AAO-HNS/F Financial and Intellectual Relationship Disclosure Policy

The American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery/Foundation (AAO-HNS/F) supports fair and unbiased participation of our volunteers in Academy/Foundation activities. Any actual or potential conflicts of interest1 must be identified and managed. All direct financial relationships with a company2 that directly impact and/or might conflict with Academy/Foundation activities must be disclosed, or you must disclose that you have no direct financial and intellectual relationships. Other relationships that could cause private interests to conflict with professional interests must also be identified. This policy is intended to openly identify any potential conflicts so that any potential bias may be identified and the risk thereof mitigated. Failure or refusal to complete the disclosure form or disclose all relevant relationships will result in disqualification to participate in the AAO-HNS/F specified committee or activity.

1)    Direct Financial Relationship: A Direct Financial Relationship is a relationship held by an individual or an individual’s partner in the first degree3 that results in wages, consulting fees, honoraria, or other compensation (in cash, in stock or stock options, or in kind), whether paid to the individual or to another entity at the direction of the individual, for the individual’s services or expertise. For the purpose of this policy all direct financial and intellectual relationships within the past 36 months must be disclosed.  

These include, but are not limited to:
•    Salary, royalty, or other payments for services (employment, board of directors, expert witness, etc.)
•    Consulting fees or honoraria (independent contractor, speakers bureau, advisory committees, review panels)
•    Ownership interest (stocks, stock options, excluding diversified mutual funds)
•    Intellectual property rights including books, journals, manuscripts, patents, and copyrights
•    Research funding including contracted research where the institution receives and manages the funds
•    Personal relationships not otherwise covered

2)    Intellectual Relationship: An Intellectual Relationship is a relationship held by an individual or an individual’s partner in the first degree whereby an individual’s, or group of individuals, professional activities can be enhanced or jeopardized by a recommendation or position taken by a representative body.

These include, but are not limited to:
•    Leadership role  with another association,  society, journal, or certification body (e.g., ABOto)
•    Membership in a lobbying or advocacy organization
•    Serving as an expert witness
•    Personal relationships not otherwise covered
•    Intellectual property rights including books, journals, manuscripts, patents, and copyrights
•    Personal relationships not otherwise covered

The following individuals must provide this disclosure annually or whenever there is a change. Failure or refusal to disclose will result in disqualification to participate in specified AAO-HNS/F committees or activities.

AAO-HNS/F Key Leaders:
Key leaders, as defined in the AAO-HNS/F Code for Interactions with Companies, are all AAO-HNS/F Elected Officers and Boards of Directors and committee chairs, and the Editor‐in‐Chief of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery.

AAO-HNS/F Non Education Committee Membership:
All members of Academy/Foundation committees must disclose all direct financial and intellectual relationships or disclose that he/she has no direct financial or intellectual relationships.

AAO-HNSF Education Committee Membership:
AAO-HNSF Independence in Continuing Medical Education (CME) Activities: Any individual who may be in a position to control education content must disclose all direct financial and intellectual relationships or disclose that he/she has no direct financial or intellectual relationships.

AAO-HNSF Education Faculty and Speakers:
AAO-HNSF Independence in Continuing Medical Education (CME) Activities: Any individual who may be in a position to control education content must disclose all direct financial and intellectual relationships or disclose that he/she has no direct financial or intellectual relationships.

AAO-HNSF Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery:
Journal editors, manuscript reviewers, and authors must disclose all direct financial and intellectual relationships or disclose that he/she has no direct financial or intellectual relationships in relation to the development of the Journal.

AAO-HNSF Clinical Practice Guideline or Clinical Consensus Statement Author/Reviewer:
All members who serve as authors or reviewers on clinical practice guidelines or clinical consensus statements must disclose all direct financial and intellectual relationships or disclose that he/she has no direct financial or intellectual relationships.

AAO-HNSF Position Statement Author/Reviewer:
All members who serve as authors or reviewers of position statements must disclose all direct financial and intellectual relationships related to the issue in the position statement, or disclose that he/she has no direct financial or intellectual relationships.

All Financial and Intellectual Relationship Disclosure forms are reviewed to determine if any potential conflict of interest may exist. If a potential conflict of interest is identified, the disclosure form is forwarded to the AAO-HNS/F Ethics Committee for review and resolution.
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1 “Conflict of interest” is defined as any actual or potential situation in which an individual has competing professional or personal interests that would make it difficult to be unbiased. A conflict of interest may occur when: (1) an individual’s private interest differ from his/her professional obligations, or (2) professional actions or decisions occur that an independent observer might reasonably question. A conflict of interest depends on the situation and not on the character of the individual.

2 A “Company” is a for-profit entity that develops, produces, markets, or distributes drugs, devices, services or therapies used to diagnose, treat, monitor, manage, and/or alleviate health conditions. Additionally, a company includes a for-profit entity that provides goods or services to physicians and/or their practice. This definition is not intended to include non-profit entities or entities through which physicians provide clinical services directly to patients.

3 A “Partner in the first degree” is defined as financial relationships of a spouse or domestic partner.