Tareq Nabhan

Appointment of Assistant Medical Professor of Optometry Dr. Tarek Nabhan to the National Advisory Committee for the Centers for Health Care and Medical Services – UMSL Daily

Dr. Tariq Nabhan recently accepted a position on the Advisory Committee for the Development and Coverage of Medicare Guidelines for the US Department of Health and Human Services. (Photo by August Jennewein)

Tariq Nabhan He knows he has to be at the top of his game for his new position at the US Department of Health and Human Services.” Advisory Committee on Coverage and Evidence Development for Medicare.

But even though there will be a lot of homework required, Nabhan, a clinical assistant professor at University of Missouri – St. Louis College of OptometryShe hopes that serving on the committee will be beneficial to the university and the college in untold ways.

Comprised of up to 100 experts in clinical and management medicine, biological and physical sciences, public health management, patient advocacy, healthcare data and information management and analysis, healthcare economics and medical ethics, MEDCAC provides independent guidance and expert advice on specific clinical topics for healthcare centers and services. medical.

Each meeting has about 15 members with specific knowledge of the topic in question who review medical evidence, listen to public testimonies and then make recommendations. In short, the commission advises the government about tools, tests, techniques, and procedures that should be covered by Medicare and Medicaid.

Nabhan was nominated to serve on the committee by American Optometric Association President Robert C. Lyman said gaining the trust of the AOA is a victory in itself. In particular, he believes his experience with telehealth helped him earn the nomination. In the fall of 2021, Nabhan launched an “Introduction to Telehealth” course at Michigan State University, and gave a presentation on the topic to the AOA last year in Washington, D.C. He sees telehealth as a way to democratize health care, and a tool that can Every presenter should have it in their toolbox.

“In this pandemic, everything has changed because we are not allowed to see patients face to face,” he said. “Telehealth solutions in eye care, if used correctly, work very well. So, they took me to Washington, D.C., and I gave a talk about my course and what we do to help the Community Health Center and how we use technology to bridge the gap between the patient And the service provider.I think this appointment could be a result of what CMS will have to deal with now and moving forward, as there are many players in the telehealth field now, optometry and ophthalmology will have to deal with this now more than ever. “

According to the American Optometric Association, Nabhan’s appointment—along with ophthalmologist Dr. Sherroll A. Reynolds of the Nova Southeastern University School of Optometry—marks the first time in more than 10 years of annual attempts that an optometrist has been appointed to the committee. Nabhan said MEDCAC works largely in line with its evidence-based approach to medicine.

“In my telehealth course, I give a lecture on technology and validations to show whether or not they work so students can think about what they want to give or are asked to give,” he said. “With MEDCAC, we will review and evaluate the medical literature, we will review the technology. We will examine information about the benefits, harms, and suitability of medical procedures and services and ultimately help Medicare determine if this is something that should be covered in Medicare.”

For Nabhan, I am honored to be able to serve the government as a special government employee through this two-year appointment and to represent both UMSL and the field of optics in general. He believes that his own experience as a UMSL student has prepared him well for this new role.

“I am a beneficiary of our programme,” Nabhan said. “I went through UMSL as an optometry student, and I take academics very seriously, so I am a result of the teachings of the faculty. Now, as in this role, especially at the national level, I can put back what I learned from him into the program. It kind of reinforces what we do Really teaching it – that you want to be thoughtful, you want to understand what works and what doesn’t, you want to look at patient outcomes.Being part of this committee would allow me to learn a lot of that and really think about what’s going on nationally and then be able on translating that into the classroom and ultimately translating it into clinical practice.”

Although he hasn’t given advice on a specific case yet, Nabhan has studied previous sessions online, and was intrigued by what he saw. While he is eager to share his knowledge and experience with the committee, he knows that he is also sure to learn a lot on his own.

“I am very impressed with the qualifications and dedication of the candidates that I have been able to see doing this work,” he said. “I will earn more than I can give, although I would like to be able to give more. I only hope to be able to continue to represent the profession, college and university and keep our patients at the center of the proven, high-quality patient care experience.”

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