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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.

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

ADVOCACY UPDATES

Allergy Comments on 2019 Proposed PFS

The Advocacy Council of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) together with its…

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EpiPen Shortage Update

FDA has a drug shortage database which includes reasons for and updates on drug shortages. Today the…

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Breaking News on USP Chapter 797

An updated draft of USP Chapter 797 was released today. Updated Chapter 797 Posted for Public Comment: Separate Requirements…

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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

04/15/20: 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

07/15/20: Call for Scientific Papers
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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

12/01/20: Research Grant Cycle
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EDUCATION

New Virtual Course!

Register now as we build out Part 2 Core Allergy & Part 3 Core Rhinology.   Both promise to deliver clinical content you need.  Core Allergy will offer what you need to help refresh or add allergy to your practice — everything from the clinical science to the basics of allergy from a better understanding of testing techniques, vial prep, and dose calculations to other practical implications.  Core Rhinology encompassed the highly sought after rhinology content from our former IAR program.  Part 1 will launch soon with on demand content to help you balance all your time demands.  Part 2 & 3 will feature live-stream content to give you opportunities to interact with the faculty.  Post live session, this content will also be available on demand. Stay tuned for more details as we finish our program build. Read More

IFAR

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

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

NEW VIRTUAL COURSE! Core Allergy and Rhinology Concepts: Age of Pandemics and Beyond
Learn How to Reboot Your Practice and Freshen Up on Core Allergy and Rhinology Components
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2020 Basic Course in Allergy & Immunology
July 9-11 | Orlando, FL
COVID-19 has made it impossible to convene our 2020 Basic Course. We hope you will consider another AAOA CME opportunity

2020 AAOA Annual Meeting
October 23-25| Scottsdale, AZ
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2020 Advanced Course in Allergy & Immunology
December 9-12 | Vail, CO
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AAOA Clinical Insights
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USP 797 Online Module
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2021 Basic Course in Allergy & Immunology
July 15-17 | Seattle, WA

News and Updates

Here is What You Missed…

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

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A Message from AAOA President, Alpen Patel, MD

Alpen Patel, MD, FAAOA is currently serving as 2019-2020 AAOA President. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGGN1HewAsI AAOA's 2019-2020 President,…

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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

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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.