Current Issue

June 2020 – Vol. 39, No. 5

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Covid-19 Update

Hindsight is 2020: Lessons on Racial Health Disparity during the COVID-19 Pandemic

As cities across the globe were gearing up in the fight against SARS-CoV-2, New Orleans, LA, was deep in the festivities of Mardi Gras. In the weeks that followed the traditional March event, something disastrous was unfolding. Hospitals around the world were becoming overrun by the novel virus, and New Orleans noticed the number of cases quickly rising.

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Guidance for Return to Practice for Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

As the United States transitions back toward more widespread delivery of healthcare and otolaryngologists expand their practice to include non-emergent and time-sensitive patients, they are seeking consistent guidance and principles to reinstitute diagnostic and therapeutic interventions.

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Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery at the Forefront of the COVID-19 Pandemic

The arrival of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, in winter 2020 marked a watershed moment in international healthcare. As information began to circulate about the rapidly expanding pandemic, it became clear early in its expansion that this respiratory virus would have a significant impact on otolaryngologists and their patients.

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The Leading Edge

Finding Our Way ­-­ Choosing Your Path and Understanding the Journey

Clinging to clichés that include “silver linings” or “lemons to lemonade” seems challenging at best these days; however, daily we are becoming more equipped to find our way sustained by optimism, positivity, and hope that we will get through this.

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The Future of Otolaryngology ­-­ Emerging from the Fog of War

Over the course of just three months, the COVID-19 pandemic has fractured several assumptions commonly held by the medical establishment—including hospitals, health systems, health plan executives, physicians, and patients alike—about traditional provision of medical care and also patient attitudes and behaviors toward healthcare.

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Emerging from the Pandemic with Lessons Learned to Impact Change

I have spent considerably more time during the last three months reading about, researching, and commenting on viral disease than in the previous 40+ years of my medical career. The current COVID-19 pandemic lately has focused my interest on several aspects related to the consequences of this widespread, easily transmissible virus that happens to be highly concentrated in areas of our primary expertise, the nose, nasopharynx, and pharynx.

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Wellness Series

Individual and System Well-being: How Do We Resume Caring for Others during and Post Pandemic?

The insightful article “Peer Support: Taking Care of Ourselves and Each Other,” by Jo A. Shapiro, MD, in the May issue inspired us to focus on four core principles during and after the COVID pandemic:

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At The Forefront

At the forefront

The AAO-HNSF call for nominees for Chair-elect of the International Advisory Board (IAB) was highly successful and resulted in the selection of Muaaz Tarabichi, MD.

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Society Spotlight: AAOA

Building off of Simon Sinek’s Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action (2011) at our recent strategic retreat, the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy (AAOA) leadership focused on how to engage members, what drives members, and what the AAOA can do to meet member needs.

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Together We Are Stronger

Sitting sequestered in my home after a shortened day of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, mixed feelings persist. Sadness looms given the amount of sickness and mortality that has stricken the world, but the amount of self-reflection, quality time with my wife and kids, and even exercise (yes, it does exist) that has occurred over the past three weeks has been a refreshing change.

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New Flagship Education Product: Focused Lifelong Education Xperience

This past year, the AAO-HNSF Education Committees and Foundation staff have been working to develop an ambitious new program set forth by the Future of Education Task Force to propel our Foundation education agenda forward for the next five to 10 years. This program, the Academy’s new flagship education product, is FLEX—Focused Lifelong Education Xperience. It will replace the Home Study Course, which is sunsetting this year after more than three decades.

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Proposed Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) Combined Budget

The Executive Committees (ECs) of the Boards of Directors (BODs) were presented with the Finance and Investment Subcommittee (FISC) proposed budget for the next fiscal year, July 1, 2020–June 30, 2021 (FY21), and endorsed it for approval by the BODs. During their May meeting, the BODs reviewed and conditionally approved the FY21 budget that is presented here to the membership.

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Humanitarian Travel Grant: Otolaryngology and Plastic Surgery in Rural Belize

Thanks to the generous support from the AAO-HNSF Humanitarian Travel Grant, I had the opportunity to serve the people of Corozal, Belize, in February. I traveled with Partners for Belize, a group that has been helping the people of Corozal for over 10 years. Corozal has an underserved and predominately rural population of 90,000 in northern Belize.

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Annual Meeting Features

Featured Lectures

Anand K. Devaiah, MD, is director of the Biomedical & Health Technology Development & Transfer Domain at the Institute for Health System Innovation & Policy (IHSIP). He is an associate professor in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, with joint appointments in Neurological Surgery and Ophthalmology at the Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center. His clinical interests center around skull base surgery, including endoscopic approaches to the cranial base.

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#OTOMTG20 to Feature Keynote from Physician and Renowned Thought Leader, Joel Selanikio, MD

The AAO-HNSF 2020 Annual Meeting & OTO Experience theme, “Bringing Together the World of Otolaryngology,” takes on a new meaning as the world strives to overcome the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.

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Trauma Symposium: Wartime and Peacetime Advances in Head and Neck Reconstruction

The AAO-HNS Trauma Committee and the Society of Military Otolaryngologists (SMO) Annual Symposium will present continuing medical education (CME) sessions starting at 5:00 pm, Saturday, September 12, at the AAO-HNSF 2020 Annual Meeting & OTO Experience in Boston. The education sessions include a panel discussion on rehabilitation of facial paralysis and a lecture on facial transplantation.

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2020 Annual Meeting & OTO Experience “Hot Topic” Education Programming

Experts and science converge at the AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting & OTO Experience, September 13-16, in Boston, Massachusetts. This year’s education program features a world-renowned faculty discussing state-of-the-art treatment modalities, new therapies, and ongoing research in the field.

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Advocacy Features

Private Payer Advocacy Spotlight: Wins and Challenges

The AAO-HNS is actively engaged in private payer advocacy efforts to ensure coverage and reimbursement of procedures provided by our members to improve health outcomes. The Academy relies on multiple avenues to identify coverage topics for advocacy prioritization.

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Advocacy in Action: A Win for Children in Virginia

Working over a holiday weekend in January, the AAO-HNS, the Virginia Society of Otolaryngology, and the Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics coalesced to inform Commonwealth of Virginia legislators of their significant concerns surrounding SB 423, a bill to require health insurance coverage of hearing aids for minors.

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The Power of Project 535

There are few tools more powerful than direct advocacy between a constituent and a member of Congress. Project 535 was established in 2015 by the Board of Governors in order to create an avenue for AAO-HNS members to get involved in direct advocacy on issues which significantly impact our specialty.

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Federal Relief for Otolaryngologist-Head and Neck Surgeons Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

As the novel coronavirus has spread in communities across the United States, the AAO-HNS has fiercely advocated for relief for otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeons on the federal level. With the steadfast support of AAO-HNS members through grassroots advocacy, the Academy has worked to negotiate on behalf of the specialty to ensure that our members and the patients they serve are protected during this unprecedented time.

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Thank You to the 2020 ENT PAC First 50 Investors!

The First 50 campaign is a fundraising effort to garner at least 50 $1,000+ (Chairman’s Club or Leadership Club) contributions during the month of January every year. The First 50 campaign helps ensure the Academy can actively engage on issues critical to the specialty.

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Changes Are Coming to E/Ms Starting in 2021

Beginning January 1, 2021,  changes to the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) code structure for office or outpatient evaluation and management (E/M) services will take effect. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized these changes in the 2020 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule final rule.

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Features

How to Identify and Protect Yourself Against Predatory Journals

Members are always encouraged to collaborate and share your research, findings, and thought leadership with the otolaryngology specialty at large. You may even receive unsolicited invitations to submit your research to a new, open access journal or to join a new editorial board. Unfortunately, not all of these “opportunities” are legitimate and do not ultimately promote the science and practice of medicine.

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From the Education Committees: Skin Prick Testing for Environmental Allergens

Allergic rhinitis is a common problem and is estimated to impact approximately 35% of the general population. With such a high prevalence and multiple manifestations of the disease in the head and neck, it is not a surprise that allergic rhinitis is encountered frequently by otolaryngologists.

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June is National Dysphagia Month

Patients with throat discomfort are frequently seen in otolaryngology clinics, with population-based studies from the United States reporting 12.5% of otherwise healthy people reporting globus, reaching as high as 46% in some series. Distinguishing globus—first described by Hippocrates 2,500 years ago—from bona fide swallowing impairment can be challenging.

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Tech Talk: Demystifying the Cloud

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, business continuity has been on a lot of people’s minds. To comply with social distancing many organizations were forced to move to teleworking almost overnight. Staff having remote access to their programs and data is essential for continuing operations. Business continuity demands that IT resources be cloud-based. But what is the cloud? The purpose of this article is to explain and demystify this modern service paradigm.

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AAO-HNSF Partners with OM1 to Empower More Measured and Precise Care and Treatments for Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

Collaboration enables otolaryngologists and researchers to leverage data for real-world evidence, outcomes, and personalized medicine programs.

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Transition to In-office Treatments: Allergy

During this unprecedented season of social distancing and significant restrictions in patient care as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, it is easy to feel helpless in finding ways to help our patients and our communities. Without question, our systems for delivery of otolaryngic and allergy care to our patients will change as a result of this pandemic.

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Incorporating Advanced Practice Providers into Your Practice

Congratulations! Now that you have recruited an advanced practice provider (APP), we will review the final crucial steps for successful integration into your practice—onboarding tips and optimizing financial relationships. In the prior three APP Bulletin articles in this series, we reviewed APP training and scope of practice, the benefits of working with APPs, and recruitment and contracting.

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Congratulations Residents and Fellows

Congratulations Residents and Fellows

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