February 2017 Vol. 2

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WOA Board

Brandi Bilyeu- President
Joe Maycock- President-Elect
Nate Edwards- Treasurer
Chris Jons-Secretary
Jonathan Hartley-Director
Jeremy Nett- Director
Lynda Jones- Past President

Meaningful Use Attestation ends February 28th

2016 Meaningful Use attestation opens, ends Feb. 28, 2017

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that attestation for the 2016 Meaningful Use (MU) program year began on Jan. 3, 2017, and will end on Feb. 28, 2017. Failure to attest by Feb. 28, 2017, will result in reductions to your 2018 Medicare payments.

To prepare for attestation, CMS released an Attestation Worksheet, a step-by-step guide that helps determine whether your practice has met the 2016 MU requirements.

As a reminder, CMS recently reduced the 2016 MU reporting period for returning participants. Now, all members need only meet the 2016 MU requirements for a continuous 90-day period that falls between Jan. 1, 2016, and Dec. 31, 2016.

Find more information regarding Meaningful Use requirements and attestation at AOA's Meaningful Use Webpage and CMS' Registration & Attestation Webpage.

Need more information? Contact Jensen Jose at jjose@aoa.org.

Is Your Office Computer System Safe from Ransomware?

Tips for dealing with computer security

Five threats to your data security

As a doctor of optometry, you are responsible for your patients’ health and the safety of their personal information. Although hacking is commonly associated with data breaches, there are many other outside threats to cyber security that are less familiar. Here are five external threats to be aware of:
  1. Malware
Malware is the parent name for many different kinds of malicious software, including spyware, viruses, ransomware and others. New types of malware are created daily.  

  1. Ransomware
Ransomware is a type of malware that blocks access to a computer system until a significant sum of money, or “ransom,” is paid.

  1. Phishing
Phishing occurs when a hacker fraudulently presents themselves as a legitimate entity, typically through email, with the intent of gaining confidential information.
  1. Spear Phishing
Attackers can target an individual by gathering information about who their target typically interacts with and falsely impersonating a familiar company or colleague.
  1. Vendor negligence
Any party that has access to your network can provide a gateway into the system— from payroll technology to electronic medical records and beyond.
Cyber liability insurance can help protect your patients and your practice from the impact of a data breach. For more information about the cyber liability insurance available to AOA members through AOAExcel, please visit AOAcyber.com.
Here is some information from HHS about ransomware and HIPAA that might be helpful for prevention.  Basically, practices should understand that ransomware is a risk, and that their HIPAA compliance duties include security risks assessments.  Taking some steps to prevent or mitigate the risk or potential damage might help a practice recover from these attacks, which are growing in frequency.

Upcoming Solar Eclipse Education and Materials

The following was shared with me to share with WOA:


I want to share something wonderful with all of you that one of our amazing doctors created based on his work with NASA, Astronomy, Pacific U and many of his other amazing affiliations.  He is going to present it at our Third Party/Practice Mgt conference this week.  Dr. Citek has graciously offered it up for distribution to all of you - no strings attached.
The link is
  A number of our states are right in the trajectory for either partial of total eclipse in August.  Dr. Karl Citek has graciously offered to provide any answers to questions you might have:
Karl Citek, OD, PhD, FAAO
Diplomate, AAO PHEV Section
Professor of Optometry
Pacific University College of Optometry
2043 College Way
Forest Grove, OR 97116
vox: (503) 352-2126
fax: (503) 352-2929
I also have pretty fantastic "Be Wise - Protect Your Eyes" materials using the eclipse as the "campaign" , developed by a local woman here in Portland.  We are partnering with her to co-brand the glasses and sell REALLY CHEAPLY to our members, the Lions Clubs and others.  Offering to all of you, as well.  Orders over 1,000 can have your state assn brand/logo for no add'l charge.
Here is the link to the website and materials.  OOPA is able to pass on a significant discount for the book, activity book and eclipse glasses.  
All fun stuff.  All with the message of protecting your eyes.
Attached is an order form if your associations would like to purchase any of these for distribution or sale to your members.  I'm pre-buying thousands and will resell to my members, as an example of what you might consider.

NROC Early Bird Registration Open

NROC will be held in Jackson for one final year.  It will be July 18-22, 2017.  Early Bird registration ends May 1, 2017. The hotel room block fills up quickly so please book early to take advantage of the discounted rates.

WOA Newsletter - February 2017 Vol. 2