Spring 2020

Chris DeRose  •  MOA President 2019-2020

Winter is here but Spring is coming soon (according to the Groundhog). Year 2020 has kicked off and we’re excited for it to be the Year of the Eye Exam! #2020EyeExam

In January, we wrapped up this year’s successful Legislative Conference. Another round of wintry roads threatened to damper our expectations once again, but everything went smoothly. I thought it was the most effective Legislative Conference events in recent memory!

On Saturday, the Kansas City Chiefs added to the entertainment as we mixed committee meetings with a NFL watch party. The result was a little more enthusiasm and a lot more shouting than we usually witness in our committees. That may have had something to do with the Chief’s comeback of historical proportions as they rallied back from a 24-0 deficit to beat the Houston Texans.

On Sunday, we had three fantastic speakers. Dr. Raymond Brill gave a comprehensive lecture on dry eye, treatment, technology, and implementation into your practice. Representative Crystal Quade of Springfield was a very engaging speaker. She spoke about her experiences in the House and her views on Missouri healthcare. Thank you to Jay Hahn and keyperson Dr. Kory Sculawll for inviting her. And AOA Advocate Dana Reason also gave a great talk from a national viewpoint on optometry’s goals and challenges. She also reviewed the basics of forming a solid keyperson relationship with your legislator.

Along those lines, the year 2020 continues to be a year of “Readiness” for our association. We are using our time and resources to strengthen our grassroots fundamentals to improve our ability to achieve future legislative goals and to protect against threats to our scope of practice. Dr. Tom Cullinane and Jay Hahn published a keyperson training guide to remind our seasoned doctors and inform our newer docs on the necessary steps and imminent achievability of forming reliable bonds with state leadership positions. Dr. LeeAnn Barrett updated and distributed the MOA Political Action Handbook. This brochure is a nuts-to-bolts treasure trove of the general structure of the Missouri House and Senate and optometrists’ role in protecting our legislated profession.

Legislatively, we have three current bills of concern to Optometry. First, we have filed a bill on Optometric Jurisprudence. This bill would require all Missouri optometrists to take two hours of continuing education each renewal period on Jurisprudence. These two hours of CE will be developed by the MOA and will serve to unify our focus on our initiatives. If every optometrist in Missouri, MOA member or non-MOA member, is well-informed on our intentions, challenges and legislative efforts, it will make us a stronger profession. We know that many members may occasionally ask themselves “What is the MOA doing for me and my practice?”. This educational initiative will ensure that all OD’s know what the MOA is doing to protect their profession, safeguard their practice, and position us for future expansions. A well-informed profession is a more cohesive and effective profession.

Secondly, the Department of Revenue is again trying to pass legislation to eliminate the vision screening requirement from driver’s license renewals. The MOA has already defeated this misguided legislation once before and we are confident we will do so again this year.

Thirdly, organized medicine has put forth a bill that attempts to define “surgery”. The impetus behind this bill is a turf battle between MD’s vs nurse anesthetists and physician assistants. However, if passed, this bill would affect our current scope of practice for procedures such as foreign body removal as well as limit our ability to expand our scope in the future. The MOA leadership and its keyperson system is well-positioned to confront this bill.

The MOA continues to expand its implementation of the MOA Dental/Vision/Hearing insurance plan. And we have added the exciting new twist of group medical insurance for doctors and their staff. Dr. Wes Kemp (who now moonlights as a certified insurance agent) has been accompanying me on all my presidential society visits to give updates and details of these two incredible opportunities. He is able to give your practice a detailed assessment of the potential savings by joining the MOA group medical plan. If you have not done so already, contact the MOA office to set up a time to get your quote. This can be done with minimal time investment on your part.

I appreciate being given the opportunity to serve as your association’s president this year. I feel good about where the MOA is and where the MOA is headed. Again, I would stress that the better informed the membership is as a whole, the better we can achieve our goals. So don’t hesitate to contact me. I would enjoy the opportunity to discuss our great profession!

Chris DeRose, OD
MOA President 2019-2020
[email protected]
(573) 874-2030

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