ENT Advocate 5-16-2014

May 16, 2014

Lead Story:
Asking the Right Questions – ENT PAC Congressional Candidate Survey
With the primary election season in full swing, ever wonder how the ENT PAC Board of Advisors determines which Congressional candidates the PAC should support? An extensive candidate questionnaire helps the PAC Board “get to know” candidates, gauge where they stand on AAO-HNS legislative priorities, and identify pro-otolaryngology contenders. Visit the AAO-HNS Legislative webpage for more information on the Academy’s 2014 federal legislative priorities and www.entpac.org for additional details on ENT PAC.

Action Requested:
Memorial Day is May 26 – Plan Your I-GO Event Today!
Lawmakers will return to their Congressional districts May 23 through May 27 for the Memorial Day recess. Don’t miss this and other upcoming opportunities to schedule a meeting with Members of Congress at a district office, or better yet, invite them to visit your medical practice! Lawmakers will also be available during the in-district work periods that coincide with the 4th of July holiday and the month-long August recess. Visit the I-GO webpage for more details or contact govtaffairs@entnet.org to schedule a meeting.    

Attention SRF Members: Check Out the New Resident ENT PAC Page!
The Residents and Fellows-in-Training Advocacy Involvement Campaign has a new webpage that includes up-to-date campaign stats and other important information. Check out the page today and see where your residency program stands in the 2014 competition. Don’t see your program listed? Get involved by donating to ENT PAC, liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, and connecting with us on LinkedIn.*

Help Build a Strong Team and a Loud Voice
As the November elections draw nearer, and with the primary election season in full swing, we are reminded of the importance of ENT PAC as a key advocacy tool. But remember—successful advocacy is about teamwork, and we can all afford to do our fair share to support the political programs that help advance (and protect) our legislative priorities. Imagine the strength of our message if 100 percent of ENT Advocacy Network members contributed to ENT PAC this year! Visit www.entpac.org to donate online (log-in with your AAO-HNS user ID and password) or send your personal check (payable to ENT PAC) to 1650 Diagonal Road, Alexandria, VA 22314.*

Informational Updates:
AAO-HNS Co-Hosts Capitol Hill Hearing Screening Event
The Congressional Hearing Health Caucus (CHHC), along with the AAO-HNS and others from the hearing health community, will host a Capitol Hill hearing screening and briefing on Thursday, May 22, 2014. The event provides Members of Congress and their staffs with the opportunity to learn more about the scope and depth of hearing health issues, as well as obtain access to personal hearing screenings. AAO-HNS members, H. Jeffrey Kim, MD, and Michelle Roeser, MD, are attending the forum to offer advice and information, and Frank Lin, MD, is the featured speaker. If you would like more information about this event, please contact govtaffairs@entnet.org.

Election Season Ramping Up - Visit the AAO-HNS Elections Center
May and June mark the two busiest months for primary elections, and their resolution will help determine the overall political landscape for the mid-term elections in November. To date, many races are still in the “toss-up” category. Special note – AAO-HNS member Robert E. Johnson, MD (aka Dr. Bob), a Republican candidate in Georgia’s 1st Congressional district, faces a crowded field in the state’s May 20 primary. AAO-HNS members are encouraged to visit the AAO-HNS Federal Elections page for updates throughout the election season.

Senate Committees “Interview” HHS Secretary Nominee
Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the nominee to serve as the next Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) has emerged relatively unscathed from two Senate confirmation hearings. The Senate Finance and Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committees recently held hearings to allow lawmakers the opportunity to pose questions to Burwell and gauge future priorities for the agency based on her responses. Burwell, who is expected to earn bipartisan support when the full Senate votes on her confirmation, will replace retiring HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

From the Health Policy Team:
2015 ICD-10 Implementation Date Confirmed by CMS
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) confirmed October 1, 2015, as the new implementation date for the ICD-10 family of diagnostic and procedural codes. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is expected to issue an interim final rule requiring use of ICD-9-CM through Sept. 30, 2015.

Obama Administration Clarifies that Insurers are Required to Cover Tobacco Cessation Services
Last week, the Obama Administration issued a FAQ document clarifying the tobacco cessation services that health insurers are required to cover under the Affordable Care Act. This guidance was issued as a result of ongoing advocacy efforts from the PARTNERS Coalition, to which the AAO-HNS is a member.

*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.