A Report from Spencer Payne, MD, BOG Chair (October 2019 – September 2020)
As the focus of grassroots activities for the AAO-HNS, the BOG effects strategies through its three committees: Socioeconomics & Grassroots (SEGR) chaired by Andrew Coughlin, Governance & Society Engagement (GOSE) chaired by Boris Chernobilsky, and Legislative Affairs (LA) chaired by David Boisoneau. The accomplishments of those committees are noted below.
Socioeconomics and Grassroots – The Board of Governors Socioeconomic and Grassroots Committee has again had a productive year. Early on we completed a toolkit for providers to help navigate Category III and Unlisted codes. This was a collaboration with the CPT committee, has now been approved by the executive committee and is available on the website. Additionally, we sought to research and develop strategies for value-based healthcare in Otolaryngology. Will Harrill MD, operated this subcommittee and much of our work revolved around defining what value-based healthcare opportunities are/have been available in the United States with specific payors. This work culminated in a panel presentation at this year’s Virtual Academy Meeting which is available to all attendees. In the upcoming year we plan to expand our knowledge on the subject, identify how RegENT may help facilitate these types of contracts and further define the pulse of value-based healthcare across the country.
Finally, our group has been working to re-define where we can make the biggest impact for the academy and its members. At this time, we see ourselves as an integral intermediary who can help disseminate important information from the academy to its membership, but also as a mechanism to facilitate information coming from the community back to the academy. We have defined several ways to help grow this working channel, utilizing both our regional representatives as well as the otolaryngology administrators (ASCENT). This upcoming year we will be fostering these relationships and looking for more ways to contribute to the Otolaryngology community.
Governance & Society Engagement – GOSE has had a rather productive year despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Our first accomplishment was the online interactive map. Accessible through the Academy website, the map allows both members and non-members to peruse the country state by state. Once an individual clicks on a state, societies are listed by State Society first and then smaller locoregional specialty societies after in alphabetical order. Members can also see Officer and administrative contact information. Moving forward, additional functionality will be added: ability of societies to update their own officers and contact information, attendance at annual meeting to remain in good standing and “gamification” and color coding of states to allow members to see at a glance which societies are meeting BOG requirements or even surpassing their peers. The hope is that his good-natured competition will foster increased engagement.
Every year GOSE determines the recipients of the Model Society and Practitioner Excellence Awards. This year’s awards were granted to The Metro Atlanta Educational Society for Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (MAES/OHNS) and Kathleen C Y Sie, MD respectively. An honorable mention was awarded to the Puerto Rico Society for their rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Maria. Additionally, we revamped the applications for both awards not only to make them more accessible but also allow for less developed societies to be recognized for their achievements. These will be submitted for vote to the executive committee.
Finally, we are in the last stages of completion of the GOSE toolkit for Society Development. This resource is packed with excellent advice and information to enable societies at all levels of development/nascency to grow and improve. We should be done and ready to submit at the final BOG executive committee this year.
Legislative Affairs – The LA Committee continues to work closely with the Academy Advocacy staff to keep the rank and file Academy members up to date, in near real time, of the ongoing legislative issues currently affecting us all. The Committee is frequently updated on important State and Federal legislation, as it directly affects our specialty and the house of medicine in general.
We continue to communicate to our fellow members how easy it is to be a grassroots advocate, by using the One-Click platform on the ENT Advocates website. We are trying to adapt as best we can to the new normal of virtual advocacy instead of face to face. We have challenged the entire LA Committee to lead by example and contribute to the ENT PAC, so our outstanding Academy Advocacy Team can continue to navigate the complexity of our current political system.
Acknowledgements – As Chair of the BOG it has been a privilege to serve with the members of our BOG Executive Committee (noted below) as well as to remain a core contributor to the mission of the greater Academy. We wish to thank the AAO-HNS/F and its BOD for their continued support without which we could not have been as successful in our many endeavors this past year. Special thanks are also due to our staff liaison Thomas Stefaniak for his professionalism, active engagement and superb organization!