Published: June 12, 2024

How AAO-HNS Position Statements Are Developed

The importance of Position Statements cannot be overstated. Find out how you can submit one for official consideration.

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Have you ever looked for an official AAO-HNS Position Statement regarding a medical service, clinical procedure, or guidance on a specific topic, and not found what you were looking for? Perhaps it is time for you to submit a Position Statement for official review and consideration. If your submission is approved, it will become official AAO-HNS policy.

AAO-HNS Position Statements are invaluable tools that represent and formalize the Academy’s stance on clinical procedures and medical services and are intended to guide the specialty of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery. In many cases, the Academy’s Position Statements are also used to provide clarity on approval or disapproval of certain practices in medicine.

Prior to submitting a Position Statement for review, there are a few basics to know beforehand. Position Statements may be developed by individual Academy members, Academy committees, or Academy leaders. It is important to know that Position Statements are generally evidence-based, grounded with data and literature as supporting documentation, have a clearly defined goal, and outline how they could improve quality of life for patients, if implemented.

Position Statements are concise, comprising two to three paragraphs, plus references. In many cases, Position Statements require collaboration between several people or Academy committees to reach a consensus recommendation.

Because developing Position Statements is such an important task for the Academy, the Academy has created a guide to help Academy members who might be interested in drafting or collaborating on a new Position Statement.

Once a Position Statement is drafted, the next step is to submit it to From there, it will be shared with the Academy’s Physician Payment Policy (3P) Workgroup for review. The 3P Workgroup will review the drafted Position Statement and, if needed, will ask for additional details as part of the submission process. If 3P approves it, the Position Statement must then receive final endorsement by the Academy’s Board of Directors’ Executive Committee. When it is endorsed by the Executive Committee, the Position Statement becomes Academy policy.

Position Statements are an important resource for precisely this reason. As the official policy of the AAO-HNS, they are used to engage with other specialties, payers, state and federal regulatory agencies, and industry. Insurance carriers often look to them to justify payer policies. Industry partners use them to argue for coverage decisions. Your Health Policy Advocacy team uses them as justification for new code creation. Their importance cannot be overstated. That is why they go through such a rigorous review process, and why your participation in raising and drafting new Position Statements is vital. Check out the current library of Academy Position Statements.

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