September 5, 2014

Lead Story:
Audiology Legislation Seeks “Physician” Status
On July 31, an audiology “kitchen sink” bill (H.R. 5304) was introduced in Congress. If enacted, the legislation would grant audiologists “limited license physician” status under Medicare and provide unlimited direct access to Medicare patients without a physician referral. The AAO-HNS strongly opposes H.R. 5304 and urges its members to contact their U.S. Representative via our legislative action alert.

Action Requested
Call for Nominations: ENT PAC Board of Advisors Vacancy
The ENT PAC Board of Advisors is currently seeking nominations for a position on the PAC Board. All active U.S. members of the AAO-HNS are eligible. The individual selected for the current vacancy will serve a two-year term and be eligible for re-appointment. Current/past support of ENT PAC is highly recommended, but not required. For more information or to submit a nomination, email entpac@entnet.org by September 12.

Save the Dates: Government Affairs Events in Orlando
Annual Meeting is right around the corner! As you’re planning your daily schedule, don’t forget to include the below opportunities to receive legislative and political updates and network with your colleagues. Mark your calendar for these “insider” events:

  • BOG Legislative Affairs Committee Meeting – Saturday, September 20, 1:00-2:45 pm, Room 105. Non-committee members are invited to attend as guests.
  • “Invitation Only” ENT PAC Luncheon with Special Guest, U.S. Representative Michael Burgess, MD – Monday, September 22, 11:30 am-1:00 pm, OCCC West Building, Room 108A. This is an exclusive event for members of the ENT PAC Chairman’s Club ($1,000+ donors) and winners of the 2013 SRF Advocacy Involvement Campaign.
  • ENT PAC Investors “Thank-you” Reception – Monday, September 22, 7:00-8:30 pm, at BB King’s Blues Club. This event is open to all 2014 ENT PAC Investors, including those who make on-site contributions.

Can’t make any of these events? Stop by one (or both) of the Legislative Advocacy booths, conveniently located on the West Concourse Level 2 or outside Hall B. See you in Orlando!

Primary Election Results Set the Stage for an Exciting General Election
If the latest primary election results are any indication, November’s general election promises to be exciting. Have you been keeping up-to-date on who’s winning, who’s retiring, and who’s making the headlines? Visit the AAO-HNS Federal Elections Center for the latest updates.

Plan Your I-GO Event Before the Elections!
Did a busy calendar prevent you from meeting with your lawmakers during the month-long August Congressional recess? Don’t worry – legislators will be back in their districts in October. This final work period before the elections is a great opportunity to meet locally with your federal lawmakers. Schedule your In-District Grassroots Outreach (I-GO) meeting today!

Make Your Mark in the SRF Advocacy Involvement Campaign
Attention Residents and Fellows-in-Training! Help your training program expand its advocacy “footprint” by achieving full participation in the SRF Advocacy Involvement Campaign. To attain “full participation,” each resident in the program must accrue at least three points. Don’t worry – there are several quick and easy ways to earn points. Visit the ENT PAC website to learn how!

Sign Up to Be a Legislative Tracker for Your State
The AAO-HNS is recruiting volunteers to monitor legislative “tracking reports” in each state. Trackers will help identify legislation that requires Academy assistance (e.g. letters, testimony, action alert). If you are interested in taking advantage of this unique leadership opportunity, contact govtaffairs@entnet.org.

Informational Updates
AAO-HNS Responds to IOM Report on Future of GME
The AAO-HNS and other members of the Surgical Coalition issued a press statement in response to an Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on funding for Graduate Medical Education (GME). The report recommends significant changes to GME financing and governance in an attempt to shape the future physician workforce.

AAO-HNS Supports Obstructed Sleep Apnea Legislation
The Academy sent a letter of support to U.S. Representative Michael Burgess, MD (R-TX), supporting H.R. 4695, legislation to improve the identification and treatment of Obstructed Sleep Apnea (OSA). The bill would amend the Social Security Act to include sleep apnea screenings in the initial preventive physical examination covered under the Medicare program.

Coalition Supports Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act
The AAO-HNS joined a coalition of healthcare and consumer groups in sending a letter to U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) expressing support for the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act of 2014. The legislation recognizes the danger of liquid nicotine to small children and gives the U.S. Consumer Production Safety Commission the authority to require child-proof packaging on liquid nicotine containers.

From the Health Policy Team
Academy Submits Comments to CMS on CY 2015 MPFS Proposed Rule
On September 2, the Academy submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) addressing several of its proposals in the CY 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS), including transitioning all 10- and 90-day global codes to 0-day global codes over a two-year period, identifying approximately 80 codes as “potentially misvalued” and requiring review, and conducting the statutorily mandated update to malpractice RVUs.

Update on CMS’ Proposed Exclusion of Coverage for Osseointegrated Implants
The AAO-HNS, AOS, and ANS recently submitted a formal joint comment letter to CMS regarding its proposed exclusion of coverage for osseointegrated implants. In addition, the AAO-HNS met with CMS top-ranking representatives for a third time to review concerns about the proposal and provide a suggested alternative to the proposed rule that would allow for continued coverage of osseointegrated implants for Medicare patients.

*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.