August 21, 2018
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IN THIS ISSUE
 
AAOS Offers Support for Student Loan Forgiveness Bill

Bonefied News

Short-term Limited Duration Plans Now Offered on Individual Market

Medicare Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Overhaul

Advocacy In Action

GAO High Risk Focus: Cybersecurity

New Guides Help Physicians Address Opioid Crisis

State Corner: Azar Advocates for Overhauling Certificates-of-Need

BOC Encourages Member Participation in Orthopaedic PAC

PAC Participation Leader Board by State

Thank You to Our Current Orthopaedic PAC Advisor’s Circle Members!

AAOS Orthopaedic PAC Online and Mobile Donations

 
 
 
Follow Our New Twitter
Account @AAOSAdvocacy

 
 
 
MORE RESOURCES
 
AAOS Website

AAOS Calendar

House of Representatives Legislative Activities

Senate Legislative Activities

 
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AAOS Supports Student Loan Forgiveness Bill; Opioid Guides Released; Overhaul for Medicare ACOs and CON laws
 
For questions or concerns on these or other advocacy issues, contact us at dc@aaos.org.
AAOS Offers Support for Student Loan Forgiveness Bill

 
   

Many orthopaedic residents accrue considerable debt by the time they graduate from residency. According to studies published in Orthopaedics, student loan debt for graduating medical students continues to rise as medical school tuition increases each year. According to one of the studies, forty-eight percent of the orthopaedic residents surveyed (years 1 to 5) had medical educational debt significantly greater than $100,000. The authors concluded that debt affects orthopaedic residents financially and may also cause stress and hinder their medical training.

Medical Education Online reported that students with higher aggregate amounts of medical student loan debt were also more likely to delay getting married, and to say that they would not necessarily choose to become a physician again if given the choice. Increases in both aggregate and relative debt were associated with delaying getting married, having children, and buying a house. It also led to concerns about managing and paying back educational debt, and worrying that educational debt would influence one’s specialty choice.

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Submit your surgeon bio to the Academy’s
A Nation in Motion
© campaign
Each member has a distinct story to tell about why he or she chose orthopaedics as a career path and why it’s so rewarding. Through the Academy’s Orthopaedic Public Awareness Campaign, A Nation in Motion© our members are able to share these stories and have them featured on ANationinMotion.org.

This member benefit allows AAOS members to promote their orthopaedic specialty, practice or hospital, and link to their website, all while giving patients a behind scenes look into why they’re passionate about orthopaedics. Use this link to view the surgeon bios currently featured on the ANationinMotion.org.

Click here to submit your surgeon bio.

 
 
 
 
Short-term Limited Duration Plans Now Offered on Individual Market

On August 1, the Departments of Health and Human Services (HSS), Labor, and Treasury (known as the tri-agencies) issued a final rule to provide the option of short-term, limited duration health insurance plans on the individual market. The plans would provide health insurance coverage during a time gap when an individual is transitioning from one plan or coverage to another, such as in between jobs. This type of coverage is exempt from the definition of individual health insurance coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA, 2010) and is not subject to the ACA provisions that apply to the individual market.

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Medicare Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Overhaul

 
   

On August 9, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed major updates for the Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care Organizations (ACO), which were initially launched in 2012. The new and updated program, called “Pathways to Success,” would move from three-year to five-year participation agreements. Also, instead of the current three-track program, the rule proposes to offer two tracks beginning July 2019: the BASIC track and the ENHANCED track.

The BASIC track would allow ACOs in the Quality Payment Program to begin under a one-sided risk model, then gradually phase in higher levels of risk to qualify as an Advanced Alternative Payment Model. In this track, ACOs would be able to share up to 25 percent of savings after they meet minimum savings rates. Then they would be eligible for a 50 percent shared savings rate at the end of the initial two years. The ENHANCED track, based on the program’s existing Track 3, provides additional tools and flexibility for ACOs that take on the highest level of risk and potential reward.

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How the AAOS Office
of Government Relations
is working for you…

  • Advocated for the Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act (S.808), which recently passed out of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, Education, and Pensions Committee.
  • Supported major steps to equalize payments across previously exempt sites of service in CMS’s Outpatient Prospective Payment System and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment System’s proposed rule.
  • Secured language allowing funding to be used for Qualified Clinical Data Registries in the FY 2019 House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.

For more information on all AAOS advocacy efforts, visit: http://www.aaos.org/dc.
Follow the AAOS Office of Government Relations on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AAOSAdvocacy.

 
 
 
GAO High Risk Focus: Cybersecurity

On July 25, the Subcommittees on Government Operations and Information Technology, of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, held a joint hearing to review cybersecurity challenge areas highlighted in the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) High Risk interim report. The goal was to examine how the Federal Chief Information Officer plans to coordinate a government-wide response to address these challenges.

Testimony presented by Comptroller General Gene Dodaro concluded that the U.S. federal government needs to do a better job with electronic health record data security and privacy. GAO identified four major cybersecurity challenges and 10 critical actions to address them. GAO continues to designate information security as a government-wide, high-risk area due to increasing cyber-based threats and the persistent nature of security vulnerabilities.

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New Guides Help Physicians Address Opioid Crisis

 
   

The American Medical Association’s (AMA) Opioid Task Force recently released a guide for physicians to help address the growing public health crisis. The guide includes six specific recommendations for action:

1.      Register for and use Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) to inform clinical decision-making.

2.      Ensure that you have the necessary training and education on effective, evidence-based treatment.

3.      Urge all health insurance companies and other payers to remove administrative and other barriers to treatment for patients with pain and substance abuse disorders.

4.      Encourage physicians to confront the devastating effects of stigma faced by patients in pain and who have a substance abuse disorder.

5.      Prescribe naloxone to patients at risk for opioid overdose when clinically appropriate.

6.      Talk to patients about appropriate ways to dispose of expired, unwanted, and unused opioid medications.

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State Corner: Azar Advocates for Overhauling Certificates-of-Need

In an August address to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar called for state lawmakers to reform certificate-of-need (CON) laws.

“Regulations like certificates of need…can be a significant barrier to new competition and lower-cost market disruptors,” said Azar. “Fundamentally, when we wonder why American healthcare costs so much, why patients feel so disempowered, so often the answer is that government rules are standing in the way of necessary innovation. As we undertake our efforts to free up competition from the federal level, we hope all of you will examine what can be done in the states.”

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BOC Encourages Member Participation in Orthopaedic PAC

Earlier this month, Board of Councilors (BOC) Chair Basil Besh, MD, and BOC representatives each sent a letter to AAOS members encouraging them to contribute to the AAOS Orthopaedic Political Action Committee (PAC). The letter outlined the importance of contributing to the PAC and explained how the hard work of AAOS’ government relations and PAC opens doors and allows our viewpoints to be heard.

The BOC also explained that AAOS achieved some major accomplishments for the House of Orthopaedics this year, and that many of its niche education campaigns directed at Congress and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) came to fruition. For example, AAOS worked to increase payment for total ankle replacements (TAR) so that reimbursement appropriately reflects the difficulty of the procedure. Additionally, after years of asking Congress and CMS to equalize payments across sites of service for the same procedure—which has led to increased hospital acquisition of physician practices—CMS listened. A newly proposed rule would expand site-neutrality to previously exempt off-campus providers and reduce payment variation, ultimately saving patients money and helping private practices flourish again.

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PAC Participation Leader Board by State

Click here, to view the interactive version of the map below, which features each state’s PAC support for 2018.

VIEW MAP
 
 
Thank You to Our Current Orthopaedic PAC Advisor’s Circle Members!
 
 
 
  AAOS Orthopaedic PAC Online and Mobile Donations

Did you know? Supporting our Orthopaedic PAC by phone is easy: simply text AAOS to the number 41444, and follow the link, no log-in required. We encourage our supporters to share this technology with your colleagues who have yet to renew or join and to encourage signing up on a recurring basis. For just $84 a month, or $250 a quarter you can become part of our Capitol Club Program. And don’t forget! The Orthopaedic PAC website features an online contribution center, which can accept contributions via credit card by visiting the site and using your AAOS login credentials. Credit card contributions can also be conveniently scheduled for a monthly, quarterly or yearly recurring donation. Visit www.aaos.org/pac and select Donate to the Orthopaedic PAC for more information or to contribute today.

Don’t remember when you last contributed? Log in to the contribution center today to view your complete donation history!

 
     
 

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