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

What you need to comply with the pending USP General Chapter <797> Pharmaceutical Compounding — Sterile Preparations

3 key compliance criteria While the implementation date of the new USP General Chapter <797>…

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2019 AAOA Advanced Course in Allergy & immunology Optional USP 797 Compliance Workshop

Cost: $125 for AAOA members and $300 for non-members* in addition to AAOA Advanced Course registration…

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NEWS! USP General Chapter <797> Implementation Postponed

The United States Pharmacopeia announced that, due to appeals underway, the previously announced implementation date…

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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

12/01/19: Research Grant Cycle
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02/15/20: Crowdsourcing for 2020 Scottsdale
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02/15/20: Call for Proposals
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04/01/20: Fellow Exam Application Deadline
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06/01/20: Research Grant Cycle
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06/26/20: Membership Application Deadline to be eligible for AAOA Member rate for the 2020 Basic Course Learn more

09/11/20: Membership Application Deadline to be voted in at the 2020 Annual Meeting and to be eligible for AAOA Member Rate (FREE) for the 2020 Annual Meeting Learn more

EDUCATION

Here is What You Missed...

2019 New Orleans was an outstanding success?  With over 500 participants, our AAOA members left New Orleans re-energized, re-freshed, and re-engaged.  The program offered something for everyone — from cutting edge clinical content to every day how to’s for practice management efficiencies. Read More

AAOA in the Lone Star

Join us in the Lone Star State for the 2019 AAOA Advanced Course in Allergy and Immunology. This course builds on the basic clinical care of allergic patient concepts and techniques presented at the AAOA’s Basic Course in Allergy & Immunology. Read More

IFAR

IFAR Impact Factor: 2.454

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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 Advanced Course in Allergy & Immunology
December 12-14 | Austin, TX
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2020 Basic Course in Allergy & Immunology
July 9-11 | Orlando, FL
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2020 AAOA Annual Meeting
October 23-25| Scottsdale, AZ
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AAOA Clinical Insights
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PATIENT CORNER

Off to College: Tips for Managing Allergies

Heading to college is an exciting time. What are the best ways for students to avoid exacerbation of their symptoms as they enter the hallowed halls of higher learning?

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College Allergy Symptoms Treatment Back to Shcool

News and Updates

Should I Go to Austin?

We get it.  You’ve been to the Advanced Course on Allergy & Immunology, so you…

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CEO September 2019 Update

by Jami Lucas, AAOA CEO/Executive Director Over 500 AAOA members were engaged, learning, and networking…

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Here is What You Missed…

2019 New Orleans was an outstanding success?  With over 500 participants, our AAOA members left…

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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 a proposed update to Chapter 797 in 2015, AAOA has been working with other concerned organizations including the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, and the American Medical Association, to ensure that the chapter does not limit members’ ability to compound allergen immunotherapy extracts in their offices, limiting patient access.

The initial proposal treated all sterile compounds, including allergen extracts, as equally and inherently dangerous. In response, AAOA, as well as AAAAI and ACAAI, submitted comments to USP about the negative impact finalizing this proposal would have on patient access and the cost of this therapy.   The Academy also participated in multiple roundtables with the USP and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent the initial proposal from being finalized.

This summer USP released a significantly revised Chapter 797. AAOA’s advocacy was a success. In this revision, the compounding of allergen extracts was restored as a separate section of the chapter, and the proposed revisions are aligned with current FDA guidance. The chapter articulates requirements for personnel training and evaluation, hygiene and garbing, and updated documentation requirements. There are specific requirements for the compounding surface and surrounding area. Notably, the controversial requirement that a hood be in place for compounding allergen extracts has been removed.

USP is accepting comments on the proposed Chapter 797 until November 30. The final chapter is expected to be released June 1, 2019 and to take effect on December 1, 2019. AAOA encourages members to comment in support of these revisions.

CMS Considering Changes to E/M Documentation and Payment

In the proposed CY 2019 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) included a proposal to change how evaluation and management (E/M) services are documented and billed. The agency’s goal is to reduce the administrative burden of the documentation requirements on physicians.

Rather than requiring physicians to use the 1995/1997 guidelines, they would only be required to document a level 2 visit for new and established patients using either time, medical decision making, or the current guidelines under the proposal. CMS also proposed creating single payment levels for level 2-5 office visits for new and established patients to address the auditing concerns raised by the documentation proposal. They also proposed creating a primary care and complexity add-on code, the latter can be billed for allergy services, to address potential decreases in payment. Other payment proposals included a prolonged E/M service for an additional 30 minutes of time spent with the patient and applying a multiple procedure payment adjuster when certain procedures are billed with E/M visits.

One of the unintended consequences of this proposal was a proposed decrease in practice expense (PE) for certain allergy services. CMS created a new PE category for the single payment level E/M services, and this adversely impacted the indirect PE for allergy and other specialties. This change is of great concern to AAOA.

The physician community united in opposition to this proposal and urged CMS to implement certain documentation changes that could be implemented separately from the E/M payment changes and work with stakeholders to develop an alternative payment proposal. The American Medical Association has convened a joint CPT-RUC workgroup to develop an alternative coding proposal in response.

CMS is expected to release the final PFS rule on or around November 1 and only then will we know what policy will be finalized. It is unlikely that the agency will implement the policy as proposed, but it is hard to know how significantly it will be changed. AAOA will update members once a final policy is released and inform you how it will impact your practice.