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ENT Advocate 4-18-2014

April 18, 2014

Lead Stories
AAO-HNS Supports Transparency in Misvalued Codes
The AAO-HNS joined a coalition of healthcare organizations in support of a Congressional “Dear Colleague” effort led by U.S. Representative Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA). The letter encourages the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to ensure appropriate transparency when adjusting Medicare physician payments for specific procedure codes and provide for critical stakeholder input during the code evaluation process. With the inclusion of the “misvalued” codes section in the most recent SGR patch, this will be an important issue in the coming years.  

Action Requested
Lawmakers Home for Spring Recess – Plan Your I-GO Event Today!
The Congressional spring district work period is underway and will last through April 28. Don’t miss this great opportunity to schedule a meeting with elected officials at a district office, or better yet, invite them to visit your medical practice! Lawmakers will also be available during the in-district work periods that coincide with Memorial Day, the 4th of July, and the month-long August recess. Contact to schedule a meeting.    

Residents and Fellows-in-Training: Join the Competition!
It’s critically important for Residents and Fellows-in-Training—the future of otolaryngology— to take an active role in the specialty’s ongoing advocacy efforts. Sound intimidating? It’s not! Kick-start your advocacy education by participating in the 2014 Resident and Fellows-in-Training Advocacy Involvement Campaign. By taking part in several quick and easy AAO-HNS advocacy-related initiatives, you can hone your advocacy skills and learn more about key health-related policy issues, while simultaneously earning points for yourself and your training program. To receive more information on the Campaign, visit (log-in using your AAO-HNS member ID and password) or contact

Be Aware, and Contribute Your “Fair-Share”
Did you know that if every member of the ENT Advocacy Network made a contribution to ENT PAC of at least $100 we would raise nearly $200,000 and approach a 20 percent PAC participation rate? Help do your fair share by joining the ENT PAC team today. Even a small contribution can go a long way! To make your contribution today, visit (log-in with your AAO-HNS user ID and password) or send your personal check (payable to ENT PAC) to 1650 Diagonal Road, Alexandria, VA 22314.*

Informational Updates
Update on AAO-HNS Member’s Congressional Race 
Robert E. Johnson, MD (aka Dr. Bob), a Republican candidate in Georgia’s 1st Congressional district, has released a new TV ad, currently airing in the Savannah media market. Dr. Bob faces several opponents in the upcoming Georgia primary, scheduled for May 20. Given the crowded field, it remains likely that the final results will be determined by a July 22 run-off election. AAO-HNS members are encouraged to visit the AAO-HNS Federal Elections page for updates on this race and other exciting primaries. Also, if you know of other otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeons running for state or federal office, please contact us at

Physician Community Takes Action on California Imaging Bill
The AAO-HNS joined the Coalition for Patient Centered Imaging, the California Otolaryngology Society, and the San Diego Academy of Otolaryngology in sending an opposition letter to the sponsor of California SB 1215. The newly-introduced legislation would eliminate the in-office exception to the self-referral prohibition for advanced imaging, radiation therapy, anatomic pathology, and physical therapy. The Academy has taken a comparable stance on similar legislation at the federal level.  

From the Health Policy Team
AAO-HNS Submits Comments to CMMI on Innovative Specialty Payment Models 
On April 10, the AAO-HNS, with input from its Ad Hoc Payment Model work group members, submitted comments to the CMS Innovation Center (CMMI). The comments addressed the development of innovative payment models for specialty services furnished as outpatient care for specific medical conditions. 

Academy Advocates for Correct Coding for CPT 69210
The AAO-HNS recently submitted letters to several payers regarding their policies for denying claims when CPT 69210 (removal impacted cerumen requiring instrumentation, unilateral) is billed in conjunction with any office based Evaluation and Management (E/M) CPT code (99211-99215). We recommend members appeal denials incorporating language from the Academy’s CPT for ENT on 69210. If you are experiencing these denials, contact the Health Policy team

*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.