• by: Joshua Mali, MD June 24,2019

Editor’s Note: Welcome to “Let’s Chat,” a blog series featuring contributions from members of the ophthalmic community. These blogs are an opportunity for ophthalmic bloggers to engage with readers with about a topic that is top of mind, whether it is practice management, experiences with patients, the industry, medicine in general, or healthcare reform. The series continues with this blog by Joshua Mali, MD. The views expressed in these blogs are those of their respective contributors and do not represent the views of Ophthalmology Times or MultiMedia Healthcare, LLC.

I am happy to announce a new initiative by the Macular Degeneration Association (MDA): AMD Centers of Excellence (COE). This program shares best-practice methods in disease evaluations and treatments. This age-related macular degeneration (AMD) COE will help patients locate outstanding treatment facilities in their area.

Founded in 2007, the MDA is a nonprofit health organization dedicated to educating and empowering patients with AMD. The MDA funds research, publishes scientific findings, and provides funding for AMD awareness programs. The association is also involved in advocating for scientific research and the rights of people with AMD.

As a keynote speaker for the organization, I have had the joy of participating in patient education programs. These programs allow AMD patients and their family/caretakers to take control of their disease through education.

Here are some of the highlighted criteria for an AMD COE with the MDA accreditation:

  • Completion and submission of the enrollment application.
  • Facility must operate business in compliance with all applicable federal and state licensure and regulatory requirements for the health and safety of patients.
  • Physicians treating AMD should be fellowship trained in retina, board certified in ophthalmology, and members in good standing of both American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS) and American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).
  • Facility must contain space for equipment appropriate to the services designated on the enrollment application, facilities for hand washing, adequate patient privacy accommodations, and the storage of both business records and current medical records.

 – Facility should have all applicable diagnostic testing equipment available at the physical site such as a spectral-domain or swept-source OCT device, fundus photography, autofluorescence, fluorescein angiogram, and diagnostic testing equipment.

 – Testing equipment must be calibrated and maintained per equipment instructions and in compliance with applicable manufacturer’s suggested maintenance and calibration standards.

  • Each physician/facility should meet at least one of the following conditions:

– At a minimum, at least 30% of the practice should be AMD patients
– Participate in a multicenter study investigating a new treatment for AMD
– Lecture on AMD
– Author a paper or publication on AMD

  • A current complete catalog of diagnostic equipment, including diagnostic testing equipment serial and registration numbers, must be maintained at the physical site and available to the MDA upon request.
  • All physicians must stay current on all new technology while offering these new services to their patients.
  • All physicians agree to have available the following medications: bevacizumab (Avastin, Genentech); ranibizumab (Lucentis, Genentech); aflibercept (Eylea, Regeneron), and any new anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)/similar medication approved by the FDA and Medicare.
  • Have technical staff on duty with the appropriate credentials to perform diagnostic tests. The physical facility must be able to produce the applicable federal or state licenses or certifications of the individuals performing these services.
  • All applications and submitted documentation will be reviewed by the MDA’s medical director for final approval as an AMD Center of Excellence.

In anticipation of retina specialists receiving a formal invitation to participate in this valuable patient resource, go to the MDA website, www.macularhope.org, for more updates and information.

Disclosures: 

Joshua Mali, MD
E: malienterprisesglobal@gmail.com
P: 941-923-2020
Dr. Mali is the founder & CEO of Mali Enterprises. His relevant financial disclosures include the following: speaker, consultant, and medical director of the Macular Degeneration Association (MDA).

Source: Joshua Mali, MD and Ophthalmology Times

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