Enjoy the Value of CAO Membership!

Here are some of the benefits you’ll receive:

• Automatic membership in the American Optometric Association

• Free basic listing in Think About Your Eyes ($250 value)

• Free membership in AOA MORE registry ($1,800 value)

• Free Publications

  • CAO E-Newsletter, published quarterly
  • AOA News, published monthly
  • AOA First Look, published daily

• Free Members Only Access

Members have many valuable resources available. The sites provide detailed information to assist you in managing your practice, keep you informed of managed care issues, and alert you to important legislative initiatives. Also provides information about upcoming meetings and events, professional opportunities, information on managed care plans, fee schedules and coding and billing issues, in addition to a host of other topics. A member directory is also available, which allows patients to locate you or find a certain specialty.

• Legislative Lobbyist Services

The CAO retains the services of The Kowalski Group, LLC, a government relations firm, to assist us with legislative and regulatory activities at our State Capitol. On a daily basis, the firm monitors all developments at the State Capitol and advocates for our profession with legislators and executive branch officials.

• Managed Care Consultant

The CAO contracts with CPR, a managed care consulting firm. On behalf of the CAO membership, CPR meets regularly with HMO’s and PPO’s offering both commercial and Medicare/Medicaid programs, to ensure appropriate positioning for optometrists as medical eye care providers. This includes identification of new networks that are conducting business in Connecticut and opening up fresh opportunities for OD participation. Their efforts and initiatives impact reimbursement, generate respect for optometry’s scope of practice and enhance the role of optometry statewide.  In 2014, the CAO began meeting with Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) throughout the state, educating them about how Optometrists can work within these groups.

• Access to the CAOLIST Listserv

CAOLIST is a ListServ discussion group administered by CAO staff. Through e-mail, the CAOLIST allows interaction with your colleagues and discussions regarding all aspects of the optometry profession. In addition to receiving information, a member of the list can pose a question or report on some piece of news. Other members may choose to just read the message or pass along their own comments and/or advice.

• Marketing

In both the AOA and CAO websites, members are listed in a database where patients can locate them using search criteria such as last name, city or zip code.

Members are also eligible to use the AOA and CAO logos on their business cards, stationery, etc., to distinguish themselves as a professional association member.

• Practice & Employment Opportunities

The CAO maintains an active database of practice and employment opportunities in the state, including part-time and fill-in opportunities, full-time employment, opportunities leading to association, and opportunities leading to partnership/ownership.

The AOA maintains an active national database of practice and employment opportunities.

• Continuing Education

The CAO Annual Education Conference held in the fall annually offers of 18+ hours of CE at significantly reduced rates to CAO members. Along with education, the conference also showcases 50+ exhibitors for a great opportunity to learn, network, and meet fellow colleagues. 

Optometry 2020 is an education series that offers four hour continuing education sessions throughout the year. Registration offers member discount series packages that include the Association’s Annual Education Conference. Individual CE classes can also be purchased a la carte. The program elevates all participants to new levels of clinical care and enhances their expertise in the optometry profession. In addition, participants will learn how to protect and enhance our scope of practice.

• Mentoring/Young OD Program

Developed for new CAO members (recent graduates, students or established doctors) who might be new to Connecticut or to the CAO. Quarterly events are organized in different locations around the state. The program has several purposes, including: 

  • To form new relationships between established ODs and new, in-coming members. This will be beneficial to all Optometrists and the Association by fostering and increasing activism for the Legislative Process, something we all know is extremely important.
  • Help create another OD-colleague referral source and encourage further, long-term commitment to CAO.
  • Create a networking opportunity for new members to meet other Optometrists in their locale, specialty and/or mode of practice
  • The Mentoring Program also has a separate listserv to answer questions regarding the CAO organization, its committees, and events, Connecticut Optometric laws, practice management or additional referral sources.

• Endorsed Vendor / Benefit Programs

CAO members save money for their practices and help the association with non-dues income, necessary to expand member programs. CAO endorsed vendors have agreed to provide discounts to CAO members, in addition to contributing to CAO programs. Vendors include: ABB Optical Group, Healthy Eyes Advantage (Vision West), and Perferx-Precision.