ARS PAC Corner

The ARS patient advocacy committee (PAC) would like to congratulate and welcome Dr. Seth Brown as the new chair of the ARS PAC. As I will be moving on to join the ARS Board of Directors, I also wanted to express my deepest thanks to Dr. Pete Batra, our board liaison, for all of his support and guidance during my tenure as well as the committee members for their work and commitment to the ARS.

As we commence this period of transition, I wanted to take this opportunity to delineate the multi-faceted roles of the ARS PAC to better inform our members of the objectives and functions of this committee. The ARS PAC engages in a multitude of activities and initiatives in service to our members. To that end, it is comprised of several subcommittees with specific focus areas.
  • The federal register subcommittee is tasked with carefully tracking all Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) updates; legislation pertaining to the sustainable growth rate (SGR), physician fee schedule (PFS), coding, conversion factor (CF), etc.; as well as any federal incentive programs (i.e. meaningful use, e-prescribing, physician quality reporting system (PQRS)) that may affect our clinical practice.
  • The insurance carrier subcommittee handles health policy matters on behalf of the ARS including the critical review of insurance draft policies on rhinology related services as well as reimbursement issues.
  • The website subcommittee is responsible for routinely updating the PAC section of the ARS website in order to keep members appraised of the latest PAC related news and developments.
  • Finally, we also have a member inquiry subcommittee designed to respond to any queries or concerns that members may have (i.e. coding, reimbursement, etc.) within the scope of the ARS. 
In addition to the aforementioned duties, the ARS PAC also contributes to the development of evidence-based position statements to guide members through potential areas of controversy, particularly with respect to newly introduced rhinologic procedures and devices. Currently, the ARS PAC is involved in drafting a position statement for the steroid-releasing sinus implant as well as updating those for balloon sinuplasty and image guidance which will be posted on the ARS website once completed.

The ARS PAC also collaborates with other organizations to conduct special rhinology projects. Most recently, we worked in conjunction with the AAO-HNS on creation of a CT Practice Patterns Survey. The current form has now been vetted by the ARS PAC/Board of Directors as well as the AAO-HNS Imaging Committee and should be ready for launch to the general ARS/AAO-HNS membership next month. In addition, given the rising prevalence of endoscopic skull base surgery, we have also teamed with the North American Skull Base Society (NASBS) to disseminate a Skull Base Surgery Practice Patterns Survey to otolaryngologists and neurosurgeons, the results of which were presented by Dr. Batra at the 2012 Fall ARS meeting in Washington D.C.

If any ARS members encounter any PAC related issues in their practice, please do not hesitate to contact the ARS PAC and we will do our best to assist you in any way we can.

Revised 02/18/2013
©American Rhinologic Society