment to discuss how the industry can band together during the pandemic. You can listen to the episodes in full at powerpractice.com/the-power-hour/previous-episodes/.
Contact Lens Today compiled reader commentary from contact lens practitioners throughout the world in this week's edition of the newsletter. Read it here: bit.ly/CLT329.
Additionally, from Contact Lens Spectrum, "Weatheirng the COVID-19 Storm: Expoerts discuss strategies for managing their contact lens practices during COVID-19 pandemic" by Edward S. Bennett, OD, MSED, is available at bit.ly/CLSweatheringCOVID19
3/27 In a letter to its membership, the AOA announced it is mobilizing to support and serve its members through a comprehensive plan to “fully assemble the AOA for the existential crisis our profession is now facing.” The letter contains links to updated information on practice guidance, resources and expanded member benefits, as well as a summary of the AOA’s actions taken so far to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Read it in full at bit.ly/aoa327letter.
Eyecare During the Coronavirus Pandemic series continues with co-foudner of Treehouse Eyes, Matt Oerding sharing his tip to utilize videoconferencing: bit.ly/2QNyBCC.
3/26 Eyecare During the Coronavirus Pandemic series continues with Dr. Gina Wesley providing business survival steps, at bit.ly/2Uk4o07, and Dr. Sheldon Kreda provides information about social distancing in practice, at bit.ly/2Uo1jfL.
Contact Lens Spectrum reached out to a number of prominent eyecare professionals to obtain their input on how they are managing contact lens patients during this challenging time: bit.ly/2UkOEtH.
3/25 ZEISS Medical Technology has launched a new website, ZEISS MED Support Now, to provide acccess to resources, such as continuing education and how to properly disinfect its devices. The website can be found at bit.ly/ZEISSMed and will be updated regularly.
The Vision Council has added a “coronavirus implications” page to its website that includes each state’s guidelines for essential operations: thevisioncouncil.org/coronavirus-implications.
Eyecare During the Coronavirus Pandemic, a limited series from Optometric Management, provides tips from our editorial board members on navigating eyecare during the crisis. In the first installment, Dr. Andy Gurwood offers his how-to steps from the Philadelphia area. Read it at bit.ly/Gurwood
O.D. Notebook opens with tips on communicating contact lens wear concerns to patients, available at bit.ly/ODN325.
3/24 Industry podcast, Power Hour, from Dr. Gary Gerber will host a special two-night town hall on Wednesday, March 25, and Thursday, March 26, at 9 p.m. The town hall will feature a panel of industry experts discussing the steps the eyecare industry can take in the face of COVD-19 pandemic. More information and how to join: buff.ly/2lJnZbn.
3/23 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is offering resources for clinics and healthcare facilities during this pandemic: bit.ly/2wze1Po.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued the first emergency use authorization for a point-of-care COVID-19 diagnostic for the Cepheid Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2 test. Additional details are avaiable on the FDA site: bit.ly/2QGPw9X.
The FDA also provided a guidance document on "Conduct of Clinical Trials of Medical Products during COVID-19 Pandemic": bit.ly/2UbS1mH.
COPE temporarily changes rules for CE through May 31. The organization's guidelines can be found at bit.ly/39dnEAK
The International Association for Contact Lens Educators (IACLE) is offering all educators access to online resources for remote teaching during the pandemic. Visit iacle.org and navigate to the "Free Resources" area. 
3/16-3/20 The American Optometric Association published "News for the optometric professional and general public," which can be found at aoa.org/coronavirus
American Academy of Ophthalmology released, and is updating, "Alert: Important coronavirus updates for ophthalmologists" which may be pertinent to optometry offices as well: bit.ly/3b42FBx.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid released "COVD-19 Emergency Declaration Health Care Providers Fact Sheet" that can be found at go.cms.gov/2wesi3Q.
Additionally, CMS also published an article on the steps it's taking, "CMS Takes Action Nationwide to Aggressively Respond to Coronavirus National Emergency," accessible at go.cms.gov/3cZJtXA
The Centre for Ocular Research and Education published a special issue of its educational Contact Lens Update, with resources for practitioners regarding COVD-19: contactlensupdate.com/
The AOA has issued a Health Policy Institute statment, which can be found at bit.ly/2UeFCgH.
Quidel receives emergency authorization for COVD-19 Test. Read more: bit.ly/2Qs5DIn
IDOC's Steve Vargo, O.D., and Nathan Hayes, finance consultant, released a podcast on how to weather the financial storm today: bit.ly/IDOCvargohayes

OM will continue to update this page with resources as they become available.

To receive regular updates, delivered to your inbox, on the news and resources offered by industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic, be sure to subscribe to our newest newsletter, PentaVision COVID-19 News Roundup, and Contact Lens Today, a newsletter for our sister publication, Contact Lens Spectrum.

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