ENT Advocate: 5-2-2014

May 2, 2014

Lead Story:
Seven Percent?  We Can Do Better!
To date, only seven percent of the ENT Advocacy Network has made a 2014 contribution to ENT PAC. Successful advocacy is about teamwork, and we can all afford to do our “fair share.” As a member of the ENT Advocacy Network, I know you understand the importance of the Academy’s advocacy programs, including ENT PAC. Remember, even a small contribution can make a big difference! 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.*

Action Requested:
Summertime Advocacy – Plan Your I-GO Event Today!
Lawmakers will return to their Congressional districts several times during the next few months. Don’t miss these great opportunities to schedule a meeting with local officials at a district office, or better yet, invite them to visit your medical practice! Lawmakers will be available during the in-district work periods that coincide with Memorial Day, the 4th of July, and the month-long August recess. Contact govtaffairs@entnet.org to schedule a meeting.   

Legislative Alert: Support Clarity and Transparency in Healthcare Advertisements!
Contact your U.S. Representative to urge his/her support of H.R. 1427, the “Truth in Healthcare Marketing Act.” This legislation, which supplements many state-based “truth in advertising” bills, requires all healthcare providers to properly disclose their credentials and/or level of training in appropriate patient communications and all applicable marketing materials. Help promote the importance of healthcare truth in advertising by completing the AAO-HNS action alert today!

“Like” AAO-HNS Government Affairs on Facebook
Stay current on the latest healthcare and legislative news while browsing pictures and status updates from your AAO-HNS family. “Like” the AAO-HNS Government Affairs Facebook page for quick access to Congressional clips and photos from recent AAO-HNS events.  Are you a resident or fellow-in-training? Like our page and get one point in the Residents and Fellows-in-Training Involvement Campaign. Stay informed, and “like” us today!

Informational Updates:
Majority of State Legislative Sessions Ending
The busy season for state legislatures is coming to a close, with sessions in Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Tennessee, Vermont, and Wisconsin all adjourning by next week. The close of a state session is a critical time, especially given last-minute maneuvering on various legislative issues. However, our AAO-HNS state trackers have remained diligent, working with Academy staff to communicate and advance the legislative priorities of the specialty. For more information on how to help in your state, email the Government Affairs team at govtaffairs@entnet.org

Congress is Back, but Key Physician Issues are Not
Members of Congress returned to Capitol Hill on Monday, April 28, with a sparse legislative agenda that does not include any health-related topics. Instead, lawmakers are likely to focus on tax, energy, and spending-related issues before their main focus shifts to this year’s mid-term elections. To stay current on the upcoming federal elections, check out the AAO-HNS Elections Center.

From the AAO-HNS Health Policy Team:
CMS Provides Strategies for Payment Reform
On April 21, CMS outlined its future strategies for successful transformation of the healthcare payment system. The framework includes requiring physicians and organizations to bring other payers to the table in order to receive CMS Healthcare Innovation Awards and other state reform efforts involving all payers. Read more of CMS’s plan in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

CMS to Begin Accepting Suggestions for PQRS Measures
In May, CMS will begin accepting quality measure suggestions for potential inclusion in the Measures Under Consideration (MUC) review process in the proposed set of quality measures in the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) for future rule-making years. Quality measures submitted in this Call for Measures also will be considered for use in other quality programs (e.g. Value Based Modifier, Physician Compare, Medicare Shared Savings Program, etc.)

*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.