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It’s a Wrap: Busy AAO Chicago Meeting a Nice Blend of Work, Fun

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 9:00 AM

BSM News

Written by: Andrew Maller

WHAT A VIEW: The Chicago skyline from the 96th floor of the John Hancock Center.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting is always a special time for those of us at BSM Consulting. It’s a chance to spend time together as a team, reconnect with industry colleagues and clients, and explore fun places. Some of our favorite Chicago highlights this year included:

  • Eating at Burger Bar Chicago and Gioco
  • Exploring Millennium Park
  • Watching the Cubs play from the famous Kitty O’Sheas Irish pub
  • Seeing Chicago from the 96th floor of the John Hancock Center

It wasn’t all fun and games though! We were busier than ever at the BSM Consulting booth in the exhibit hall. Perhaps it was the free coffee, biscotti, or our popular BSM-branded cellphone wallets, but we had great foot traffic at our booth throughout the four-day meeting. I would be remiss if I didn’t publicly thank our amazing booth staff consisting of Emily, Kellie, Kristen, Jen, and Amy. They are fantastic representatives of who we are as a company!

Our consulting team was particularly busy at Academy, meeting with clients and delivering presentations to physicians and practice leaders. All in all, BSM consultants delivered 16 presentations during the meeting covering topics such as benchmarking, staff development plans, patient flow issues, practice valuations, and administrator succession planning just to name a few. If you are interested in learning more about any of these topics or would like a copy of any presentation handouts, please let us know.

For our physician and administrator clients, AAO represents a chance to learn about new equipment and technologies, as well as to network with industry colleagues. While we also enjoy learning about these topics, our main meeting focus is to get a better feel for the major challenges facing practices today.

"Our main meeting focus is to get a better feel for the major challenges facing practices today." — Andrew Maller, BSM consultant

Without a doubt, the major buzz at AAO was around Medicare’s Oct. 14 unveiling of the final rule for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). Effective Jan. 1, 2017, practices will be part of the new Merit-Based Incentive Program (MIPS), but it will not impact Medicare payments until 2019. There were a number of welcomed changes in the final MACRA rule, including reducing some of the reporting burdens in the first year of the program and the option for practices to choose their level of participation.

At this point in time, however, there still seems to be more questions about MACRA and MIPS than answers. The good news is that AAO/AAOE and ASCRS/ASOA have numerous resources to help their members get through these new processes. BSM consultants are also happy to answer any questions you may have, and we plan to provide additional helpful resources to BSM Connection® members in the coming months. Stay tuned for more details.

In addition to all that happened at AAO 2016, it was a pleasure to debut our brand new BSM Consulting® and BSM Connection® for Ophthalmology websites that launched in September. We thoroughly enjoyed introducing these two modern, dynamic websites to booth visitors. If you have not already done so, take a moment to visit the two sites.

Thank you again to all of our great clients, BSM Connection® members, and CPSS® certificants who stopped by to say hello in Chicago. If you missed us this time, come see us in Los Angeles at the ASCRS/ASOA meeting in May 2017. We look forward to seeing you there.

BUSY DAYS: BSM Consulting experts talk to AAO 2016 attendees near the company booth in the exhibit hall.

Your Turn: What was your experience at AAO 2016? Was it a successful meeting for you? Let us know in the comment section below.

If you would like to learn more about BSM’s experience at AAO 2016, contact Andrew Maller at

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