August 22, 2017
CMS Changes, Cancels Bundled Payment Models; Inpatient Final Rule; and More
For questions or concerns on these or other advocacy issues, contact the Office of Government Relations at dc@aaos.org.
 
AAOS Commends CMS for Important Changes to Bundled Payment Models On August 15, 2017 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a proposed rule that addresses significant concerns raised by the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) related to mandatory bundled payment programs. First, the proposed rule would reduce the number of mandatory geographic areas participating in the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation’s (Innovation Center) Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model from 67 to 34. In addition, the proposed rule would allow CJR participants in the 33 remaining areas to participate on a voluntary basis. CMS also proposes to make participation in the CJR model voluntary for ALL low volume and rural hospitals in ALL of the CJR geographic areas. A “one-time participation election period” for hospitals with a primary address located in the voluntary participation MSAs and for specified low-volume hospitals and rural hospitals in the mandatory participation MSAs would begin January 1, 2018, and would end January 31, 2018. Finally, CMS is proposing to cancel entirely the Surgical Hip and Femur Fracture Treatment (SHFFT) payment model and others that were scheduled to begin on January 1, 2018. Click here to read more.
 
Help us spread the word about keeping kids active
With kids heading back-to-school and settling into a new schedule for the school year, now is the perfect time to remind families about the importance of regular exercise to help build and maintain strong healthy bones for life. Many schools offer opportunities for kids to stay active with sports teams and physical education classes. However, activities don’t have to end there. Parents can also plan regular activities with their kids. For example: family walks in the park, bike riding or recreational sports are easy and fun family pursuits. This year, the Academy partnered with the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America to promote the importance of staying active to build strong bones. Here is how you can help us spread the word.

  • Share the “Active Families” video PSA in your office wait room, or, on your website and social media pages along with the tags: #ActiveFamilies and #HealthyBonesforLife.
  • Share articles, facts, and statistics on obesity, nutrition and bone health on your website and social media pages
  • Direct your patients to OrthoInfo.org/ActiveFamilies for more information on the importance of exercise and nutrition, and tips for starting an exercise regimen.
  • Promote your expertise by authoring a short, fitness or nutrition-focused blog-post for A Nation In Motion® on obesity, nutrition/or and the importance of regular exercise
  • Promote the exercises and information featured in the new Communities in Motion virtual park.
  • Request and make available to your patients the free Communities in Motion workbooks, featuring more than 35 exercises with illustrations, along with nutrition tips and recipes. (For copies, send an email to media@aaos.org.)
  • Post pictures of you, your family, or your office staff exercising and participating in healthy pursuits with the hashtags #ActiveFamilies and #HealthyBonesforLife.

Email media@aaos.org if you have any questions.

CMS Releases FY2018 Medicare Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and Long Term Acute Care Hospital (LTCH) Prospective Payment System Final Rule On August 2, 2017, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule that updates Medicare payment and polices when patients are discharged from hospitals from October 1, 2017, to September 30, 2018. According to CMS, the final rule relieves regulatory burdens for providers; supports the patient-doctor relationship in healthcare; and promotes transparency, flexibility, and innovation in the delivery of care. Click here to read more.
Webinar on Working with Members of Congress in Their Home District On July 17, 2017, John T. Gill, MD and Steve B. Wertheim, MD hosted a webinar on different ways AAOS members can take advantage of the August recess.  In case you missed it, you can still watch the webinar by visiting https://aaos.adobeconnect.com/p51t4e5v97tm/. In just one hour, learn to be more effective with your outreach strategy – from hosting a fundraiser to inviting members of Congress to your practice, this webinar will help you sharpen the tools in your outreach skill set.
State Corner – A Year of Advocacy Victories for State Orthopaedic Societies State orthopaedic societies have had a successful year in advocating for patient access to prevention and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions. Since August 2016, state orthopaedic societies secured 16 laws that protect physician ownership of ancillary services, end certain harmful insurer practices, and promote patient-centered policies. For detailed reports on every win, please email AAOS’ State Government Affairs Manager, Manthan Bhatt, at bhatt@aaos.org Protecting Physician Ownership In a major win for the AAOS, the South Carolina Supreme Court agreed with two orthopaedic surgeons in their decade long fight protecting the integration of physical therapy (PT) and physician services. The AAOS’ Health Policy Action Fund and the South Carolina Orthopaedic Association have invested significant time and resources into this battle and protecting physician ownership of ancillary services like PT. Click here to read more.
Political Graphic of the Week Click here to download infographic.
Quality Payment Program Updates The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) ended the Sustainable Growth Rate formula, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) then replaced it with the Quality Payment Program. Remember – the Quality Payment Program has two tracks you can choose: Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs) OR the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). AAOS has shared the details of QPP and MIPS, which can be found on our website, here: www.aaos.org/MACRA_QualityPaymentProgram/ and here: www.aaos.org/MACRA-DeliveryReform/.

On June 20, CMS released a proposed rule that would make changes in the second year of the Quality Payment Program, including participation requirements for 2018. AAOS has been working closely with CMS to address a number of concerns related to the Quality Payment Program, including the need for additional flexibility and simplification, as well as protection for small, solo, and rural practices. In this proposed rule, CMS has taken significant steps to respond to these concerns, and AAOS will be providing CMS with further comments by the August 21 deadline. For any questions or comments related to this proposed rule, please email macra@aaos.org.

Click here to read more.

ICYMI: Legislators Introduce Bill to Expand Telemedicine Coverage, Approve Stark Measure and Military Trauma Legislation On July 27, two members of the House Energy and Commerce telehealth working group introduced the Evidence-Based Telehealth Expansion Act of 2017, which would encourage the use of telemedicine in the Medicare program. Specifically, the bill, sponsored by Reps. Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Bill Johnson (R-OH), gives the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary power to waive Medicare restrictions on what telemedicine it covers if the service improves quality of care or reduces costs. Advocates are hoping the bill could be attached to legislation reauthorizing CHIP and certain Medicare programs set to expire at the end of September. Congress is expected to take up such a bill after its August recess. Bill text can be found here. Click here to read more.
Don’t Forget! 5 Ways for Healthcare Providers to Get Ready for New Medicare Cards On July 27, two members of the House Energy and Commerce telehealth working group introduced the Evidence-Based Telehealth Expansion Act of 2017, which would encourage the use of telemedicine in the Medicare program. Specifically, the bill, sponsored by Reps. Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Bill Johnson (R-OH), gives the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary power to waive Medicare restrictions on what telemedicine it covers if the service improves quality of care or reduces costs. Advocates are hoping the bill could be attached to legislation reauthorizing CHIP and certain Medicare programs set to expire at the end of September. Congress is expected to take up such a bill after its August recess. Bill text can be found here. Click here to read more.
What We’re Reading Express Scripts to Limit Opioids; Doctors Concerned, Associated Press, 8/17/17 What’s Next for Democrats on Health Care, Axios, 8/17/17 Docs, Hospitals Respond to CMS Retreat on Bundled Payments, MedPage Today, 8/16/17 Cancelation of Bundled Payment Models Reflects White House’s Stance on Value Based Care, Modern Healthcare, 8/16/17 White House: Health-Insurer Payments Will Be Made in August, The Wall Street Journal, 8/16/17 Nevada and Centene Reach Agreement on Insurance Markets, The Wall Street Journal, 8/15/17 Big Pharma’s Tobacco Moment as Star Lawyers Push Opioid Suits, Bloomberg, 8/15/17

Health Groups Recommend Fixes to Obamacare, The Hill, 8/10/17

With Drug Overdoses Soaring, States Limit the Length of Painkiller Prescriptions, The Washington Post, 8/9/17

Facing Trump Subsidy Cuts, Health Insurance Officials Seek a Backup Plan, The New York Times, 8/7/17

GOP Efforts to Stabilize Obamacare Markets Might Come Too Late, Politico, 8/4/17

New Resident PAC One Pager Click to download!
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 2017.
Thank You to Our Current Orthopaedic PAC Advisor’s Circle Members!
AAOS Orthopaedic PAC Online and Mobile Donations Orthopaedic PAC is now mobile! Supporting 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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