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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

03/15/21: 2021 Annual Meeting Crowdsourcing
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03/15/21: Call for Proposals
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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

07/15/21: Call for Scientific Papers

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

Don't miss the opportunity to curate content you need now conveniently in your own office or home! The content will only be available until March 25th!

NEW YEAR, SAME PANDEMIC

Looking for insights as you focus on 2021 and practice growth? Still struggling with some of the reboot challenges from COVID? AAOA is re-releasing core content from its summer Pandemic course to help give you access to content you need now. Register now for the great way to gain insights, earn up to 13 hrs CME, and help meet your maintenance of certification (MOC) requirements.

JUST THE BASICS

Do you have new staff and need help training them on the core concepts of allergy diagnosis and management in ENT? In your practice reboot, are you reconsidering your practice set up or considering adding allergy to your practice? Are you looking for great review tools for you and your staff?

To help you we are offering time-limited access to our core allergy education library to give you and your staff the tools you need to get up to speed or refresh on the key concepts in allergy diagnosis and management. Register today and earn up to 8.75 hrs of CME (MOC eligible).

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

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 Year, Same Pandemic
January 25-March 25 | On-Demand
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Just the Basics
January 25-March 25 | On-Demand
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2021 Basic Course in Allergy & Immunology
On-demand Mid-June Live Stream Targeted For July 8-11 | Virtual
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USP 797 Online Module
Learn More and Register

2021 AAOA Annual Meeting
Pre-launch Mid-September
Live Stream Starting on Oct 16 | Virtual
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News and Updates

CMS Coding 2021 – AAOA Zoomcast

A brief summary of the CMS Coding 2021 – AAOA Zoomcast Series: Just In Time…

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Re-Engaging Patients During and Post COVID-19 Pandemic – AAOA Zoomcast

A brief summary of the Re-Engaging Patients 2021 - AAOA Zoomcast Series: Just In Time…

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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

CMS Coding 2021 – AAOA Zoomcast

A brief summary of the CMS Coding 2021 – AAOA Zoomcast Series: Just In Time Content for AAOA Members, Part II. Written by Christie DeMason MD, FAAOA.

Panelists: James Connolly, MD; Ayesha Khalid, MD, MBA; Nalin Patel, MD; Robert Stachler, MD.

Moderator: Jennifer Villwock, MD.

Goal of Panel: Highlight some of the new CMS coding

How Will the Changes Impacting the Practice

  • Still too early to know but hopefully positive changes
  • Otolaryngologist are likely going to benefit given the level of office complexity/decision making and use of office procedures
  • Need to show your decision making thought processes (ex: surgery vs. medical therapy)
    • Less documenting a checklist in the EMR than before
    • Hopefully will be more beneficial
  • Now can count time reviewing chart and coordinating care

Changing Templates

  • Put in the thought process more and document time spent on all task
    • Then decide if better to code complexity vs. time
    • Important to document as much as possible
      • If review something (order, image, etc.) need to document it
      • Make sure if prescribing or ordering medication to document why you are doing this/what you explained to patient
  • May want new smart phase templates for the Assessment&Plan Section   
    • May want to meet with coder before making templates
    • Notes should focus more on risk
      • Ex: risk of missing diagnosis; risk of medications (i.e. prednisone; singular); risk of anaphylaxis with allergy immunotherapy/testing
    • All the things said to the patient should be listed (things that in past often were not documented)
      • Ex: risk of CT and MRI; listing next steps “if CT scan reveals sinus disease and fails medical treatment will need surgery”
  • Consider removing parts of template that aren’t as important
    • Doing more focus physical exam (PE) (ex: removing listening to the lungs)
    • Review of System (ROS), PE and past history are less important to document
      • May want to hold off on getting rid of some of these things such as ROS as it can help prove complexity and decision making
    • Hopefully this will help to shift away from the auto-populated charts and to more meaningful information in the charts

Recommendation for Auditing

  • Recommend doing audit given coding changes
    • Especially if anticipating large change in billing
    • Coder can help you make sure you actual do make these changes in your billing behaviors and get credit for things you already do
    • Will be important as we don’t know if the payers will actually pay for these changes and if payors will do more auditing because of the new system
    • There are nuances that auditor may pick up on that aren’t specifically in the new coding guidelines
      • Ex: Changes with audiogram and documentation
  • Before new changes most did biannually vs. yearly – at least 10 ( usually 10-20) across different providers
    • Can help find areas of under-maximizing revenue too
    • Beneficial to get same company/same auditor each time if possible  
    • Also helpful to do monthly audit on billing/codes and compare to partners, nation and state – ideally want to be similar

Changes Everyone Should Know

  • Make sure to add the risks (ex: topical steroid spray, CT scans)
    • Esp. important if patients are able to read their own charts
  • Make sure to include in notes/consider templates for medication risk, differential diagnosis, risk of no treatment vs. conservative treatment vs. aggressive management
  • Time on all task (pre-charting, looking at past history, writing orders and documenting) can change level of billing  
  • Will continue to need to continue to be flexible with new coding system
    • Talk with other doctors and get input
    • Get comfortable with new terminology

For Further Information visit the AAOA website

  • Resources available on the website (https://aaoallergy.org/advocacy-updates/changes-to-e-m-codes-beginning-on-january-1st/)
  • Prior education offerings on coding from AAOA that could be found in your AAOA Member profile.

View the CMS Coding 2021 Zoomcast.

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