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Commentary
March 2002

A Message From the President of the American Head and Neck Society

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2002;128(3):225. doi:10.1001/archotol.128.3.225

THIS PROMISES to be an exciting year for the American Head and Neck Society (AHNS). With the success of our recent meetings, our steady growth in membership, and our increasing international presence, the AHNS is recognized as the voice of head and neck surgeons not only in this country, but throughout the world as well. This gives us an unprecedented opportunity to provide benefits to our members beyond the traditional academic excellence of our meetings.

For years, we have known that reimbursement for head and neck surgical procedures is inappropriately low compared with other surgical procedures. This has made it difficult to provide adequate care for our patients and has discouraged young otolaryngologists and surgeons from considering a career in head and neck surgery. This year we will be working with the AAOHNS (American Academy of Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery) and the American College of Surgeons to change the relative value of certain head and neck procedures compared with other surgical procedures as well as recalculating the work component used to determine reimbursement. While the process required is time-consuming and cumbersome, our ability to speak with a unified, strong voice guarantees us a major role in this process. This will require a commitment from our members to do the work required to achieve these changes. I urge any of you who would be willing to work with us on this project to contact our secretary, Dr Wayne Koch.

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