How ECPs are Being Represented in Washington DC - Dr. Jeff Sonsino

AdminWolf

Site Administrator & Tech Lead
Staff member
Feb 24, 2001
17,201
3,622
113
School/Org
University of Michigan Medical School
City
Lake Oswego
State
OR


In this fast ODwire.org interview, we speak with Jeff Sonsino, OD, FAAO about how ECPs are being represented by lobbying groups in DC. With different groups claiming to represent ECPs, it is important to know what these various groups are saying to legislators, sometimes on your behalf.

He talks specifically about a group called the NAOO, apparently affiliated with National Vision, and claiming to represent "the retail optical industry and its thousands of employed and affiliated optometrists and opticians"

Jeff mentions several links during the talk, including:
and

Thanks to Jeff for taking the time this morning!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dorothy Hitchmoth
Thanks for the opportunity today Adam. I feel like this is something our friends and colleagues in commercial settings need to hear. Is this group representing you and your patients’ interests?
 
Thanks for the opportunity today Adam. I feel like this is something our friends and colleagues in commercial settings need to hear. Is this group representing you and your patients’ interests?
The thing that struck me was the group's mission: "the retail optical industry AND its thousands of employed and affiliated optometrists and opticians"

Is it possible that those two groups don't have interests that are completely aligned?
 
Jeff makes some great points. However, there are issues that need to be discussed that weren't touched on.

I'm going to discuss on the Emerging Trends thread. Hopefully, everyone will listen to Jeff and either join or continue their membership in the AOA.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
I'd like to hear from any docs that work for this entity, to understand if:

1) they knew about these sorts of efforts and
2) how they feel about it, pro or con

You can respond anonymously to me or send a PM if you don't want to write publicly.

I'm trying to gauge people's degree of awareness of the political process; my sense is that most people don't know how the "sausage is being made" on their behalf.
 
Jeff,
I just finished my analysis of the budget that was signed into law today on the Emerging Trends thread. There is a threat and a pathway needs to be discussed.
 
Jeff, I heard someone joke elsewhere that the National Association of Realtors (NAR) have a ferociously strong association and power lobby. That of a career that takes about 90 days of training with zero prerequisites. It is ironic that our profession, that up to now, has been highly selective and takes a huge personal and financial commitment, may have less than 50% participation in our AOA. Docs just don't realize, just don't care, or think the other guys will advocate and pay to have their back. How can they really expect anyone to advocate for their hard earned profession if they do not participate?
 
What is shocking to me is that since I posted this yesterday afternoon, it is has been viewed 3,500 times (!) So clearly people care about the issue, but few are willing to talk about it on the thread!
 
Joe,

I couldn’t agree more. 100% of ODs pay malpractice insurance, around $500-$1,000/year- a service we hope to never, ever use in our careers. Membership in the AOA is just north of that, for a service we will use every single minute that we are working. We and our patients are under unprecidented threat right now. If you would like to have a profession in 4-7 years, please click here and join:

https://www.aoa.org/optometrists

If you join now, please hit reply and let us know. The readers of this thread care deeply about this and would like to recognize you as a hero.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Joe DiGiorgio O.D.
Jeff, I truly think that many of the more recent grads truly do not realize that without our AOA and state associations we would not be able to run and medically bill tests like visual fields, OCTs, retinal photos, etc. Cycloplege--heck no. Goldman tonometry--absolutely not. And we certainly would not be able to treat basic conjunctivitis, but absolutely would not be able to manage conditions like glaucoma. Our association collectively fought for and won their expansions of scope of care.

United we stand. Every member counts.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Ed Makler
Jeff sent me a copy of this letter that the organization sent to the Chair of the Health & Family Services Committee in Kentucky, in opposition to KY HB191.

Again, this letter is pretty typical of the way organizations try to influence discussion in statehouses and DC. I think it is important for more people to understand "how the sausage is made", even if it is sometimes arcane (or boring!)

ad
 

Attachments

  • KY HB 191_2018_Opposition.pdf
    80.4 KB · Views: 495
the guy who signed that letter used to be a corporate lencrafters VP...

that organization is a shell front for corporate optical, they want to fully co-opt optometry and make it their own. THEY define optometry.

They are half way there, and probably much more then that. Most OD's provide for eyemed benefits, or other VCP programs. Every time an OD provides a "routine exam" optometry loses credibility, leverage, economic viability, etc. Optometrists want to lose, because they are losers.
 
Last edited:
the guy who signed that letter used to be a corporate lencrafters VP...

that organization is a shell front for corporate optical, they want to fully co-opt optometry and make it their own. THEY define optometry.

They are half way there, and probably much more then that. Most OD's provide for eyemed benefits, or other VCP programs. Every time an OD provides a "routine exam" optometry loses credibility, leverage, economic viability, etc. Optometrists want to lose, because they are losers.
I would "like" your post, except for the last sentence.

I neither want to lose, or feel like a loser. I support the AOA with my money. I have a successful solo practice with no VCP endorsement or contracts.

You are probably correct about the level of control of our profession from corporates.
 
Jeff sent me a copy of this letter that the organization sent to the Chair of the Health & Family Services Committee in Kentucky, in opposition to KY HB191.

Again, this letter is pretty typical of the way organizations try to influence discussion in statehouses and DC. I think it is important for more people to understand "how the sausage is made", even if it is sometimes arcane (or boring!)

ad

Got to love how this guy says he represents this association of optometrist then goes on to sell optometry down a river. I am sure his association of optometrists thanks him.
 
I hope everyone including Jeff looked at the budget bill that was just passed. This letter is advocacy that bill is now law.
Sorry Joe, that the ET thread has 71 pages, however, we're on shakier ground now
 
Sorry Joe, that the ET thread has 71 pages, however, we're on shakier ground now

Thanks for all your hard work helping us keep up. LOL--it truly does need some type of index sort of like one can automatically create using MSword.

It is hard to comprehend how with all of our expansion of training and expansion of scope of care that it feels like we keep losing ground.
 
Got to love how this guy says he represents this association of optometrist then goes on to sell optometry down a river. I am sure his association of optometrists thanks him.

Well, I think that's why Jeff wanted to speak to me in the first place. This group claims to represent thousands of practitioners, but I wonder if they know what is being said on their behalf. (Anyone here work for the aforementioned corporations?)
 
Well, I think that's why Jeff wanted to speak to me in the first place. This group claims to represent thousands of practitioners, but I wonder if they know what is being said on their behalf. (Anyone here work for the aforementioned corporations?)
Perhaps it's a bogus claim. It would be an important data point to make, should that be a false statement. Something that could be used to strongly counter the claims in that letter. Nobody likes liars.