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The ENT Advocate 2-5-2016

Lead Story:
MU Hardship Exemption Application Now Available
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released guidance for physicians seeking to apply for the “blanket” hardship exemption from 2015 Meaningful Use requirements. All eligible professionals applying for this exemption must complete an application by March 15. Click here to complete the online exemption application.

If you have further questions or need guidance on this issue, please contact Danielle Jarchow, JD, at

Action Requested:
Urge Your U.S. Senators to Act Now on EHDI
The hearing health community is urging the U.S. Senate to quickly pass legislation reauthorizing the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) program. The U.S. House of Representatives passed similar legislation last year, but we need to keep the momentum going. AAO-HNS Members are encouraged to contact their U.S. Senators to urge support for this important measure!

Show Some Love for ENT PAC
Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, and what better way to show your patients and your specialty you care than by donating to ENT PAC? By donating to the PAC, you help protect the specialty now, and for the future. Send your personal check (payable to “ENT PAC”) to 1650 Diagonal Road, Alexandria, VA 22314, or make a contribution online (log-in with your AAO-HNS ID and password).*

Informational Updates:
Have You Booked Your Room?
The housing deadline for the AAO-HNS/F 2016 Leadership Forum & BOG Spring Meeting is fast approaching. To secure housing at the negotiated rate, Members must reserve a hotel room by February 19. Click here to reserve your room today!

Time is Running Out to Apply for a Resident Leadership Grant
The deadline to apply for an AAO-HNS/F 2016 Leadership Forum & BOG Spring Meeting Resident Leadership Grant is Monday, February 8, 2016. Recipients will receive a $350 stipend that will help defray the costs of attending the meeting, March 18-21. Sign up today using the Academy’s online form.

CMS on Meaningful Use: The End is Near
According to the Acting Administrator at CMS, the Meaningful Use (MU) program may be replaced in 2016. The announcement represents a long-sought recognition by policymakers that the MU program has not functioned as it was originally intended. The AAO-HNS will remain diligent in its efforts to ensure the pitfalls of the original program are not replicated in the future.

President Signs Child-Proof Nicotine Packaging Bill into Law
On January 28, the President signed into law the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act of 2015. The legislation requires manufacturers of e-cigarettes to create child-proof packaging for liquid nicotine products. The measure, supported by the AAO-HNS, was passed by the U.S. Senate in December and the U.S. House of Representatives in January.

Other AAO-HNS Informational Updates:
Now Accepting Applications - SRF Delegates
Applications are being accepted for SRF members interested in serving as an appointed delegate to the American Medical Association or the Society of University Otolaryngologists. Serving as an SRF delegate is one way to ensure your perspective as a resident is heard. Deadline to apply is Monday, February 29.

Deadline Extended - YPS Leadership Opportunity 
Interested in becoming more involved with the Young Physicians Section (YPS)? The deadline to apply for a YPS appointed position has been extended to February 15. Positions available include representatives to the Board of Governors, ENT PAC, AMA, and ABOto. Interested members should submit their CV and cover letter to Lawrence Simon, MD, at

*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.