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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

CY 2022 Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule Summary

On July 13, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Medicare Physician…

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Congress Considers Extension of Telehealth Flexibilities Post-Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic forced Congress and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to…

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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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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

12/01/21: Research Grant Cycle
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02/22/22: Deadline For Call For Proposals
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04/01/22: Fellow Exam Application Deadline
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06/01/22: Research Grant Cycle
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06/26/22: Membership Application Deadline to be eligible for AAOA Member rate for the 2022 Basic Course

08/01/22: Scientific Abstract Submission Deadline

09/01/22: Membership Application Deadline to be voted in at the 2022 Annual Meeting

EDUCATION

The live stream of the 2021 AAOA Annual Meeting concluded on October 21st, but you can still register and earn CME/MOC credits. 4 hours of Pre-Work On-Demand content will be accessible until November 15, 2021. If you missed a lecture during our live-streamed content, do not worry. Most of the lectures will be available within the next week until November 15, 2021. 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 AAOA Annual Meeting
Pre-launch Mid-September
On-Demand Access Closes on November 15
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2022 AAOA Advanced Course
In-Person!!! Santa Fe, NM
January 13-15, 2022
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2022 AAOA Basic Course
The Diptomat Beach Resort, Hollywood, FL
June 30-July 2, 2022

USP 797 Online Module
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News and Updates

A Message From The AAOA President Michael Platt, MD, FAAOA

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United Agrees To Give Physicians ERISA Rights in Connection with Repayment Demands

Bottom line Recent class action settlement gives all out-of-network (“ONET”) physicians important – and often overlooked –…

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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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PARTNER RESOURCE CENTER

AAOA has launched a Partner Resource Center to bring you partner resources that can assist your practice and patient care.

Visit the New Center>

PATIENT CORNER

CY 2022 Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule Summary

On July 13, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Medicare Physician Fee  Schedule (MPFS) proposed rule for CY 2022. This rule updates payment policies and payment rates for  Part B services furnished under the MPFS, as well as makes changes to the Quality Payment Program  (QPP). The rule in its entirety and the addenda, including Addendum B, which lists the proposed RVUs  for each CPT code can be found here.  

The following summarizes the major policies in the proposal. Note that the page numbers listed in this  document refer to the display copy of the proposed rule. 

Conversion Factor and Specialty Impact (p. 1177) 

The proposed conversion factor for 2022 is $33.5848, a decrease of $1.31 from the 2021 conversion  factor of $34.8931, a decrease of 3.75 percent. This reduction is the result of the expiration of the 3.75  percent increase Congress included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 as well as the fact  there is no statutory increase to the conversion factor for 2022. Table 123 provides a summary of the  impact of the changes, excluding the conversion factor decrease, in the proposed rule by specialty. The  changes in the rule are budget-neutral in the aggregate, which explains why the impact for all physicians  is shown as zero.  

Based on an analysis conducted by the American Medical Association, the proposed changes in the rule,  including the conversion factor decrease, would result in -3.5 percent and -4.9 percent decreases for  allergy/immunology and otolaryngology respectively. Note that the changes to practice expense covered in this summary result in significant decreases for some procedures commonly performed by AAOA  members. The overall impact of this proposed rule on an individual provider’s reimbursement will  depend upon their case mix. 

Practice Expense Clinical Labor Pricing Update (p. 48) 

CMS began updating supply and equipment prices used for direct practice expense (PE) inputs in 2019  and 2022 will be the final year of the transition to these new inputs based on work StrategyGen’s  market research study. When this work started, the agency did not propose to update the clinical labor  pricing which has remained unchanged since CY 2002. Stakeholders have suggested certain wage rates  are inadequate because they do not reflect current wage information and updating supply and  equipment pricing without updating clinical labor could create distortions in direct PE allocation in a  budget neutral system. 

In this rule, CMS is proposing to update the clinical labor pricing using the most current Bureau of Labor  Statistics (BLS) data in CY 2022 in conjunction with the final year of the supply and equipment pricing  update. Table 5 includes the proposed clinical labor pricing updates. The agency is requesting comments  on this proposal and is particularly interested in additional wage data for clinical labor types for which  there was no direct Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data. Table 6 shows the impact of this proposed  change by specialty. CMS estimated the specialty-specific impacts of this change as well as those if the  policy were to be phased in over four years (which can be found in Table 135) with allergy/immunology seeing a -1 percent decrease and otolaryngology seeing a -2 percent decrease in reimbursement as a  result if implemented all at once and no impact if it is phased in over four years. 

These specialty impacts are largely driven by the share that labor costs represent of the direct PE inputs  for each specialty such that specialties with substantially higher or lower than average share of direct  costs attributable labor will experience the most significant changes. CMS is considering a 4-year  transition to implement the clinical labor pricing update to smooth out the increases and decreases but recognizes this would mean the agency will continue to rely on outdated data for clinical labor pricing. 

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