As the new SDCOS president, I am committed to making sure our society continues to be a strong presence at the local, state, and national levels. I strongly encourage all of our members to get the most out of their membership and be as active as possible. Our association with AOA, COA, and SDCOS allows us to be heard, create change, achieve goals, and ensure the future of our profession. Making a conscious effort to highlight the benefits of SDCOS/COA membership to our colleagues as well is important to help our organization continue to grow and thrive. Our organization is strengthened by our membership, and the more support we have, the stronger voice we have.
With that being said, I wanted to give you all a brief outline of some of the membership benefits you may not be aware of:
- Think About Your Eyes is an exclusive public information marketing campaign offered by the AOA and available to COA members at a reduced fee
- COA offers a free, continually-growing library of in-depth fact sheets addressing a wide variety of scope of practice and practice operation topics
- The Member Media Center (MMC) through the COA website offers content for members to use in their newsletters and social media sites to help inform the public about important eye issues
- COA has a Member Resource Center in which there are dedicated COA staff members who are available to answer common practice-related questions- from the steps to take to get on a health plan’s medical panel, to employment and workers’ compensation issues
- Eyelearn is an online learning resource exclusively offered to AOA members that includes COPE approved continuing education webinars, journal articles, and practice management resources
- Business and Career Success webinars are offered by AOA with topics including medical records and coding, HIPAA updates, PQRS, malpractice, etc.
- COA provides constant updates on various topics with Government Affairs Weekly emails, California Optometry (the official publication of the COA), COA Member News monthly newsletter, AOA’s daily First Look and weekly AOA Focus e-newsletters, and the monthly AOA Focus magazine.
- Discounts on continuing education events including Monterey Symposium, OptoWest, and AOA’s Optometry’s Meeting
- Opportunities for free continuing education through articles in California Optometry as well as further CE online through CE@HomeOnline
- Great deals as COA members from Vision West buying group. Insurance programs and exclusive discounts for members on professional liability, workers’ comp, cyber liability, etc
- To ensure state and federal compliance with labor laws, COA provides discounted subscriptions for mandatory posters
- As a COA member, there is an opportunity to enroll staff as AOA and COA Paraoptometric Members at no charge to aid in enhancing the skills and productivity of your staff
- AOAExcel’s Medical Record and Coding Services AskTheCodingExperts@ExcelOD.com allows you to consult a billing expert for questions on anything from procedure and diagnosis codes, changes in Medicare coding policies, ICD-10 and more
- As an AOA and COA member you are listed on each website under the Find An Eye Doc search portals to assist the public in finding you
- Optometry’s Career Center through AOA provides services to find a practice to join, or to start and grow a practice
- The Legal Service Resources Program provides members up to one-half hour (30 minutes) of telephone and research work per month with an attorney at no cost