Opening Lines

If I knew then what I know now

Recently, OP asked ophthalmic professionals:

What is the one lesson you learned during your career that you wish you knew when you were starting your career? Beginning this month, as part of an occasional series, we present their answers.


When I was in school and just learning about ophthalmology, I took what teachers told me as correct (a good thing) and I also thought that it would not change (ouch). So much of what I learned at first and was correct at the time has been called into question over time. For example, laser photocoagulation for diabetes was not scientifically proven to significantly reduce the incidence of severe visual loss, but the Diabetic Retinopathy Study (DRS) results changed all that and laser for diabetics with retinal changes became a reality. Information in the literature and from clinical outcomes made me realize I was in a constantly evolving field — and that I would have to work hard to stay “in the know” so as best to help my patients and providers.

Paul M. Larson, MBA, MMSc, COMT, COE, CPC, CPMA
Senior Consultant
Corcoran Consulting Group


There is an art to management decision-making. Early on in my career as a practice administrator, I had an accountant who coached me that there are no accounting emergencies. It was a big relief to understand this when others were presenting their stress levels and pressing me for a financial decision.

The flip side of analysis paralysis can creep into play if you are not careful. Efficiently balancing the risks and benefits of decisions, how much easier it may be for the team to have the decision made and then turn right or left later as needed, vs. those decisions that will be costly if not analyzed fully, is an art in management. I have found the majority of decisions fall into the former category and movement is usually better than no movement to keep a team motivated and realizing progressive improvements.

BSM Consulting

In Brief

Ocular Therapeutix’s Dextenza (dexamethasone ophthalmic insert) 0.4mg received FDA approval for intracanalicular use. Dextenza is used to treat ocular pain following ophthalmic surgery.

Alcon announced it has acquired Tear Film Innovations, manufacturer of the iLux Device, which is used to treat meibomian gland dysfunction.

Anthem, a member of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, issued a coverage policy for Avedro’s corneal cross-linking procedure.

Lynx, from McKesson, a cloud-based medication inventory system, has released new features designed for delivering injectable medication therapies in retina practices, including advanced vial serialization and reporting capabilities that are customizable.

The Association of Technical Personnel in Ophthalmology (ATPO) announced Jessica Barr, COMT, ROUB, as its new president. Ms. Barr is an implementation specialist and education liaison for Quidel and has more than 14 years of clinical ophthalmology experience.

IJCAHPO recognized Richard Cunningham, MD, and Kenneth Westfield, MD, with its Statesmanship Award, given to those who manifest leadership through support, training, and use of allied ophthalmic personnel, and whose career has demonstrated dedication to ethics and ideals of the profession.