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6-12-15 ENT Advocate

June 12, 2015

Lead Story:
AAO-HNS Opposes Audiology “Physician Status” Legislation
On May 21, an audiology “kitchen sink” bill (H.R. 2519) was reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. If enacted, the legislation would grant audiologists “limited license physician” status under Medicare and also provide unlimited direct access to Medicare patients without physician referral. The AAO-HNS’ opposition to H.R. 2519 was outlined in a June 2 letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Help us further educate Members of Congress about this ill-advised legislation by contacting your U.S. Representative today!
Action Requested:
Turn Up the Heat On Capitol Hill
As the summer heat sets in, it’s time to raise the temperature on Congress by letting your voice be heard! To date, only seven percent of ENT Advocacy Network members have contributed to ENT PAC for 2015. Help us strengthen our voice on Capitol Hill by joining the ENT PAC team. To make your contribution today, log-in to using your AAO-HNS Member ID and password (NOT your email address), or send your personal check (payable to ENT PAC) to 1650 Diagonal Road, Alexandria, VA 22314.*

Summer Time Advocacy – Plan Your I-GO Event Today!
Summer is here, and with it comes increased opportunities to meet with lawmakers on your home turf. Members of Congress will return home for in-district work periods that coincide with the Fourth of July holiday and the month-long August Congressional recess. Don’t miss these upcoming opportunities to schedule a meeting at a district office, or better yet, invite lawmakers to visit your medical practice! Visit the In-district Grassroots Outreach (I-GO) webpage for more details or contact to schedule a meeting.    

Tell Congress to Protect Children from Liquid Nicotine Poisoning
Contact your federal legislators and urge them to support H.R. 1375 and S. 142, legislation that would require child-proof safety caps on all liquid nicotine products. According to data from the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), adverse incidents relating to e-cigarettes increased more than 250 percent from 2013 to 2014. Passage of this common-sense legislation will help protect children from exposure to and/or ingestion of liquid nicotine.

Informational Updates:
AAO-HNS Co-Hosts Congressional Briefing
On June 11, the Friends of the Congressional Hearing Health Caucus (FCHHC), including the AAO-HNS, hosted a briefing luncheon on Capitol Hill to educate Members of Congress and staff about the importance of the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) program. Legislation, H.R. 1344, was introduced earlier this year to reauthorize the program for an additional five years. The event featured prominent speakers from the hearing healthcare community.

House Committee Passes Bill to Repeal the IPAB
On June 2, the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee passed H.R. 1190, the “Protecting Seniors' Access to Medicare Act of 2015.” If enacted, H.R. 1190 would repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), an unaccountable Medicare oversight body mandated by the ACA. The AAO-HNS, along with other medical organizations, sent a letter supporting H.R. 1190 to members of the Ways & Means Committee.  

Illinois Passes Interstate Medical Licensure Compact
Illinois is the 10th state legislature to pass the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact. According to the Federation of State Medical Boards, the goal of the Compact is to create a new licensing option where physicians may voluntarily seek to practice in multiple states through an expedited licensure process. However, uncertainty over some of the Compact’s certification requirements has raised concerns within the medical community. The AAO-HNS has not yet taken a position on this issue, but continues to solicit feedback from its members and track the proposal through its state tracker network.

From the Health Policy Team:
Experts Needed for Upcoming RUC Survey: Flexible Laryngoscopy Codes
During the months of June and July, the Academy must survey the family of CPT Codes 31570 - 31579 (Flexible Laryngoscopy family, including 3 new codes) in preparation for the upcoming October AMA Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC) meeting. Your participation is critical to the Academy's efforts in establishing relative value units (RVUs) for this code. Have you performed these services in the past year? Are you willing to participate in the survey? If so, send your name and email to  

AAO-HNS Meets with UHC
On June 2, Academy leaders met with the United Healthcare (UHC) national Medical Directors to discuss partnering on an alternative payment model project, provide feedback on UHC’s Premium Designation Program, and discuss related medical policies.

*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.