November 17, 2017
Today’s Top Story

CMS: Improper Medicare FFS payments fell to less than 10 percent of all payments in 2017

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) states that during 2017, the improper payment rate for Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) has fallen to less than 10 percent for the first time since 2013. The agency projects improper payments to have been $36.2 billion, of which the known monetary loss was $11.3 billion. About $1.1 billion were underpayments, and the remainder were claims with no or insufficient documentation to support the payment as proper or a known monetary loss.

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Other News

Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $247 million in Pinnacle hip suit

Reuters reports that Johnson & Johnson and DePuy Orthopaedics have been ordered to pay $247 million to six patients who claimed that they were injured by DePuy Pinnacle ® hip implants. The patients argued that they experienced tissue death, bone erosion, and other injuries linked to design flaws. A jury found that the metal-on-metal (MOM) hip implants were defectively designed and that the companies failed to warn consumers about the risks. Johnson & Johnson plans to appeal the decision. The company faces more than 9,700 lawsuits related to the Pinnacle hip system.

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Study: OCA may be reliable treatment option for osteochondral defects in older patients

A study published online in The American Journal of Sports Medicine suggests that osteochondral allograft transplantation (OCA) may be a safe and reliable treatment option for osteochondral defects in older patients. The authors reviewed prospectively collected data on 170 patients who underwent OCA preformed by a single surgeon and who had a minimum follow-up of 2 years. Overall, 115 patients were aged <40 years at the time of the procedure, and 55 patients were aged ≥40 years. At mean 5.0-year follow-up, the authors found that, compared with preoperative values, patients in both groups demonstrated significant improvement in Lysholm, International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC), Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS), Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC), and Short Form-12 (SF-12) physical scores. In addition, they found no significant difference across cohorts in number of complications, outcome scores, or time to failure between the sexes. They note that, among patients aged <40 years, female patients experienced failure significantly more quickly than male patients, while among patients aged ≥40 years, male patients experienced failure significantly more quickly than female patients.

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Study: Risk tool may improve identification of older patients at risk of cardiac complication after non-cardiac surgery

Findings published online in the Journal of the American Heart Association suggest that use of a geriatric-sensitive risk index tool may help identify surgical patients aged 65 years or older who are at increased risk of cardiac complications from noncardiac surgery. The researchers developed a model using the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) 2013 geriatric cohort, and validated it with the NSQIP 2012 geriatric cohort. They found that the newly developed Geriatric-Sensitive Cardiac Risk Index offered significant improvement in assessing cardiac risk in geriatric patients undergoing noncardiac surgery compared to the Revised Cardiac Risk Index and the Gupta Myocardial Infarction or Cardiac Arrest calculator.

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Study: Provider/patient shared decision-making increased over 13-year period

A study published in the November/December issue of the journal Annals of Family Medicine finds an increase in provider/patient shared decision-making (SDM) from 2002 to 2014. Members of the research team reviewed data on more than 20,000 patients surveyed each year under the nationally representative Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. They aggregated responses into a 7-point SDM composite score. The researchers found that, between 2002 and 2014, the mean SDM composite score increased from 4.4 to 5.0, indicating greater patient-perceived SDM. They noted that SDM scores were higher for black vs. white patients, and for those with a same-race/ethnicity usual source of care. Scores were lower for patients with poor-perceived health, Asian vs. white race/ethnicity, and uninsured patients.

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Your AAOS

AAOS updates patient-facing OrthoInfo website

AAOS has announced an updated website for OrthoInfo, the Academy’s patient-targeted education program. The OrthoInfo website receives approximately 42 million page visits each year, and provides more than 525 consumer articles, videos, and interactive learning modules on symptoms, causes, and treatment options for a broad range of musculoskeletal conditions. The updated website offers new illustrations and multimedia resources, is more optimally organized, and a responsive mobile design makes it easier to read on smaller screens such as phones and tablets.

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Visit OrthoInfo.org…

Call for volunteers: Evaluation Committees

A number of positions are open on various Evaluation Committees. Members of Evaluation Committees write questions for the orthopaedic self-assessment examinations. The following openings are available:

  • Adult Spine (one member; closes Dec. 31)
  • Hand & Wrist (chair, four members; Dec. 31)
  • Shoulder & Elbow (chair; Dec. 22)
  • Trauma (two members; Dec. 22)

All applicants must have a practice emphasis in the relevant topic. In addition, applicants for member positions must be active fellows, emeritus fellows, candidate members, or candidate member applicants for fellowship; applicants for a chair position must be active fellows.

Learn more and submit your application…

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