Welcome

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

COVID-19 Telehealth Coding

Theresa Thompson, CPC one of the featured practice management speakers for the Annual Meeting, has…

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Health Policy Updates tied to COVID-19

HILL UPDATES Senate Republicans released an updated version of the CARES Act on Sunday, March…

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USP Compounding Standards Update

A letter from the USP Healthcare Quality & Safety from March 12th, 2020 Dear Colleague,…

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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

First Drug for Treatment of Peanut Allergy for Children is Approved by FDA

“Peanut allergy affects approximately 1 million children in the U.S. and only 1 out of…

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Revised CPT Code for 2020

The following revisions and additions to Current Procedural Terminology (CPT ® American Medical Association) codes related…

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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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Brief Update on the Final CY 2019 Physician Fee Schedule

On November 1, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released the final Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) detailing policies related to Medicare physician payment and the Quality Payment Program (QPP). A brief summary of key provisions for AAOA members follows:

Direct Practice Expense Inputs

The Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA) authorized the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to conduct a market research study to update direct practice expense (PE) inputs for supply and equipment pricing. CMS finalized its proposal to phase in the new direct PE input pricing from this study over a 4 year period to ease the transition to these new prices. However, in response to public comments including those from AAOA in coalition with the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the Advocacy Council of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, they are finalizing pricing for approximately 60 supply and equipment codes in CY 2019, including 3 antigen supply codes. The final supply values follow.

Supply/
Equipment Code
Description CY 2018 Price Proposed
CY 2019 Price
Final
CY 2019 Price
SH007 antigen, multi
(pollen, mite, mold, cat)
$6.700 $4.780 $8.960
SH009 antigen, venom $20.140 $27.360 $30.930
SH010 antigen, venom, tri-vespid $44.050 $51.320 $60.240

 

E/M Documentation and Payment Policy

For 2019, CMS originally proposed significant changes to evaluation and management (E/M) payment and documentation requirements, including a single payment for level 2-5 office visits for both new and established patients. The agency responded to the overwhelming negative stakeholder response to its proposal by significantly revising its final policy.

CMS will not implement any payment changes until January 1, 2021 which will allow the agency to further refine these policies based on stakeholder input. If the payment changes outlined in this final rule go into effect in 2021, CMS estimates allergy/immunology E/M reimbursement will be held harmless while otolaryngology will see a 5 percent increase.

On January 1, 2019, CMS will implement the following documentation changes:

  • The requirement to document medical necessity of furnishing visits in the home rather than office will be eliminated.
  • Physicians will no longer be required to re-record elements of history and physical exam when there is evidence that the information has been reviewed and updated. In addition,
  • Physicians must only document that they reviewed and verified information regarding chief complaint and history that is already recorded by ancillary staff or the patient.

For CY 2019 and 2020, the current coding and payment structure for E/M outpatient visits will remain in place, and providers should continue to use either the 1995 or 1997 versions of the E/M guidelines.

Beginning in 2021, CMS will pay a single rate for E/M outpatient visit levels 2, 3, and 4 (one for established and another for new patients) and will only require level 2 documentation based on the current guidelines, medical decision making, or time for these visits. The agency chose to not finalize the inclusion of level 5 visits in the single payment rate, to better account for the care and needs of particularly complex patients. CMS did finalize its policies to create complexity add-on which applies to allergy/immunology services and extended service codes that can be billed with all level 2-4 new and established outpatient visits. To see an impact of these payment changes, CMS created a matrix available here. The agency did not finalize its proposal to create a single practice expense (PE) value for E/M services because of the unintended negative consequences it had on the indirect PE for certain specialties, including allergy. In response to stakeholder feedback, CMS also discarded its proposal to apply a multiple procedure payment reduction when a procedure and E/M service using modifier -25 are billed together.