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More Than Just Steroids: New Treatments Available for Rhinitis and Sinusitis

Harnessing the Opportunities of Novel Office-Based Treatment for Management of Rhinitis and Sinusitis

On Demand

 

Amber U. Luong, MD, PhD

Gone are the days of only being able to prescribe nasal steroid sprays for patients presenting with rhinitis and sinusitis. Now, as a physician, you have more treatment options than ever at your disposal.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given the green light to several office-based rhinitis and sinusitis treatments over the past three years. And while these treatments won’t eliminate the need for medications in all cases, they may free some patients from the daily use of them. “For the physician, these provide additional treatment options to offer patients for bothersome symptoms,” said Amber U. Luong, MD, PhD, professor and vice chair of research at McGovern Medical School, part of UTHealth, at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

During this on-demand session, the panelists help otolaryngologists understand these new in-office treatment options, indications for the treatments, and the efficacy of each. A variety of treatments will be explored, including balloon dilation of the eustachian tube, cryotherapy treatment of posterior nasal nerves for rhinorrhea, and nasal radiofrequency treatment of swell bodies and internal nasal valve for nasal congestion.

But new in-office treatments come with reimbursement and coding challenges. Given the maze of coding options available, many otolaryngologists are still trying to determine the appropriate codes to use for these new therapies. It’s like making the old fit the new. “Although some procedures have an associated code, it may not sufficiently cover expenses, given these older codes may have been established when these newer devices were not available,” Dr. Luong explained. “Additionally, many of the codes being used for some of these procedures are not technically appropriate and would more appropriately be billed as an unlisted code.” Additionally, the challenge is amplified when some insurance companies don’t honor the codes. The panel discusses these coding complications as well.

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