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Welcome

Celebrating 80 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.

"Advance the comprehensive management of allergy and inflammatory disease in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery through training, education, and advocacy."

ADVOCACY UPDATES

Changes To E/M Codes Beginning On January 1st

Effective January 1, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) finalized significant changes to…

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Additional COVID-19 Relief Up in the Air

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin appeared to be moving closer…

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CY 2021 Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule Summary

On August 3, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Medicare Physician…

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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

04/01/21: Fellow Exam Application Deadline
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06/01/21: Research Grant Cycle
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06/26/21: Membership Application Deadline to be eligible for AAOA Member rate for the 2021 Basic Course

08/01/21:Scientific Abstract Submission Deadline
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09/01/21: Membership Application Deadline to be voted in at the 2021 Annual Meeting

12/01/21: Research Grant Cycle
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EDUCATION

Our 2021 AAOA Basic Course in Allergy & Immunology will be launched June 1st: Over 11 hrs of pre-learning, on-demand will set you up to gain the full value of our curriculum and engage in the live-stream session.

Live Stream July 8-11 will offer unique learning formats to offer learners the core concepts of allergy diagnosis and management. Join us and test your pre-work efforts for our Immunology & Pharmacotheapy Trivia Slams; Great Debates on Environmental Controls; Allergen Testing Panel “Bake Off,” Late Night with Dr. Levy, AAOA’s Escape Room Expedition, Hands On Testing and Dose Calculation Practica, Office Tours, and more.

Structured for otolaryngologists integrating more allergy assessment and management into their practice, AAOA members providing specialized allergy care who need to remain current with literature-based evidence and practice trends, residents, PA/NPs who work in otolaryngology, and allied health staff who support their physicians in the management of allergic patients. The Basic Course offers unique opportunities to learn the state of the art in allergy patient care. Learn More

IFAR

Available Now

IFAR Impact Factor: 2.454

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IFAR Featured Content: COVID-19 - Free Access
Endonasal instrumentation and aerosolization risk in the era of COVID‐19: simulation, literature review, and proposed mitigation strategies . Read More

Changes in Managing Practices

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

2021 Basic Course in Allergy & Immunology
On-demand June 1; Live Stream July 8-11 | Virtual
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USP 797 Online Module
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2021 AAOA Annual Meeting
Pre-launch Mid-September
Live Stream Starting on Oct 16 | Virtual
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News and Updates

2021 AAOA Annual Meeting – Scientific Abstracts Submissions Now Open

Have novel research tied to allergy, inflammatory disease in ENT, comprehensive management of allergy and…

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Congress Sends Sesame Labeling Bill To President

By Beth Wang / April 15, 2021 at 11:57 AM The House on Wednesday (April 14) passed…

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College Allergy Symptoms Treatment Back to Shcool

PRACTICE RESOURCES

AAOA Practice Resource Tool Kit

The American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy (AAOA) Practice Resource Tool Kit is intended as a guide to help AAOA members integrate allergy into their otolaryngology practice and to continually improve on this integration as new information, regulations, and resources become available.

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PATIENT CORNER

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.

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