Welcome

Celebrating Over 75 Years Of Service

The American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy (AAOA) represents over 2,700 Board-certified otolaryngologists and health care providers. Otolaryngology, frequently referred to as Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT), uniquely combines medical and surgical expertise to care for patients with a variety of conditions affecting the ears, nose, and throat, as well as commonly related conditions. AAOA members devote part of their practice to the diagnosis and treatment of allergic disease. The AAOA actively supports its membership through education, research, and advocacy in the care of allergic patients.

"Dedicated to enhancing knowledge and skill in the care of the allergic patient."

ADVOCACY UPDATES

Changes in MACRA

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Before the close of 2017, all physicians must take action to avoid the 4 percent cut that will be assessed in 2019 for not participating in the new Quality Payment Program (QPP) authorized by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA).  Read More

CMS Announces Changes in MACRA Implementation Timeline. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced major changes to the implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Re-authorization (MACRA).
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Upcoming Dates

12/01/2018: Research Grant Cycle
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04/01/2019: 2019 Fellow Exam Application Deadline
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06/01/2019: Research Grant Cycle

06/7/19: Membership Application Deadline to be eligible for AAOA Member rate for the 2019 Basic Course

07/31/19: Membership Application Deadline to be voted in at the 2019 Annual Meeting and to be eligible for AAOA Member Rate (FREE) for the 2019 Annual Meeting
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EDUCATION

Different Advanced Course

What is it in today’s otolaryngology practice that is resonating as a hot topic? Where are the novel treatment strategies? What is today’s typical otolaryngology practice or more specifically the typical AAOA member’s practice?  These are the questions we try to address when building out our Advanced Course in Allergy & Immunology. Read More

Codes/Guidelines

CMS Announces Changes in MACRA Implementation Timeline. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced major changes to the implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Re-authorization (MACRA).
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IFAR

Editor in Chief Search
The ARS-AAOA IFAR LLC is pleased to announce its search for Editor in Chief, term beginning April 2020. Read More

IFAR Impact Factor: 2.135

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Now Available

Changes in Managing Practices

Mission

Working together with AAOA staff, volunteer leadership and members will enable us to have a positive impact on our members’ practices.

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Live and Online CME

2018 Advanced Course in Allergy & Immunology
December 6-8 | Atlanta, GA
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2019 Interactive Allergy & Rhinology Course
February 8-10, 2019 | Dallas, TX
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2019 Basic Course in Allergy & Immunology
June 27-29 | Minneapolis, MN
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2019 AAOA Annual Meeting
September 13-15 | New Orleans, LA
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AAOA Clinical Insights
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PATIENT CORNER

OTC Allergy Medications

There seem to be more and more medications available for allergy treatment that  you can now purchase over the counter.
The FDA is allowing previously prescription only drugs to be made available directly to the consumer without a prescription — adding more to the over-the-counter options in the healthcare aisles.

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News and Updates

Welcome to the 2017 AAOA Annual Meeting

Offering Winning Strategies for Your Practice By Cecelia Damask, DO, Director of Educational Programs, and Matthew…

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Socio-Economic Committee Update May 2017

By AAOA Leadership Change is the only constant in life and medicine to borrow from…

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Brief Update on the Final CY 2019 Physician Fee Schedule

On November 1, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released the final Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) detailing policies related to Medicare physician payment and the Quality Payment Program (QPP). A brief summary of key provisions for AAOA members follows:

Direct Practice Expense Inputs

The Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA) authorized the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to conduct a market research study to update direct practice expense (PE) inputs for supply and equipment pricing. CMS finalized its proposal to phase in the new direct PE input pricing from this study over a 4 year period to ease the transition to these new prices. However, in response to public comments including those from AAOA in coalition with the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the Advocacy Council of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, they are finalizing pricing for approximately 60 supply and equipment codes in CY 2019, including 3 antigen supply codes. The final supply values follow.

Supply/
Equipment Code
Description CY 2018 Price Proposed
CY 2019 Price
Final
CY 2019 Price
SH007 antigen, multi
(pollen, mite, mold, cat)
$6.700 $4.780 $8.960
SH009 antigen, venom $20.140 $27.360 $30.930
SH010 antigen, venom, tri-vespid $44.050 $51.320 $60.240

 

E/M Documentation and Payment Policy

For 2019, CMS originally proposed significant changes to evaluation and management (E/M) payment and documentation requirements, including a single payment for level 2-5 office visits for both new and established patients. The agency responded to the overwhelming negative stakeholder response to its proposal by significantly revising its final policy.

CMS will not implement any payment changes until January 1, 2021 which will allow the agency to further refine these policies based on stakeholder input. If the payment changes outlined in this final rule go into effect in 2021, CMS estimates allergy/immunology E/M reimbursement will be held harmless while otolaryngology will see a 5 percent increase.

On January 1, 2019, CMS will implement the following documentation changes:

  • The requirement to document medical necessity of furnishing visits in the home rather than office will be eliminated.
  • Physicians will no longer be required to re-record elements of history and physical exam when there is evidence that the information has been reviewed and updated. In addition,
  • Physicians must only document that they reviewed and verified information regarding chief complaint and history that is already recorded by ancillary staff or the patient.

For CY 2019 and 2020, the current coding and payment structure for E/M outpatient visits will remain in place, and providers should continue to use either the 1995 or 1997 versions of the E/M guidelines.

Beginning in 2021, CMS will pay a single rate for E/M outpatient visit levels 2, 3, and 4 (one for established and another for new patients) and will only require level 2 documentation based on the current guidelines, medical decision making, or time for these visits. The agency chose to not finalize the inclusion of level 5 visits in the single payment rate, to better account for the care and needs of particularly complex patients. CMS did finalize its policies to create complexity add-on which applies to allergy/immunology services and extended service codes that can be billed with all level 2-4 new and established outpatient visits. To see an impact of these payment changes, CMS created a matrix available here. The agency did not finalize its proposal to create a single practice expense (PE) value for E/M services because of the unintended negative consequences it had on the indirect PE for certain specialties, including allergy. In response to stakeholder feedback, CMS also discarded its proposal to apply a multiple procedure payment reduction when a procedure and E/M service using modifier -25 are billed together.