More from April 2013 - Vol. 32 No. 04
May is Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM)! This annual event provides opportunities to raise awareness about communication disorders and to promote treatment that can improve the quality of life for those who experience problems with speaking, understanding, or hearing.
During this month there is a major push to screen people for hearing loss and speech habilitation, some participating organizations team up to offer free or reduced price hearing tests and assistance in obtaining hearing aids. May is the best time of the month to remind patients to have a hearing test.
If you do not do hearing testing in your office, you may want to direct patients to screening sites in your area via Academy ENTlink website: www.entnet.org.
The number of Americans with a hearing loss seems to have doubled during the past 30 years. Data from Federal surveys illustrate the following trend of prevalence of hearing loss for individuals aged three years or older: 13.2 million (1971), 14.2 million (1977), 20.3 million (1991), and 24.2 million (1993). An independent researcher estimates that 28.6 million Americans had an auditory disorder in 2000.”
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) provide helpful statistics on voice, speech and language:
Approximately 7.5 million people in the United States have trouble using their voices.
The prevalence of speech sound disorders in young children is eight to nine percent. By the first grade, roughly five percent of children have noticeable speech disorders; the majority of these speech disorders have no known cause.
Between six and eight million people in the United States have some form of language impairment.
Anyone can acquire aphasia (a loss of the ability to use or understand language), but most people who have aphasia are in their middle to late years. Men and women are equally affected. It is estimated that approximately 80,000 individuals acquire aphasia each year. About one million persons in the United States currently have aphasia.
The Media and Public Relations Committee will observe BHSM in May. Please visit the Academy’s website in April at http://www.entnet.org/AboutUs/publicCampaigns.cfm for helpful tips and resources that you can share with your patients and the public. For more information on ASHA, visit http://www.asha.org/. May 1 is the deadline to book for Dr. K.J. Lee’s tour of China, June 5-16. It starts following the IFOS World Congress in Seoul, South Korea, and ends at the World Chinese ENT Academy Congress in Hong Kong.
Exchange ideas with Chinese otolaryngology leaders and enjoy Chinese cultural heritage, with these famous sights:
The Great Wall, Beijing’s Summer Palace, Tiananmen Square, and Forbidden City
Peking Opera and Peking duck banquet
Xi’an’s terra cotta warriors and the World Heritage Site, Fujian Tulou
To reserve today, call Donna Dalnekoff at 1-203-772-0060 or 1-800-243-1806, or email Donna.Dalnekoff@ATPI.com to do your booking. Questions? Contact Dr. K.J. Lee: 1-203-777-4005 or firstname.lastname@example.org For a fourth consecutive year, multiple disciplines worldwide will confer on global concerns about hearing healthcare at the 4th Coalition for Global Hearing Health Conference, which will take place May 3-4 at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN.
Past conferences have been hosted by such world-recognized facilities as EduPlex, South Africa (2012); House Ear Institute, Los Angeles (2011); and the American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Washington, DC (2010).
The purpose of each annual conference is to provide an opportunity for otolaryngologists, audiologists, deaf educators, speech pathologists, policy makers, philanthropic leaders, deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals and families to work together to raise awareness of vital issues relative to hearing health in the developing world.
Presentation topics will focus on: advocacy and media; education of professionals in underserved regions; empowering families and communities; harnessing technology; and ensuring best practices.
Conference co-organizers, James E. Saunders, MD, of Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical, and Jackie L. Clark, PhD, of the University of Texas at Dallas, have long-established roots on the international arenas as Humanitarian Committee chairs within their professional organizations, the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head Neck Surgery Foundation and the International Society of Audiology, respectively.
To learn more about upcoming or past conferences, visit http://coalitionforglobalhearinghealth.org. Will you be one of the convention attendees traveling from the U.S. or internationally into Canada? If so, you should know that thousands of people visit Canada to attend conferences every year. We invite you to visit the following link to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website (www.cic.gc.ca) to key important information for event attendees. We recommend that you bookmark this website and refer to it often as a resource to help you avoid problems that can affect your travel plans. The CIC website will help you to:
Determine your Eligibility—Find out if you qualify as a business visitor.
Apply—Before you plan your visit, you should find out if you need a visa to enter Canada. If you do not need a visa to enter Canada, you will still need to meet some specific requirements. If you do need a visa, find out how to apply.
Check Processing Times—Most applications for visitor visas (temporary resident visas) are processed within a few weeks or less. Processing times vary depending on the visa office.
After You Apply: Get Next Steps—Find out what you should do after you apply for a visitor visa.
Prepare for Arrival—Be prepared and know what to expect when you arrive in Canada.
Extend your Visa—To extend your stay in Canada, you should apply 30 days before your status expires.
Bring a Guest to Canada—You can avoid problems or delays when you bring your foreign business guests to Canada by following certain guidelines.
Final Preparation for Your Trip to Vancouver
Before catching your flight to Canada, contact your local cell phone carrier to learn about special pricing plans for calls, text messaging, and Internet usage outside your home country. If you use a smartphone, ask your carrier about certain settings such as “airplane mode” that may help you save money on usage.
Take Note: Roaming charges and data plan fees for cell phones (especially smart phones like the iPhone or the Android) and tablets like the iPad can be costly, with prices spiking as high as several dollars per minute. Below are links to some popular carriers’ international coverage plans:
Virgin Mobile–www.virgin.com Think of Vancouver, and you’re likely to think of Mounties, hockey, skiing, the 2010 Winter Olympics, and the awe-inspiring natural beauty of Grouse Mountain. Beyond those impressive attractions, Vancouver is one of the world’s premier meeting and convention destinations.
As you’ll soon learn when you attend the AAO-HNSF 2013 Annual Meeting & OTO EXPOSM, Vancouver has an endless supply of things to see and do. It doesn’t matter what time of day or what time of year, whether you want to be indoors or out, active or a spectator, spend a lot of money or none at all—Vancouver has it all!
Vancouver offers a winning combination of world-class hotels, meeting venues, and restaurants in a setting of spectacular beauty. Few convention cities can offer such a wide range of cosmopolitan amenities in a downtown core that is safe, clean, pedestrian-friendly, and stunning in its backdrop of mountains and ocean.
When you join us in Vancouver, not only will you be part of the world’s best gathering of otolaryngologists, have access to hundreds of instruction courses presented by the world’s leading experts, attend intriguing and thought-provoking miniseminars presided over by a panel of experts—but you can take part in the scientific program where you’ll see and hear the latest evidence-based research and explore the world’s largest collection of otolaryngology products and services in the OTO EXPO. This value is heightened by the intrinsic beauty of the surrounding landscape and wonder and vibe throughout spectacular Vancouver.
In planning your trip to Vancouver this September, consider these options:
Outside is where you’ll find the heart and soul of the West Coast. Breathtaking scenery. Untouched wilderness. Wide open spaces. Fresh air and crystal water. Take part in Vancouver outdoor activities such as:
Hiking on Vancouver’s North Shore
Walk through rainforests
As a cosmopolitan, coastal city, Vancouver’s style ranges from haute couture to cozy flannels and fleece. Shopping in Vancouver offers this same diverse range with high fashion boutiques, designer labels, accessory and jewelry stores, and extensive shop-’til-you-drop malls.
There are distinctive areas all around Vancouver for clothing, art, ceramics, furniture, and much more waiting for you to discover. For some great shopping areas in Vancouver, visit:
Burnaby—Metropolis at Metrotown
Downtown and Gastown
Granville Island Market
First Nations Heritage
Vancouver is also rich with native heritage and there are many opportunities to learn about this unique and inspiring culture. A few outstanding First Nations’ activities, tours, and culinary options include:
Heritage Tour (atop Grouse Mountain)
First Nations nature tour
Listel Hotel—Native Art/Museum
Museum of Anthropology at UBC
Native food catering, Major the Gourmet
Native canoe, Takaya Tours
Executives without ties (Squamish Tribe)
Pre- and Post-Conference Tours
Enhance your Vancouver meeting and convention experience by taking advantage of the incredible pre- and post-opportunities Vancouver and British Columbia have to offer. A few suggestions for outstanding pre- and post-travel options:
Victoria and Vancouver Island
Vancouver—Alaska cruise (check out website www.entnet.org/annual_meeting for AAO-HNSF attendees special promotional discounts)
Stay tuned for next month’s issue of the Bulletin, which will contain the 2013 Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO Preliminary Program featuring the entire instruction course and miniseminar program. We invite you to come to the AAO-HNSF 2013 Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO in Vancouver, BC, to experience everything the annual meeting and Vancouver have to offer you. Registration and housing will open in May 2013. Sonya Malekzadeh, MD
AAO-HNSF Coordinator for Education
The AAO-HNS/F Board of Directors’ 2013 Strategic Plan calls for a robust system to evaluate the activities and processes of the AAO-HNS Foundation’s lifelong learning and continuing professional development program.
The Foundation unit has embarked on a yearlong initiative to seek input from stakeholders on member education and performance improvement gaps and needs. Education committee members, the BOG, and AAO-HNS members will be queried through surveys, SWOT analyses, and focus groups. Current program evaluations, quality and safety data, and literature reviews will also be included in this systematic and multifaceted process. This critical feedback will be used to direct decisions on types of activities, determine interventions, and guide program development.
The needs assessment and gap analysis process must be constant and not episodic. This initiative is intended to provide a foundation and planning framework for frequent evaluation of members’ professional development needs. Building on the principles of lifelong learning while also mindful of opportunities for improvement, we will strive to maintain consistency and quality in the evaluation and implementation of education processes and outcomes.
The Initiative includes seven phases:
Phase 1: Education Committee Member Survey and SWOT Analysis
A comprehensive survey and SWOT analysis has been distributed to the eight specialty education committees. Each member is engaged in education planning and development, and thus has an intimate knowledge of the education processes and programs. As education leaders, these individuals are uniquely positioned to examine the internal education-related strengths and weaknesses as well as the external education-related opportunities and threats facing the Foundation.
Phase 2: Analyze Existing Data
Data on member participation, specific product usage, and evaluation of current education activities will be collected. Performance gaps will be identified through the Foundation’s research and quality data, a review of pertinent scientific literature, national registry data, and other health assessment resources.
Phase 3: Education Product Survey
Foundation staff will survey individuals who currently participate in Foundation education activities. These include the Home Study Course and Patient Management Perspectives subscribers, online course participants, and Coding Workshop attendees. This survey will assess their opinions on the positive and negative aspects of each activity and determine venues by which the Foundation can improve upon these resources.
Phase 4: Membership Education Survey
The entire Academy membership will be queried to assess perceived practice gaps and education needs. This broad survey will examine the Foundation education activities on numerous levels and serve to engage members in lifelong learning.
Phase 5: Focus Groups
Focus groups will be assembled to assess the specific learning needs of each of our target audiences. A Board of Governors focus group meeting is scheduled for spring 2013.
Phase 6: Analysis and Reporting
AAO-HNSF staff and education leadership will work together on analysis and interpretation of the data. A summary report of the yearlong initiative will be prepared and presented to the Board of Directors at the 2013 Annual Meeting & OTO EXPOSM in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Phase 7: Planning and Implementation
Gathering appropriate data will support the allocation of funds and resources toward planning feasible and effective programs. Education activities will be prioritized, developed, and implemented with the specific intent of closing practice gaps and meeting the learning needs of our members.
The gap analysis and needs assessment initiative will provide the Foundation with critical information and data to monitor, evaluate, and plan education activities. I urge you to participate in the forthcoming surveys and focus groups designed to measure the impact and effectiveness of our learning activities and processes. Your opinions will be used to modify current activities, enhance learning experiences, and develop outcomes measures that contribute to the professional development of otolaryngologists and quality patient care. Please take advantage of this unique opportunity to shape and direct the future of our specialty’s education programming. For CY 2013, the Current Procedural Terminology® (CPT) Editorial Panel has modified the descriptor for add-on code +15777 and has limited this code’s use to biologic implants placed into breast and/or trunk sites only. The new text is highlighted and underlined, and the new descriptor and corresponding parentheticals are noted in the following box.
The highlighted text notes changes that directly affect otolaryngology-head and neck surgeons. Providers implanting biologic implants for soft tissue reinforcement in areas such as the head or neck (such as implantation of Alloderm® into a parotidectomy wound bed) are now instructed to use the unlisted code CPT 17999 to report these procedures. Members should keep in mind that the unlisted code is not an add-on code, as is +15777, which was previously reported. This means reimbursement for the unlisted code (17999) may be subject to a multiple procedure payment reduction.
As a reminder, unlisted codes do not have specific Medicare payment associated with them and are subject to the approval of local Medicare Administrator Contractors (MAC). Members should work directly with their local MAC and third party payers to determine what reimbursement, if any, will be assigned to unlisted codes when supported with the necessary medical and diagnostic documentation.
Members seeking more information should email the Academy health policy team at email@example.com.
Implantation of biologic implant (e.g., acellular dermal matrix) for soft tissue reinforcement (i.e., breast, trunk) (List separately in addition to code for primary procedure.)
(For implantation of biologic implants for soft tissue reinforcement in tissues other than breast and trunk, use 17999)
(For bilateral breast procedure, report 15777 with modifier 50.)
(The supply of biologic implant should be reported separately in conjunction with 15777.)