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

Why 2017 AAOA Advanced Course in Allergy & Immunology

By Cecelia Damask, DO, Director of Educational Programs Due to popular demand, the AAOA is excited…

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CMS Releases Proposed Physician Fee Schedule for CY 2018

AAOA had participated in surveys for the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Relative Value Update Committee…

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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…

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Changes in MACRA

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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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The AMA continues to hear from physicians who feel unprepared to participate successfully in Medicare’s new Merit-based Incentive Payment System, despite the transitional flexibility provided for 2017.
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Upcoming Dates

04/01/2018: Research Grant Cycle

10/01/2018: Research Grant Cycle
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07/31/18: Membership Application Deadline to be voted in at the 2018 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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Updated Advanced Course

Drs. Damask and Parker will lead the faculty for our annual Advanced Course in Allergy & Immunology that builds on the Basic Course and delves further into allergy diagnosis, management, and treatment.
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Interactive Allergy & Rhinology Course

Course directors, Christine Franzese and Sarah Wise, are excited to announce the 2018 AAOA Interactive Allergy and Rhinology Course.
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IFAR

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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

2017 Advanced Course in Allergy & Immunology
December 6-9 | Vail, CO.
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2018 Interactive Allergy & Rhinology Course
February 23-25 | Dallas, TX
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2018 Basic Course in Allergy & Immunology
July 5-7 | Hollywood, FL
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2018 AAOA Annual Meeting
September 14-16 | Philadelphia, PA
Save the Date

Clinical Insights With Wiley
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PATIENT CORNER

Avoidance

The first most basic treatment step, once an allergen has been identified, is to eliminate or avoid contact with it, if possible. Unfortunately, avoiding some allergens (such as dust, molds, and animals) is often difficult and thus allergen avoidance alone may not be effective.

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News and Updates

Join me in Chicago at the Redesigned AAOA Annual Meeting

By Cecelia Damask, DO, Director of Educational Programs…

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Practice Management

Strategies & Tactics to Improve Efficiencies for Better…

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ReCAP — Review Of Core Allergy Principles

The AAOA Education Committee is pleased to…

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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/