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AOA NOW: February 17, 2017
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Feb. 17, 2017


Aetna-Humana $37B Health Merger Dies; Cigna-Anthem Fight Over $48B Deal

Source: USA Today

Two U.S. health insurance giants reached a peaceful Valentine's Day ending of their planned multi-billion dollar union, while two others appeared headed to a court battle over their similar corporate marriage. Reacting to recent court rulings that blocked both transactions on antitrust grounds, Aetna on Tuesday abandoned its planned $37 billion merger with industry rival Humana in an agreement approved by both companies. But Anthem and Cigna battled each other over the fate of their planned $48 billion transaction. Cigna filed a court action to scuttle the tie-up and seek legal damages from its deal partner, while Anthem vowed to press ahead. Read the full story at


The New Healthcare Crisis? Doctor Burnout, Thanks to Paperwork

Source: The Hill

A little over two years ago, I wrote a column for The Hill about how frustrated physicians were turning to alternative direct payment models of care to save the "soul" of medicine by alleviating the twin problems of too much paperwork and too little time with patients. Although Direct Primary Care (DPC) remains controversial among physicians and health policy experts, it nevertheless has gained traction in many local communities and supporters are anxiously awaiting the fate of a national bill that further empowers the model. Today's column picks up where my DPC column left off, again looking at some of the problems physicians are facing in the current landscape of healthcare delivery. This time, I focus on a larger and more prevalent problem: the alarming rate of burnout and dissatisfaction among physicians. Read the rest at The Hill's website.



Coming Soon: AOA-35 Hotel Registration

Hotel booking for AOA-35 in Las Vegas will open in a few weeks! Start making your plans to join us Sept. 18-20, 2017, in Las Vegas for what is sure to be a Game Changer of a conference. The conference will be held at the Sands Expo, conveniently located in the Grand Canal Shoppes complex. Attendees will stay at the Venetian and Palazzo resorts, a five-diamond luxury resort and the world's second-largest hotel. All rooms are suites, featuring spacious bathrooms and separate living area. These rooms are almost twice the size of the average Las Vegas hotel room.

AOA members will receive a special advanced notice of room availability in the coming weeks! Keep checking your email for a housing announcement to take advantage of securing your room before opening it up to the public.



4 Keys to Creating a Positive Work Environment

EMPOWER - Empower your staff to make decisions and create a plan. The idea is to allow the freedom to empower them to create work how they want to. This is letting them know that you trust them to get the job done.
OFFER REWARDS - Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool that should not be underestimated. This shows your staff that you care about them; it also encourages them to work harder and boost morale. Acknowledge your hard-working employees. This will create a competitive environment within the practice. When your staff feels like they are doing good work, they want to rise to the occasion even more.
LISTEN - Listen to your staff's ideas. They’re the ones that are completing the tasks every day. By listening and implementing their ideas, you are telling them that their opinions and ideas matter.
HAVE FUN - Fun happens when people feel well-connected with a team where there’s mutual respect, open communication, and acceptance of who people are, and everyone’s collaborating and working toward the same goal. One office has NFL Jersey Fridays - this allows staff to show off their favorite team. Consider creating a fun team-building activity to spark creativity!


We Nominate YOU to Take the COPM Exam in 2017

Will your practice be the winner with AOA's newest Certified Otolaryngology Practice Manager (COPM)? Commit to otolaryngology practice management excellence by taking the COPM exam this year. Earning your COPM proves commitment to lifelong learning and verifies your knowledge of running a successful practice. Learn more on the COPM webpage. And don't bother to thank us in your acceptance speech - your hard work and dedication say it all!



Educate yourself and your office with AOA webinars. Learn about several upcoming titles below. Visit the AOA Webinars page to register. Secure your education for 2017 with the 2017 AOA webinar subscription for the low member rate of just $349.

Feb. 22 @ 1 p.m. Eastern | "
Understanding Your QRUR Report" presented by Virginia F. Brooks, MBA, CPH
March 1 @ 1 p.m. Eastern | "
Lumps and Bumps - Common Coding Errors" presented by Jacqueline Thelian, CPC, CPC-I, CHCA
March 8 @ 1 p.m. Eastern | "
Best Practices in Physician Administration" presented by Owen Dahl, MBA, FACHE, LSSMBB

Association of Otolaryngology Administrators
2400 Ardmore Blvd., Ste. 302
Pittsburgh, PA 15221
p: 412-243-5156 | e:

AOA Office

2400 Ardmore Blvd., Suite 302
Pittsburgh, PA 15221
Phone: 412-243-5156
Fax: 412-243-5160

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