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AAO The News
July 3, 2008
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The Lead

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE – Academy Continues Fight against Medicare Physician Payment Cuts
The Academy’s Government Affairs staff continues to monitor the situation in Washington, DC, regarding the fight to eliminate the 10.6 percent cut to Medicare physician payments that went into effect July 1. The vote in the Senate on H.R. 6331, which was held Thursday, June 26, failed by one vote. The Senate then recessed for the Fourth of July holiday. A second vote will be next week following the holiday weekend, during which the likely bill voted on will be H.R. 6331. Meanwhile, the cut went into effect July 1, but CMS plans to hold claims for at least ten days while monitoring the action in the Senate.

The Academy will continue to monitor this critical battle, and update you on all the key information as things develop. In the meantime, continue to contact your Senators, and demand that they stand up for physicians and Medicare patients by voting in support of H.R. 6331.

Important Message about Claims Paid under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule
Since Congress was unable to act on the 10.6 percent reduction in Medicare payments (starting July 1, 2008), CMS strongly advised that providers observe these practices during the 10-business-day hold:

• For services rendered on or after July 1, 2008, physician groups should submit claims that are equal to or greater than the previous Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) from the first half of 2008. If the pay cut is completely reversed, CMS will require offices that submit claims lower than the MPFS to re-submit their claims in order to receive the full reimbursement.

• Effective July 1, 2008, practices should obtain patient co-insurances based on the amended fee schedule

• Practices should ask their patients to sign Advanced Beneficiary Notices or Notices of Exclusion from Medicare Benefits in the event their patients have surpassed their benefit limits for outpatient physical or occupational therapy and speech language pathology services.

For more information, please visit our website at http://www.entnet.org/Practice/Claims-Under-MPFS.cfm.

Annual Meeting Submissions to the Journal
It is mandatory that all papers presented at the Scientific (Clinical Research) Sessions of the Annual Meeting, and all AAO-HNS/F-sponsored research papers, be submitted to Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery no later than September 5, 2008. Authors who do not submit required papers will not be permitted to present at the 2009 Annual Meeting.

ALL manuscripts must be submitted online, through Editorial Manager (EM), at http://otohns.edmgr.com. Mandatory submissions are due by September 5, 2008. All submissions must meet Journal requirements for peer review. Please review the author guidelines at http://otohns.edmgr.com.

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Take Action

AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO Registration and Housing Sign-up NOW OPEN!
Register online at the Academy’s brand new annual meeting website.

2008 Annual Meeting Events Calendar Now Online
Browse the Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO committee meetings schedule, social events, and educational programs.

In the Press

iPhone, M.D
from The Wall Street Journal Health Blog
Everybody wants a piece of health IT, and everybody wants a piece of the iPhone. So perhaps it’s inevitable that software companies are rushing to create health-related iPhone applications for doctors and patients. More

New Combination of Tests Measures Child’s Ability to Taste and Smell
from Science Daily
Researchers have developed a series of tests that for the first time accurately measure the normality of taste (gustatory function) and smell (olfactory function) in young children, according to a new study published in the July 2008 edition of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery. More

LISA laser products presents the RevoLix Jr, a continuous wave 2 micron laser, with a penetration depth of approx 0.4mm. The chromophore is water, the same as the CO2 laser. The laser energy is fiber delivered, using autoclavable and reusable fibers providing excellent hemostasis, vaporization and cutting suitable for all soft tissue applications. More info

Long-Standing Hay Fever May Impede Nasal Airflow
from Reuters
People with persistent allergic rhinitis -- better known as hay fever -- may experience a progressive worsening of nasal airflow depending on how long they have the disorder, according to Italian researchers. More

HPV Linked to Better Survival
from Advance
Researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have found a series of markers that indicate which patients are more likely to survive cancers of the base of the tongue and tonsils. Most notably, they found that cancers linked to HPV, or human papillomavirus, are the most responsive to current chemotherapy and radiation treatments, while tumors that express high levels of a certain growth factor receptor are the least responsive and most deadly. More

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Academy News

NY Members: Session Ends with No Movement on Dental Scope Expansion Bills
The New York legislature ended its session on June 24, and despite the dentists’ best efforts to push A. 7044/S. 8371, no further action was taken. Congratulations to all our NY members who volunteered their time to help fight these bills which would have permitted dentists to perform limitless elective cosmetic surgery in the oral and maxillofacial regions. The AAO-HNS would like to thank those who contributed to our advocacy efforts and a win for the specialty!

Assignment of Practice Expense Unit for Labyrinthotomy in Physician Office Setting
The Academy has sent a request to CMS regarding the assignment of a practice expense unit for CPT code 69801 when performed in a physician’s office.

Coding Guidelines for Tympanoplasty
The Health Policy department has posted an article which addresses coding guidelines for tympanoplasty. To view this article, visit http://www.entnet.org/Practice/upload/Coding-for-Tympanoplasty.pdf.

The Doctors Company Acquires SCPIE Companies, Becomes the Largest National Insurer of Physician and Surgeon Medical Liability
The Doctors Company, the nation’s leading physician-owned medical malpractice insurer, today announced that it has completed its acquisition of the SCPIE Companies, a major provider of healthcare liability insurance. With the addition of more than 8,000 physician policyholders, The Doctors Company becomes the largest national insurer of physician and surgeon medical liability in the U.S., with more than 43,000 physician members.

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  International Update

Rhinology World 2009
David W. Kennedy, MD, invites you to join an international “Who’s Who in Rhinology,” held in Philadelphia April 15-19, 2009. Online Call for Papers opens September 1, and closes December 1, 2008. To learn more, go to http://www.rhinologyworld.com/. Email Cathy Lafferty with questions.

International Named Visiting Scholarships Deadline Extended to July 15
Applications for the International Named Visiting Scholarships will be accepted up to July 15. For the form and criteria, go to http://www.entnet.org/AboutUs/upload/2008-International-Named-Visiting-Scholars-Application-5-08_Final.doc. Email applications to international@entnet.org.

Australia and New Zealand Trip
Join Dr KJ Lee on the Academy’s first official delegation October 5-15, 2008, flying from Los Angeles to Cairns, Australia, for the Australian tour and then to New Zealand, for a tour and joint meeting with the NZ Society of Otolaryngology. To learn more, visit http://www.entnet.org/AboutUs/upload/anzac.pdf. or contact Dr. KJ Lee at 1-203-777-4005/fax 1-203-776-7741, or Donna Davis at Davis Travel at 1-850-897-6660/fax 1-850-897-4807.

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SAVE THE DATE - IFOS World Congress, Sao Paulo, Brazil, June 1-5, 2009
To learn more, go to http://www.ifossaopaulo2009.com.br.

¿Se habla Español?
If you speak Spanish, consider joining our International Speakers Bureau, a resource for international societies when they plan their national congresses. Societies in Latin America are especially interested in Spanish-speaking presenters. To learn more or sign up, contact international@entnet.org or call 1-703-535-3738.


  Humanitarian Update

New International and Humanitarian E-Newsletters!
If you are interested in receiving these Academy newsletters, sent by email in alternate months, contact international@entnet.org, or call 1-703-519-1556 or -1573 to have your email address added.


Tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy and laryngoscopy cases are made safer and faster using the ENTSafety System

The ENTSafety System allows prudent surgeons to eliminate the mayo stand as an improvised support and bring organization and efficiency to the surgical field. The System decreases procedure cost while increasing patient safety. More



Take Action
Call your U.S. Senators NOW and urge them to pass H.R. 6331 before they leave for the July 4th holiday! Click here to make your voice heard!.


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As your patients put away their winter weather wardrobes and put on some sunscreen, our patient leaflets on skin cancer will help you educate them about the risks of UV exposure so that they may safely enjoy summer’s sunshine.
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Online publication of "In the Press" items does not imply endorsement by, or official policy of, the AAO-HNS. News organizations' Internet websites are randomly reviewed and items of interest to AAO-HNS members are selected. Academy executive staff approves the final summaries. Any comments regarding content or this new publication should be emailed to the AAO-HNS.

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