October 17, 2014

Lead Story:
Help Us Finish Strong!
With only a few weeks left before the 2014 midterm elections, now is the time to ensure ENT PAC is as strong as possible. By becoming a 2014 ENT PAC Investor, you will help ensure the specialty is well-poised to support incumbents and/or candidates who champion the issues important to the specialty. Help ENT PAC achieve, or even surpass, its fundraising goal by making your investment today. Log-in to www.entpac.org using your AAO-HNS ID (NOT your email address) and password to make an immediate contribution. Or, send a check (payable to ENT PAC) to 1650 Diagonal Road, Alexandria, VA 22314.*

Action Requested
Last Chance to Sign the “Save Our Physicians” Petition
Act now to sign the “Save Our Physicians” petition and declare your opposition to legislation (H.R. 5304) that would provide “limited license physician” status for audiologists. By signing the petition, you will help highlight the importance of preserving the term “physician” for MD/DOs to ensure patients can easily distinguish between various healthcare providers. Help us send a strong message to Capitol Hill by signing the petition today!  

Tell Us Who You Know
Do you or someone you know serve on a state hearing and/or speech language pathology licensing board? If so, let us know at govtaffairs@entnet.org! The AAO-HNS Government Affairs team is compiling a list of members who serve in this capacity to supplement our “State Tracker” activities.

Help Wanted: State Tracker
The new legislative year is just around the corner, and some states still need legislative “trackers.” We have yet to identify a volunteer “tracker” in Alaska, Idaho, Mississippi, Minnesota, Nevada, Rhode Island, and Wyoming – leaving these states vulnerable to ill-advised legislative proposals! Are you interested in serving as a tracker, but are unsure of your “tracking” skills? Don’t worry! Monthly conference calls will be scheduled to discuss legislation, review new and ongoing trends, and to answer your questions. If you are interested in volunteering for this effort to protect the specialty’s interests in state legislatures, contact the Government Affairs team at govtaffairs@entnet.org.

Informational Updates
Coalition Urges Increased Funding for Pediatric Program
The AAO-HNS joined a group of health-related organizations in sending a letter to the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration to urge the agency to increase funding for the Pediatric Device Consortia (PDC) during its FY16 budgeting process.

Healthcare Groups Support Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act
A coalition of healthcare and consumer groups, including the AAO-HNS, sent a letter to U.S. Representative Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) in support of the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act (H.R. 5486). The legislation recognizes the danger of liquid nicotine used to refill electronic cigarettes, and the threat it poses to small children. For more information on this and other coalition letters, visit the AAO- HNS Legislative & Political Affairs webpage.

I-GO Success
The AAO-HNS In-district Grassroots Outreach (I-GO) program is on a roll! Thanks to a boost of interest during the Annual Meeting, AAO-HNS members have already participated in six I-GO events this month. In-district events help ensure lawmakers are well-versed on the specialty’s legislative priorities via first-hand, local interactions with Academy members. It’s not too late to plan your I-GO meeting. Visit our online form or contact govtaffairs@entnet.org to schedule a meeting.

From the Health Policy Team
New CPT for ENT Articles Available: We’ve Got You Covered
The Academy has updated its CPT for ENT article library with new guidance articles on Implantation Of A Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulator, Deletion of Eustachian Tube Codes for 2015, and a revised coding guidance article on Zenker's Diverticulum. To view the complete list, click here.

EHR MU Hardship Exception Application Deadline Reopened
If you missed the July 1 Electronic Health Records (EHR) Meaningful Use hardship exception application deadline, you still have an opportunity to apply and possibly avoid the 2015 penalty. CMS is reopening the submission period through November 30, 2014. To access the CMS form, click here.    

*Contributions to ENT PAC are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. Contributions are voluntary, and all members of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery have the right to refuse to contribute without reprisal. Federal law prohibits ENT PAC from accepting contributions from foreign nationals. By law, if your contributions are made using a personal check or credit card, ENT PAC may use your contribution only to support candidates in federal elections. All corporate contributions to ENT PAC will be used for educational and administrative fees of ENT PAC, and other activities permissible under federal law. Federal law requires ENT PAC to use its best efforts to collect and report the name, mailing address, occupation, and the name of the employer of individuals whose contributions exceed $200 in a calendar year.