February 20, 2015

Lead Story:
Keep the Momentum Going: #FixSGR
Building on a successful “Virtual Advocacy Day” earlier this month, don’t miss the opportunity to join your colleagues to advocate on behalf of the specialty and your patients! Tweet using #FixSGR, email, and/or call your Members of Congress urging permanent repeal of the flawed SGR physician payment formula before March 31. Check out the AAO-HNS SGR webpage for easy ways to get involved!


Action Requested:
Renew Your ENT PAC Investor Status Today!
ENT PAC Investor status runs on a calendar year basis. Have you renewed for 2015? As an ENT Advocate, you understand the importance of a strong, collective voice on Capitol Hill. Log-on to www.entpac.org using your AAO-HNS member ID and password to make a contribution online, or send your personal check (payable to ENT PAC) to 1650 Diagonal Road, Alexandria, VA 22314.*

Mark Your Calendars!
With the next Congressional district work period scheduled for March 9-13, AAO-HNS members are encouraged to plan now for their In-district Grassroots Outreach (I-GO) event. Sign up to attend a townhall, host a practice visit, or meet locally with your legislators to discuss important issues, including repeal of the SGR formula before the March 31 deadline. Submit your I-GO form now or email govtaffairs@entnet.org to schedule a meeting.    

Informational Updates:
State Trackers Making an Impact
Nearly all of the state legislatures are now in session. The Government Affairs team and our physician volunteer state trackers already have made an impact on a variety of issues across the nation. In addition to our monthly conference calls, a new ENTConnect community has been established to help facilitate discussions among our state trackers. For more information on how to help in your state, email the Government Affairs team at govtaffairs@entnet.org or visit the State Trackers webpage.  

House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on ICD-10 Implementation
Last week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health held a hearing to examine the implementation of ICD-10. The hearing focused on the ability of CMS to move forward with ICD-10 coding changes after continued delays. To stay current on this and other issues, visit the AAO-HNS Legislative and Political Affairs webpage.

Coalition Urges State Governors to Focus on Overdose Prevention
The AAO-HNS joined the National Safety Council, the HARM Reduction Coalition, and other health-related organizations in sending a letter to the National Governors Association (NGA). The coalition urges the NGA and its member governors to emphasize drug overdose prevention and treatment in their state efforts relating to prescription drug abuse and diversion.

Physician Community Urges Congress to Halt Global Payment Code Transition
A coalition of physician organizations, including the AAO-HNS, are urging Congress to rescind the policy in the 2015 Final Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Rule to transition 10- and 90- day global period codes to 0-day global period codes in 2017 and 2018. If this policy is implemented, it could have wide-ranging impact on patients, physicians, hospitals, and third-party payers. For more information on this coalition effort, contact legfederal@entnet.org.

From the Health Policy Team:
Don’t Miss the 2014 EHR MU Attestation Deadline
Members participating in the Medicare Electronic Health Records (EHR) Meaningful Use (MU) Incentive Program have until February 28, 2015, to attest to the data collected during the 2014 reporting period. As a reminder, payment adjustments were applied starting January 1, 2015, for those providers that did not successfully report in 2013. Check out the CMS website to learn more about this issue.

FDA Grants Approval to Thyroid Cancer Drug Lenvima
Last Friday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted approval to Lenvima (lenvatinib). Lenvima is a new drug used to treat patients with progressive differentiated thyroid cancer.  

*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.