• John Hovanesian, MD, FACS
  • John A. Hovanesian, MD, FACS, focuses his blog on real-world comanagement cases with valuable take-home messages. Dr. Hovanesian is a specialist in cornea, external ocular disease and refractive and cataract surgery with Harvard Eye Associates in Laguna Hills, Calif., a clinical instructor at UCLA Jules Stein Eye Institute and a member of the Primary Care Optometry News Editorial Board.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Inlays will reinvigorate refractive surgery

John A. Hovanesian, MD, FACS

In a nearly split decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Ophthalmic Devices Panel on June 6 the Acufocus Kamra inlay was recommended for approval. This inlay, made of an opaque, fenestrated polyvinylidene, uses small-aperture optics — the pinhole effect — to assist near vision in implanted patients.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Insurer offers doctors bonus for prescribing endorsed drugs

John A. Hovanesian, MD, FACS

Hovanesian's moral compass tells him that physicians should beware anytime any third party pays a doctor more to prescribe a particular treatment. As Primary Care Optometry News Editor Michael D. DePaolis, OD, FAAO, has always advocated, if we ask ourselves what is in the patient’s best interests, we will almost always come up with the best course of action.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Try an 'unplugged weekend'

John A. Hovanesian, MD, FACS

Ever tried going unplugged for an entire weekend? Turning off your computers, leaving your smartphone in your pocket and letting the television go dark? My family tried this for the first time about 2 years ago, encouraged by a news story about a national holiday proposed by Reboot, a nonprofit Jewish organization whose great ideas reach across religious boundaries.

Miraculous things happen during an unplugged weekend, when we are not distracted by the influence of connected electronics. On one such weekend, my wife and I took our kids to a nearby park. Rather than checking our email while the kids played, we took in the beauty around us that had somehow disappeared into the background on previous trips.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Take steps to ensure patients get the medications they need

John A. Hovanesian, MD, FACS

In my last blog post on this topic, we discussed the astronomically rising cost of generic drugs in the U.S. and why this is happening. Certainly it’s a frustrating problem for patients and doctors alike. Here are some tips that may be helpful in navigating the system:

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Why generic drug costs are rising

John A. Hovanesian, MD, FACS

Most of us have noticed the dramatic increase in generic drug costs at the pharmacy, or we’ve heard feedback about it from our patients. But why has this happened, and what can we do about it?

First, let’s identify the problem. In the past 2 years, generic drug makers have raised their prices on many age-old generic medications such as doxycycline and pravastatin, each of which increased tenfold in price in 2013, according to a survey by the National Community Pharmacists Association.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Teenager inspires others to live life fully

John A. Hovanesian, MD, FACS

A remarkable 17-year-old young man died in New England a few weeks ago. His name was Sam Berns, and he had a rare disorder called progeria, which results from an untreatable genetic mutation that causes aging of all the body’s cells. Sam was diagnosed shortly after birth with this affliction, which occurs in one in 8 million newborns. His parents, both physicians, formed a foundation to conduct research on the condition. Throughout his short life, they also wisely advised Sam to choose act...

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Google Glass carries potential to improve patient care

John A. Hovanesian, MD, FACS

Google recently announced an arrangement with Vision Service Plan in which VSP would provide frames custom designed for Google Glass, Google’s not-yet-released wearable computer monitor.

While this new device has all kinds of implications for texting while driving, secretly photographing others with its built-in camera and faking one’s way through cocktail party conversation as an expert in every subject, not all uses of Google Glass will be nefarious — or cheesy, for that matter.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Putting patients' interests first solves a lot of problems

John A. Hovanesian, MD, FACS

In December, a federal judge in Connecticut placed an injunction on United Healthcare hours before the insurance organization dropped thousands of doctors from its Medicare Advantage plans. UHC, after unilaterally altering its physician contracts without consenting with the contracted physicians, sought to drop about 2,200 participating physicians, according to an article on Healio.com. Two separate medical societies in Connecticut successfully petitioned the court for this injunction in the int...

Friday, November 1, 2013

A successful day in surgery

John A. Hovanesian, MD, FACS

A respected colleague of mine who teaches in a nearby county hospital likes to say, “A successful day in surgery is one where every patient gets a PC IOL, you get to eat lunch and your feet stay dry.” In post-residency practice, we have a little higher standard. But until recently, surgery was considered satisfactory just because it was free of complications. Increasingly, patients expect and deserve better results as we see a greater adoption by surgeons of new technologies and gr...

Monday, October 14, 2013

Satisfactory surgical result redefined

John A. Hovanesian, MD, FACS

A respected colleague of mine who teaches in a nearby county hospital likes to say, “A successful day in surgery is one where every patient gets a PC IOL, you get to eat lunch and your feet stay dry.” In post-residency practice, we have a little higher standard. But until recently, surgery was considered satisfactory just because it was free of complications. Increasingly, patients expect and deserve better results as we see a greater adoption by surgeons of new technologies and gre...