Federal Legislative Advocacy
The American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) is committed to the enactment of legislation that will strengthen the delivery of, and access to, quality healthcare services in the United States. To achieve this goal, the Academy’s Advocacy team, in collaboration with our physician volunteers, actively engage lawmakers on a variety of issues.
Health Policy Advocacy
The AAO-HNS is committed to identifying and combating harmful coverage policies that threaten access to quality otolaryngology-head and neck services. The Academy’s Advocacy team, in collaboration with our dedicated members, actively engage with payers to achieve this goal.
On March 1, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it will allow Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) participants more time to request an Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances (EUC) application to reweigh performance categories for Performance Year (PY) 2021. In addition to automatically applying its extreme and uncontrollable circumstances policy to all individual clinicians, CMS reopened the MIPS Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Exception application to physician groups, virtual groups, and alternative payment model (APM) entities. CMS will now accept new applications that cite COVID-19 as the triggering event through March 31. Groups and virtual groups can submit an application for one or more performance categories, although any data submitted before or after the application will not be overridden by the exception. If you are a Reg-ent participant and your PY2021 reporting plans have changed due to the EUC application extension, please communicate your updates to Reg-ent at [email protected].
Registration for the 2022 Virtual Hill Day is now open. Held in conjunction with the AAO-HNS/F 2022 Leadership Forum & BOG Spring Meeting, Virtual Hill Day is an opportunity for Academy members to advocate for the legislative issues that matter most to otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeons. Members of Congress need to hear from you about how pending legislation impacts you as a physician, your practice, and your patients. The program for this fully virtual event, which is free of charge for Academy members, includes training on Sunday, April 10, on how to conduct advocacy meetings as well as informational sessions on the legislative priorities that will be the focus of Virtual Hill Day this year. On Monday, April 11, AAO-HNS Advocacy staff will schedule meetings for participants with congressional offices. Join your colleagues on April 10 and 11 to raise your voice by advocating for the specialty and your patients.
On February 25, the Academy joined 95 other provider organizations in a letter to congressional leadership requesting that Congress take steps to immediately and proactively address Medicare physician payment issues. Congress has intervened multiple times over the last several years to delay or mitigate scheduled cuts to physician reimbursement, leading to an annual cycle of uncertainty for providers. The letter requests that the relevant congressional committees hold roundtables, hearings, and markups, and work with provider groups like the AAO-HNS, to ensure that Medicare patients continue to have access to the highest quality care.