November 27, 2018
Burden Reduction; Student Loan Forgiveness;
Hill Days
For questions or concerns on these or other advocacy issues, contact us at
AAOS Comments on CMS Burden Reduction Proposed Rule

In September, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Regulatory Provisions to Promote Program Efficiency, Transparency, and Burden Reduction Proposed Rule to help eliminate or reduce requirements that impede quality or divert resources away from furnishing high quality patient care. While the Proposed Rule did not directly address physician practices, many of the proposed changes removed some existing regulatory requirements and revised others that are pertinent to those utilizing ambulatory surgery centers (ASC).

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

  • Urged CMS to revise transfer requirements between ambulatory surgery centers and hospitals, to strike a better balance between protecting patients and counteracting bad actors in the hospital market.
  • Highlighted the need for socio-economic risk adjustment in Medicare payment models, and the need for support specialists (such as orthopaedic surgeons) in Accountable Health Communities’ patient care plans.
  • Hosted two Capitol Hill days to advocate for Stark Law reform and the REDI Act: one for Resurgens Orthopaedics of Atlanta, GA; and a second for Nth Dimensions women and minority students from Howard University College of Medicine.

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Orthopaedics Score Key Accomplishments During 2018 AMA Interim Meeting

November 10 marked the beginning of the American Medical Association (AMA) 2018 Interim Meeting—the second of two meetings where the AMA House of Delegates (HOD) comes together to deliberate policy positions the AMA should undertake in its advocacy activities.

AAOS Delegates to the AMA HOD included Michael Suk, MD; Kimberly Templeton, MD; John Early, MD; William “Bill” Martin, MD; Andrew “Andy” Gurman, MD; Casey Humbyrd, MD; and Heidi Hullinger, MD. As Chair of the Orthopaedic Section Council (OSC)—an AAOS-led contingent of orthopaedic specialty and sub-specialty delegates to the AMA–Dr. Suk and other OSC members worked with Dr. Aronow, American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) Delegate, to support physician-led clinical training, supervision, and evaluation of medical students, residents, and fellows.

Howard Medical Students Take the Hill

On November 15, the Office of Government Relations hosted 26 medical students from Howard University College of Medicine for the AAOS-Nth Dimensions Capitol Hill Day. The event was part of our ongoing collaboration with the organization to increase visibility and access for minorities and women in orthopaedic surgery. After a short briefing from AAOS legislative staff, the first and second-year medical students took to the Hill to meet with members of Congress and advocate for a variety of issues including, Stark Law reform and the Resident Education Deferred Interest (REDI) Act—which would allow interest-free deferment on student loans for borrowers serving in a medical or dental residency program.

HHS Requests Comments on Improving Care for Medicare Beneficiaries With Social Risk Factors

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) requested comments on how providers and health plans are trying to improve care for Medicare beneficiaries with social risk factors. AAOS submitted commentshighlighting the need for socio-economic risk adjustment in Medicare payment models and noted that lower extremity joint replacement (LEJR) procedures are one of the most common procedures in this population.  An analysis of the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model for patients in Michigan, who underwent LEJR during 2011–2013, concluded that hospitals treating medically- complex patients experienced unintentional penalties when proper risk adjustment is not accounted for. Thus, the CJR model needs financial, clinical, and socio-economic risk adjustment to address treatment of these more complex patients.

Resurgens Orthopaedics Hosts Annual Advocacy Fly-in

On November 13 and 14, Resurgens Orthopaedics—a member of the Orthopaedic Political Action Committee (PAC) Advisors Circle—held its annual advocacy fly-in in Washington, D.C. The visit to Capitol Hill is a Resurgens tradition because the practice appreciates the importance of advocacy to the orthopaedic specialty. Its mission is to provide excellent, innovative, patient-focused and comprehensive orthopaedic care to the greater Atlanta community.

After a briefing from AAOS legislative staff on Tuesday, the Resurgens group had dinner with Reps. Rick Allen (R-GA), Buddy Carter (R-GA), and Austin Scott (R-GA). That evening, Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) led them on an evening tour of the U.S. Capitol.

State Corner: Pennsylvania E-Prescribing Bill Signed Into Law

Despite Pennsylvania’s ongoing legislative efforts to halt the opioid addiction crisis, legislators previously did not realize that controlled substance prescriptions were mandated by state law to be handwritten. The Pennsylvania Orthopaedic Society (POS) brought this statutory deficiency to the fore, and Rep. Tedd Nesbit and State Sen. Richard Alloway (R-Franklin) quickly introduced vital legislation to prevent opioid prescriptions from being lost, stolen, altered, or sold. Last month, HB 353 passed the Pennsylvania State Legislature and was recently signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf.

AAOS Honors Veterans at Mentor Reception

The day after Veterans Day, the AAOS and Council on Advocacy Chair Wilford K. Gibson, MD, honored veterans at an American Corporate Partners (ACP) Mentor Reception. The celebration marked the launch of ACP’s Active Duty Spouse Mentoring Program and the continuation of veteran mentoring partnerships like those with AAOS.

The new program will offer personalized, one-on-one yearlong mentorships for the spouses of active duty servicemembers to receive career guidance from top business professionals and entrepreneurs nationwide. During the event, both mentees and mentors spoke about their experiences post-military service and the helpfulness of participating in the mentor program.

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.

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

  • The Joint Commission and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services are hosting a basics for hospitals webinar series on electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) adoption and transition to the new Clinical Quality Language (CQL) logic expression language for the 2019 eCQM reporting period. The first session is Nov. 29 from 12-1pm EST. Learn more about the webinar series and registration here.
  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 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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