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COVID-19 Relief for Optometrists: AOA Announces Coronavirus Package for ECPs

It’s valued at $5.5M.

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The American Optometric Association announced a $5.5 million crisis relief and recovery assistance package for eyecare providers.

The actions, outlined in a letter to AOA members, “come as the AOA continues to fight 24/7 for optometry in Washington, D.C., to guarantee that the profession’s essential care and physician role is fully recognized in emergency laws and regulations, and to secure at least $1 billion in continuity grants and loans for optometry practices nationwide,” according to a post on the group’s website.

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“At an especially confusing time, we’re cutting through the clutter with up-to-the-minute practice guidance and resources and expanded member benefits,” Horn and Reynolds stated. “We are also spotlighting our frontline care and efforts of colleagues across the country to ease the burdens in local emergency departments.”

The plan includes:

  • Approved immediate AOA dues relief. All AOA dues are waived for two months for all members.
  • Approved dues and assessment freeze. AOA membership dues and assessment to be maintained at current levels at least through 2021.
  • Directed program reprioritization. The AOA is dedicating an organization-wide response to the immediate crisis-related concerns of doctors and affiliates, extending all AOA advocacy activities (federal, state, payer and media), communications, AOAExcel, practice tools and more.
  • Approved direct affiliate support. The AOA established a $500,000 fund to assist distressed affiliates.
  • Establishing a long-term relief for doctors. The AOA is working to establish an AOA Foundation Optometry Recovery Fund to aid optometry practices, in partnership with industry friends.

The AOA will be provide additional details about the relief plan in coming weeks.

The organization has launched a COVID-19 updates page where ECPS can locate the latest information from the AOA and U.S. public health authorities.

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