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ENT Advocate: 7-25-2014

Special Note: Due to the Congressional recess/district work period during the month of August, the next edition of The ENT Advocate will be released on September 5. Visit www.entnet.org/advocacy or follow us @AAOHNSGovtAffrs for updates.

Lead Story:
PAC Wall Deadline Approaching—Will Your Name Be Included?
Now is the time to act to ensure your name is prominently displayed as one of the Academy’s key political advocates during the upcoming AAO-HNSF 2014 Annual Meeting & OTO EXPOSM. With the meeting quickly approaching, ENT PAC staff is already preparing this year’s “PAC Wall of Investors.” Ensure your name is included by making your 2014 ENT PAC investment by Friday, August 8. Donate today!*

Action Requested:
Countdown to August Recess – Plan Your I-GO Event!
Legislators will soon be returning to their districts for the month-long August recess. This extended in-district work period is a great opportunity to meet with your federal lawmakers at a district office or engage them at your practice in a more relaxed setting. Contact govtaffairs@entnet.org to learn more about the In-district Grassroots Outreach (I-GO) program or to request assistance in scheduling your meetings.

Save the Dates – Government Affairs Events in Orlando
Don’t miss several opportunities to receive legislative and political updates at the AAO-HNSF 2014 Annual Meeting & OTO EXPOSM. Mark your calendar for these “insider” events:

  • BOG Legislative Affairs Committee meeting – Saturday, September 20, 1:00-2:45 pm, Room 105. Non-committee members are invited to attend as guests. 
  •  “Invitation Only” ENT PAC luncheon with special guest, U.S. Representative Michael Burgess, MD (R-TX) – Monday, September 22, 11:30 am-1:00 pm, OCCC West Building, Room 108A. This is an exclusive event for members of the ENT PAC Chairman’s Club ($1,000+ donors) and winners of the 2013 SRF Advocacy Involvement Campaign.
  • ENT PAC Investors “thank-you” reception – Monday, September 22, 7:00-8:30 pm, location TBD. This event is open to all 2014 ENT PAC Investors.

Can’t make any of these events? Stop by one (or both) of the Advocacy booths conveniently located on the West Concourse Level 2 or outside Hall B. See you in Orlando!

Informational Updates:
AAO-HNS Member Narrowly Defeated in Race for Congress
On July 22, AAO-HNS member Robert E. Johnson, MD (aka Dr. Bob), was narrowly defeated in a run-off race for the Republican nomination in Georgia’s 1st Congressional district. Given the politically conservative nature of the district, Dr. Bob’s opponent, Georgia State Senator Buddy Carter, is expected to easily win the general election in November. AAO-HNS members are encouraged to visit the AAO-HNS Federal Elections page for more updates throughout the election season.

CBO Predicts IPAB to Remain Inactive for Ten Years
A recent report issued by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that the Affordable Care Act’s proposed Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) will remain inactive for the next decade. This delay is attributed to slower than expected growth in Medicare spending. Help permanently remove IPAB from the list of healthcare-related “uncertainties” by contacting your legislators today and urging them to support full repeal of the IPAB! It only takes a few minutes to send a pre-written message via the AAO-HNS Advocacy Center.

Coalition Supports Elimination of Discounted Tobacco Products
The AAO-HNS joined a coalition of healthcare and consumer groups in sending a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee expressing support for a provision in the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee bill that directs the Secretary of Defense to eliminate discounts on tobacco products sold in military commissaries. For more information on this and other coalition letters, visit the AAO- HNS Legislative & Political Affairs webpage.

Two Federal Appeals Courts Issue Conflicting Rulings on the ACA
On July 22, two U.S. appeals courts issued contradictory rulings regarding health insurance subsidies available via the Affordable Care Act (ACA). A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that only states with an established healthcare exchange are entitled to subsidies. Shortly thereafter, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, based in Richmond, VA, said that all states are entitled to subsidies. The Obama Administration has already announced its intention to seek a full court review by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals of the issues in question.

From the Health Policy Team:
Annual Meeting Miniseminar on Alternative Payment Models for Physicians
Mark your calendars for September 24, 10:30 to 11:50 am, at the AAO-HNSF 2014 Annual Meeting & OTO EXPOSM in Orlando, for the opportunity to learn about the changing landscape of physician payment and how quality measures are becoming more intertwined with how payment is and will be provided for services.

Episode of Care/Bundled Payment Analytics White Paper
The Healthcare and Incentives Improvement Institute (HCI3) recently released a white paper on “Episode Analytics: Essential Tools for New Healthcare Models.” The paper provides background and a comparison of the types of episode analytics and explores the real-world experiences of payers and providers in using episode analytics for payment bundling and other purposes. To view the White Paper, click here.

*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.