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December 11, 2015

Last Edition of The ENT Advocate for 2015
Members of the ENT Advocacy Network are advised this is the final edition of The ENT Advocate for 2015. Follow the AAO-HNS Government Affairs Twitteraccount or visit the Legislative and Political Affairs webpage for any key updates over the holidays. Look for the next edition of The ENT Advocate on Friday, January 8, 2016!

Lead Story:
Become an ENT PAC Monthly Donor Today!*
Act now to set up your 2016 recurring monthly donation to ENT PAC. Simply fill out the online form, and select the recurring contribution option. Your donations will be processed on the fifth of each month.Please note – one-time online contributions made between now and the end of the year will be attributed to 2015. Recurring contributions initiated between now and the end of the year will not begin until January 5 and will be attributed to 2016.

Action Requested:
Plan Your I-GO Event TODAY
Do your family holiday gatherings inevitably include conversations about politics? Get the latest “insider” information to prepare for these conversations by meeting locally with your lawmakers! For more information on the Academy’s In-district Grassroots Outreach (I-GO) initiative, or assistance in scheduling your meeting, contact the Legislative Advocacy Team at govtaffairs@entnet.org.   

State Trackers: Monthly Calls Begin Next Week
AAO-HNS “State Trackers” are gearing up for another legislative session. The first in a series of monthly State Tracker conference calls is scheduled for Wednesday, December 16, at 8:00 pm EST. The call will include a discussion regarding the expectations of the program, a review of the issues included in our tracking reports, and a refresher on how to use CQ StateTrack reports. If you are interested in this effort to protect the specialty’s interests in your state, contact govtaffairs@entnet.org.

Informational Updates:
Capitol Hill’s Year-End Legislative Push 
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are continuing work on several year-end “must-pass” bills. Thus far, the majority of the work is focused on passage of legislation to fund the federal government for 2016, as well as a multi-year tax “extenders” package. Follow this developing story on Twitter@AAOHNSGovtAffrs

AAO-HNS and MSO Support TIA Legislation
The AAO-HNS and the Massachusetts Society of Otolaryngology, along with several additional physician organizations, sent a letter to the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Public Health supporting S. 1169, a “truth in advertising” initiative. If your state is considering legislation to set standards for healthcare provider advertising, please let us know! 

Physician Organizations Applaud RAC Audit Transparency Legislation
The AAO-HNS recently joined other physician organizations in sending aletter to U.S. Representative George Holding (R-NC-13) to thank him for introducing H.R. 2568, the “Fair Medical Audits Act of 2015.”  This legislation would provide transparency and due process in the current Recovery Audit Contractors (RAC) audit and appeals process. 

AAO-HNS Supports Bipartisan Physician Legislation
A coalition of medical and physician organizations, including the AAO-HNS, sent a letter to Congress in support of H.R. 2513, the "Protecting Access, Competition, and Equity Act." This bipartisan legislation provides reasonable opportunities for the expansion of high-quality physician-owned hospitals by lifting the ACA prohibition on new physician-owned hospitals from participating in Medicare and Medicaid. 

Other AAO-HNS Informational Updates:
SRF Effort to Educate Residents and Fellows on Legislative Advocacy
In an effort to ensure AAO-HNS Residents and Fellows-in-Training are well-versed on the legislative issues affecting the specialty, SRF BOG Legislative Representative, Carla Valenzuela, MD, will prepare various “spotlight” pieces on the Academy’s legislative priorities. Click here to read the first spotlight in this series—an objective, concise, and thorough view of the varying positions associated with H.R. 2519, the “Audiology Patient Choice Act of 2015.” 

Registration Opening Soon!
Join leaders of the specialty at the AAO-HNS/F 2016 Leadership Forum & BOG Spring Meeting, Friday, March 18 – Monday, March 21, in Alexandria, VA. Registration opens next week. Click here for additional information.

*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.