Presidents Message: Winter 2012

To quote Napoleon Bonaparte “Ability is nothing without Opportunity”

The American Rhinologic Society has been actively engaged in addressing issues with respect to our mission statement with the goal of the strategic plan being utmost on our radar screen-the ARS has both the Ability and the Opportunity to make this society the Best. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson “The reward of a thing well done is to have done it".

The ARS Board together with its Committee Chairs and Members are reaping the rewards of those tasks we are actively doing on a daily basis. Most importantly, we have successfully planned our ARS Summer Sinus Symposium to be held in Chicago on July 13 and 14, 2012. The goal of this meeting is to bring together all practicing otolaryngologists that do any aspect of Rhinology and not only ARS members, but any member of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. We anticipate both community-based and university-based otolaryngologists and rhinologists will attend this first Annual Summer Sinus Symposium. Featured guests will include our guest of honor, David Kennedy; also our current President of the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Rodney Lusk; and Karen Zupko, Regan Thomas and Dean Toriumi to name some of our featured speakers. Our faculty includes otolaryngologists in all areas related to the nose including reflux, sleep apnea and snoring, rhinoplasty, the orbit, skull base surgery, and practice management with respect to this. Rick Chandra and Kevin Welch together with the Program Committee are responsible for spearheading this new exciting ARS Symposium.

As we look ahead to COSM, we anticipate a great meeting in Sunny San Diego on April 19th and 20th-Todd Kingdom as Program Chair has something special planned, so Save the Date.

On the educational front, we have had two successful webinars in which residents have had the opportunity to attend lectures in the comfort of their own home. We are trying to make these webinars available to all residents and residency programs, but space is the issue. I do want to thank Joe Han
for making this possible.

The webinar has also allowed the Board of Directors to engage in an online meeting. This was successfully held on November 14, 2011. We will make this webinar available so that all committees will have the opportunity to have face-to face online meetings.

Our web page has been revitalized thanks to the hard work and effort of Kevin Welch and the IT committee. This will allow us to function as we should in this digital age.

Our winter board meeting was held on January 14th in Boca Raton, Florida.

On the membership front, we are anxious to grow our successful society from our current membership of 1,300 with a goal of at least 1,500 to be achieved during the next year. We will invite all practicing otolaryngologists with an interest in the nose to join our prestigious society. We also invite all
Residents in training to consider joining the ARS.

Advocacy issues have continued to be critical to the survival of our subspecialty. Of importance, the issue of balloon dilation technology continues to be at the forefront of most of our advocacy-related issues. Blue Cross Blue Shield Anthem has battled us with respect to the issue of balloon dilation as a standalone procedure, being investigational, experimental, and not medically necessary. With the help of the Academy, the ARS, and the Rhinology and Paranasal Sinus Committee, we have stood steadfast in our opposition to their opinion, but we have been unable to change their guidelines with respect to this matter. Their opinion is that the evidence currently available in the literature is not strong enough to support our position. 

We did need to resurvey nasal endoscopy, CPT Code 31231, since the initial survey response was floored, and a new survey was held during December 2011. All members of the ARS were asked to participate in this survey and it is critical that when asked to complete the survey, that this be done correctly and diligently, since reimbursement is based upon the results of an accurate survey.

CPT® Assistant December 2011 / Volume 21 Issue 12 recently published “Coding Clarification: Post-Endoscopic Sinus Surgery Debridements” and this will help our members with respect to guidelines for reimbursement as it supports the need for post op debridement to be done at the discretion of the operating surgeon and dependent upon the clinical scenario-I encourage you to review this, and use it when appropriate debridement is denied. 

Pete Batra will be sending out a CT sinus survey and this will be done as a combined effort with AAOHNS-this will be sent out to all ARS and Academy members. 

We continue to promote the activities of the ARS and we have been successful in doing this through our newsletter, Nose News, our updated web page, and blast e-mails.

Research continues to be a vibrant area of our subspecialty and this will continue to be the backbone of our society-Tim Smith and Andy Lane through their efforts will keep us at the forefront. 

I am pleased to inform you that the International Forum of Allergy and Rhinology has now been accepted for listing in Medline. All our manuscripts, including all those published to date, will be discoverable through Medline/PubMed®. Thank You to those ARS members for their hard work over the past 18 months, and especially since the Journal went into print earlier this year. We need to invite our members esp. the International members to submit to IFAR. One anticipates a strong impact factor soon.
Collaboration with the Academy and other sister Societies through SSAC is critical. In particular we are making efforts to work closer with AAOA with respect to Education and Research initiatives. Rick Pillsbury and I together with Todd Kingdom and Sandra Lin are actively engaged in discussion with respect to the ARS and AAOA developing a closer relationship on many fronts. We also plan to work with, ABOto with respect to MOC. The ARS and AAFPRS will be another area of collaboration because of our common interest in the nose.

I do want to thank the Board of Directors, the Committee Chairs, and all of those involved on committees for the wonderful effort they have put in to allow the ARS to continue to flourish. One anticipates a vibrant exciting year in the year 2012.

As President, it is my privilege and pleasure to continue to see that the ARS
achieves its goals and satisfy its mission statement.

Revised 02/2012
©American Rhinologic Society