Today’s Top Story

CMS freezes payments to ACA marketplace insurers

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) suspended more than $10 billion in risk-adjustment payments, which are used to stabilize the health insurance markets under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to an article in The Los Angeles Times. Under the program, insurers participating in the marketplace make payments into a pool that is redistributed to plans with sicker, more costly patients. This freeze in payments could lead to significant increases in 2019 premiums and destabilize the market in the long term. The decision to suspend payments was the result of a February ruling in Federal District Court in New Mexico in which the judge tossed out the formula used to calculate these payments.

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Other News

CMS proposes rule change for Medicaid payments

CMS proposed changes to the Medicaid Provider Reassignment regulation to eliminate states’ ability to make Medicaid payments to third-parties on behalf of an individual provider for benefits such as health insurance, skills training, and other benefits customary for employees—with few exceptions. The agency said this change is designed to “ensure that taxpayer dollars dedicated to providing healthcare services for low-income Americans are not siphoned.” CMS is seeking comments on which payment arrangements would be considered acceptable assignments of Medicaid payments under the current law.

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Study: Postoperative glucose variation may be linked to infection, mortality after THA and TKA

Higher postoperative glucose variability may be associated with increased rates of infection, longer hospital stays, and mortality following total hip arthroplasty (THA) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA), according to a study published in the July 5 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery. Researchers assessed 2,360 patients who underwent THA and 2,698 who underwent TKA between 2001 and 2017 at a single center; 1,007 patients (19.9 percent) had diabetes. Each patient had a minimum of two postoperative glucose measurements per day or more than three overall values. Study results indicated that for every 10-percentage-point increase in the coefficient of glycemic variability, the length of stay increased by 6.1 percent, the risk of mortality increased by 26 percent, and the risks of periprosthetic joint infection and surgical site infection increased by 20 percent and 14 percent, respectively.

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Study: Implants may create environment for microbial proliferation

Implants may create distinct environments for microbial colonization, according to a study published online in the journal APMIS. Researchers collected samples from 106 patients with implants at five hospitals in Denmark and applied microbiological detection methods to determine bacterial and fungal presence in these clinically uninfected implants. Samples were taken from patients with aseptic loosening, healed fractures, craniofacial complications, or recent death. More than 70 percent of implants (n = 78) had some form of bacteria (66 percent) and/or fungi (40 percent). Despite the large number of microbes found in the implants, the most prevalent microbes present were not common aetiological agents of implant infections.

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Study: Older adults may benefit from osteochondral allograft transplantation for cartilage defects

Patients over the age of 40 may benefit from osteochondral allograft transplantation for the treatment of localized cartilage degeneration, according to a study presented at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s annual meeting. Researchers compared 38 patients who were at least 40 years of age to a control group of 42 patients aged 39 years or younger. Both groups had a statistically significant improvement in final follow-up for International Knee Documentation Committee and all Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome scores. The greatest improvements were observed in patients’ ability to perform sports and daily activities.

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AAOS Now

A bright future: AAOS leadership addresses NOLC attendees

AAOS is making innovative advancements in its strategies, outreach, and educational options. During a symposium at the 2018 National Orthopaedic Leadership Conference (NOLC) in Washington, D.C., David A. Halsey, MD, AAOS president; Kristy L. Weber, MD, AAOS first vice-president; Joseph A. Bosco III, MD, AAOS second vice-president; M. Bradford Henley, MD, MBA, FACS, AAOS treasurer; and Thomas E. Arend Jr, Esq., CAE, AAOS chief executive officer, discussed multiple high-level, big-impact updates and what is in store for the Academy’s future.

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Your AAOS

Apply for Biomedical Engineering Committee member position

The Biomedical Engineering Committee has an open member position, a two-year term that runs from March 17, 2019, to March 21, 2021. The committee monitors and reviews scientific regulatory developments on the field of biomedical engineering as they relate to orthopaedic surgery. The last day to submit an application is Aug. 13.

Learn more and submit your application… (member login required)

 
 

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