1981 – OOSS AND VP
In 1981, there was increasing interest in outpatient eye surgery. Dr. Tennant had created a surgicenter in Dallas, Douglas Williamson in Florida and David McIntyre in Washington. At at meeting of implant surgeons at the Century Plaza Hotel, the three were having lunch. They decided to start the Outpatient Ophthalmic Surgery Society. Plans were written on a napkin. Dr. McIntrye would be President, Dr. Tennant would be Vice President, and Dr. Williamson would be Sect/Treasurer.
It was largely through the efforts of these doctors and the society that Medicare began to pay for outpatient eye surgery. Before that, these doctors took the cost of surgery supplies out of their surgery fees in order to offer their patients the advantages of outpatient vs hospital-based surgery.
Supportive of the efforts was Senator David Durenberger, chairman of the Health Subcommittee of the Senate Finance Committee. It was estimated that the move to the outpatient setting saved Medicare $1 billion the first year.