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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

Your AAOA at the AMA

I want to urge you to consider membership in the AMA because your membership in…

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Fall Advocacy Update: USP 797, E/M Documentation and Payment

Revisions to USP Chapter 797 Open for Comment Since the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) released…

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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…

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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

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

IFAR Impact Factor: 2.135

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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

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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2019 Advanced Course in Allergy & Immunology
December 12-14 | Austin, TX
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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

From the AAOA President, Matthew Ryan, MD

...the AAOA continues to be the organization that Otolaryngologists look to for up-to-date education and information on the…

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FDA Approves First Generic Version of EpiPen

The Food and Drug Administration approves the first generic version of EpiPen and EpiPen Jr.…

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Social and Networking Events at the 2018 AAOA Annual Meeting

This year’s Annual Meeting assures to be not only educational, interactive, and practice-centered, but also…

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CMS Releases Quality Payment Program Proposed Rule

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed rule outlining the requirements for Year 2 of the Quality Payment Program (QPP), including those requirements providers will have to meet to succeed in either the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) or asclinicians in advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs).

The design and implementation of the QPP represents amajor step in to transform care delivery and improve the quality of care delivered to patients. However, CMS has heard from providers about the additional burden the requirements of this program places on their practices. In an effort to grant further flexibility for clinicians, CMS established in itsproposed rule new avenues to incentivize and simplify MIPS participation. While the agency would like majority of providers to participate in advanced APMs, they recognize that at the program’s outset most providers will remain in MIPS.

The first new option that was proposed is the implementation of virtual groups. Solo practitioners and small groups of up to 10 clinicians can opt to form a “virtual group” for reporting purposes. As proposed, virtual groups would report data together for all four performance categories and receive a single group composite MIPS performance score.

CMS also proposed to raise the low volume threshold toexclude clinicians and groups who bill $90,000 or less in Part B allowed charges or provide care to 200 or fewer beneficiaries. If finalized, this will help eliminate the reporting burden on clinicians in small practices or those who have few Medicare beneficiaries. For those small practices that remain in MIPS, CMS did propose to add 5 bonus points to their MIPS composite score to improve their chances of avoiding a penalty.

Besides the small practice bonus, CMS also proposed to add a complex patient bonus. The agency will add a provider’s hierarchical condition category (HCC) score between 1 and 3 to the composite score. This is an attempt to better account for the complexity of a provider’s patient population. However, this is some concern that the HCC score, which was designed for risk adjustment in the Medicare Advantage (MA) program, may not be the best proxy for patient complexity.

CMS also added additional flexibilities and opportunities to earn a bonus points in the Advancing Care Information (formerly the Meaningful Use program) category. The agency is no longer requiring that all clinicians use the 2015 Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT). Also, there are new flexibilities and opportunities to earn bonuses for public health registry reporting.

While the proposed rule has offered clinicians extra flexibility in participation and additional opportunities to improve aclinician’s scoring across MIPS, there were some concerningproposals. For the cost performance category, CMSproposed to change the weight of the cost performance category from 10 percent to zero percent for the 2018 MIPS reporting year. The agency will use the additional year before scoring the category to conduct more outreach to interested providers and to develop more episode-based measures. However, if finalized, this would mean that the category would increase in weight from zero percent in 2018 to 30 percent in 2019. Such a large increase in the span of one year would put clinician’s at a real disadvantage if cost measures applicable to their practice have not been developed or if CMS has not finalized accurate risk adjustment and attribution methodologies. Many stakeholders are concerned CMS will still have completed the work necessary to accurately assess cost in an additional year. The final rule on the QPP will be released later this fall. More information about the program and how to participate can be found online at:https://qpp.cms.gov/