MOC is a lifelong learning and competency program in four parts, including completion of 25 CME units a year, along with a self-assessment module, an exam, and professional and patient surveys on performance.
Explore This IssueFebruary 2014
AAO-HNS support includes CME sessions organized by specialty track at annual meetings, plus recordings of past sessions, with six free units available per year; online courses and lectures; home-study courses; “patient management perspectives,” which are case-based scenarios focusing on clinical decisions; and a mobile app that contains study questions and other features.
“Certification matters,” Dr. Malekzadeh said. “It should be the goal of every otolaryngologist to become board certified and to remain board certified. As a physician, it demonstrates a commitment to lifelong learning and really is our ethical and professional duty to continually seek improvement.”
In addition, to patients, “it does provide a level of assurance that our physicians are keeping up to date with their knowledge and skills.”
ICD-10 Diagnosis Coding Changes
Dr. Waguespack sifted through the vast changes to coding that are to come with implementation of ICD-10, and emphasized the importance of documentation. “It’s going to be extremely important for your documentation to support the coding,” he said.
There are still some issues to iron out—for instance, there is still no code for pulsatile tinnitus. There also seem to be a fair share of quirks to the new coding. Some categories are broad with no way to get more specific—there is only “epistaxis” and “cough,” with no subgroupings. But for asthma, there are many qualifiers, such as mild intermittent, mild persistent, uncomplicated, and “with acute exacerbation.”
Otolaryngologists should plan for hiccups in cash flow, coding errors, a drop in productivity, and an increase in stress at their practices. To help with these issues, practices should consider a financial line of credit, ensure staff is trained and educated on the new codes, and possibly use benchmarks to strive for as the transition takes place, he said.
“Normalcy,” Dr. Waguespack added, is expected four to six months after the implementation date of Oct. 1, 2014.