ENT Advocate 5-30-2014

May 30, 2014

Lead Story:
Coalition Defends FDA Regulation of All Tobacco Products
This week, the AAO-HNS joined a coalition of healthcare and consumer groups in sending a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations expressing opposition to any amendment that would exempt cigars from regulation under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. For more information on this and other coalitions letters, check out the AAO- HNS Legislative & Political Affairs webpage.

Action Requested:
Advocacy Through Action
The AAO-HNS is excited to report another successful month of in-district events! Academy members recently met with candidates and elected officials from both parties at townhalls, fundraisers, district offices, and local restaurants. Help maintain this positive momentum by planning your August In-district Grassroots Outreach (I-GO) meetings today. Contact govtaffairs@entnet.org to learn more about the I-GO program and to request help in scheduling your meetings!

Join the Team to Impact Key Races
Wouldn’t it be great to have more pro-otolaryngology legislators in the 114th Congress? We can achieve this goal by strengthening our ENT PAC team to help support incumbents and candidates who will advance and protect the legislative priorities of the AAO-HNS. Join our PAC team by making an immediate contribution of $100 or more! To donate online, visit www.entpac.org (log-in with your AAO-HNS 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 Successful Capitol Hill Hearing Screening
The Congressional Hearing Health Caucus (CHHC), along with the AAO-HNS and others from the hearing health community, hosted a Capitol Hill hearing screening and briefing on May 22, 2014. It served as a great opportunity for Members of Congress, such as Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), to receive personal hearing screenings, while also learning about the scope and depth of various hearing health issues. Thank you to AAO-HNS members H. Jeffrey Kim, MD, and Michelle Roeser, MD, for attending the forum to offer advice and information, and Frank Lin, MD, for his featured remarks.

Senate Finance Committee Approves New HHS Secretary
On May 21, the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance overwhelmingly approved Sylvia Mathews Burwell’s nomination as Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). The committee voted 21-3 in support of Burwell, and a final Senate vote is tentatively scheduled for the week of June 2. If confirmed, Burwell will replace retiring HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

AAO-HNS Activity at Upcoming AMA House of Delegates Meeting
This year’s American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates (HOD) Annual Meeting will take place June 7-11 in Chicago, IL.  During the meeting, the AMA HOD considers proposed resolutions and Committee reports regarding pending and existing AMA policies. As stipulated in the AMA’s bylaws, specialty organizations are allotted a certain number of voting delegates each year. This year’s AAO-HNS delegation includes three representatives: Liana Puscas, MD (Delegation Chair); Shannon Pryor, MD; and Michael S. Goldrich, MD. In addition, Robert Puchalski, MD, and David R. Nielsen, MD, will serve as alternate members of the Delegation.

From the Health Policy Team:
Get the Latest Updates on Regulatory Advocacy
Ever wonder what “health policy” means at the Academy? To learn more about advocacy efforts related to cerumen removal, coverage for imaging services, sinus ostial dilation, and more, see the May Bulletin feature, Health Policy 101: Working for You. Visit the Bulletin Online.

Mark Your Calendar: CMS Updates and Tips on ICD-10
On June 4, CMS will host a webinar focusing  on its updates, including the partial code freeze and 2015 code updates, documentation tips, how to obtain answers to coding questions, and how to request modifications to ICD-10-CM. Click here to register for the webinar.

*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.