2017 in Review, Quality Payment Program Comments and Updates
For questions or concerns on these or other advocacy issues, contact us at dc@aaos.org.
Healthcare Policy in 2017 – the Year in Review Although 2017 was an impassioned and oftentimes highly partisan year for Congress and the Trump Administration, the AAOS Office of Government Relations (OGR) kept legislative and regulatory topics important to orthopaedics front and center. In January, the Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act, designed to ensure team providers are properly covered by their professional liability insurance when traveling with athletic teams in another state, was passed by voice vote in the House of Representatives. A Senate companion bill was introduced in April and has 22 cosponsors. Important progress was also made this year toward lifting the moratorium on new or expanded physician-owned hospitals. The House bill, sponsored by Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas), has received 64 cosponsors, more than double what it received in past years. Moreover, for the first time, the legislation has a Senate companion, which was introduced by Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla).

AAOS Submits Comments on Quality Payment Program Last month, the AAOS submitted comments to CMS on the final rule for the Quality Payment Program. The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) established the Quality Payment Program for eligible clinicians. Under the Quality Payment Program, eligible clinicians can participate via one of two tracks: Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs); or the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) began implementing the Quality Payment Program through rulemaking for calendar year (CY) 2017. This final rule, released November of 2017, provides updates for the second and future years of the Quality Payment Program. Read more about the final rule in Advocacy Now online here: http://aaos.digital-enews.com/2017/advocacy_now/nov14/pages/article2.html.

Free AAOS Webinar! Medicare 2018: MIPS Update Understand the differences between current and proposed requirements to the 2018 Quality Payment Program (QPP) with this this 60-minute overview. Faculty cover all aspects of the QPP to help you simplify reporting and maintain fiscal sustainability. At the conclusion of this webinar, learners should be able to:

  • Recognize the 2018 changes to Medicare reimbursement under the MIPS portion of the Quality Payment Program (QPP).
  • Understand how the Cost component will be calculated, including the role of the QRUR.
  • Review the measures orthopaedic surgeons can choose to meet the Quality component and options for reporting.
  • Determine requirements for successful Advancing Care Information reporting to avoid penalties.

Date: January 11, 2018 Time: 7:15 PM – 8:15 PM CT

Jump into 2018 successfully prepared for the current reporting year and beyond.

Register online at: https://www.aaos.org/calendar/event/?productId=11453549&ssopc=1.

ICYMI: AAOS Signs Letters on Medicare Cuts In a recent letter, AAOS urged Congress not to include a proposed misvalued codes offset in any legislation, such as that to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or Medicare payment extensions. “We understand the challenge of identifying offsets and appreciate the bipartisan work to advance the Medicare extenders, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and other legislation to improve access to care,” the letter states. “However, we are particularly concerned that the Medicare extenders package identifies an extension of the misvalued code target recapture policy. The effort to ensure the accuracy of values attributed to services received by Medicare beneficiaries is one to which we are firmly committed. But this is also work that has been ongoing for years and reinstating the target recapture policy in the future would likely result in across-the-board cuts given that much of the revaluation that the policy seeks has already occurred or is currently being addressed.”

Political Graphic of the Week

What We’re Reading ACA Repeal Effort Dominated Health Policy in 2017 but Fight Petering Out in ’18, Morning Consult, 12/26/17 Without the Insurance Mandate, Health Care’s Future May Be in Doubt, The New York Times, 12/18/17 Senate Finance Committee Announces Confirmation Hearing for Alex Azar, Washington Examiner, 1/2/18 White House: Trump Hasn’t Shifted on Not Cutting Entitlements, The Hill, 1/3/18 Congress and White House Inch Forward in Budget Talks, Politico, 1/3/18 It’s Unclear What Gets Done This Month on Health Care, Axios, 1/3/18 10 Issues Congress Faces in January, Roll Cal, 1/3/18 Trump Administration Rule Would Let More Americans Drop Obamacare, Reuters, 1/4/18 Large Health Systems Say They Need MACRA Relief, Modern Healthcare, 1/4/18 Trump Poised to Take Action on Medicaid Work Requirements, The Hill, 1/5/18
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 November 2, 2017, CMS released a final rule with comment period for its Quality Payment Program, along with its 2018 physician fee schedule rule. The Quality Payment Program final rule did not differ significantly from the proposed rule released last June. AAOS has been working closely with CMS to address many 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. Read the entire proposed rule comment letter submitted by AAOS online here. Find the CMS fact sheet on the final rule here: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Payment-Program/resource-library/QPP-Year-2-Final-Rule-Fact-Sheet.pdf. For any questions or comments related to this proposed rule, please email macra@aaos.org.


AAOS Joins Organization Supporting Mentorship for Veterans AAOS has joined American Corporate Partners (ACP), a coalition of organizations setting up one on one mentorship opportunities for veterans. Colonel (ret) Jim Ficke, MD and Colonel (ret) John McGraw, MD represented AAOS at a reception on Capitol Hill on November 6 to celebrate this new endeavor. Orthopaedic surgeons serve military personnel and veterans every day, treating some of the signature injuries of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. AAOS is pleased to offer this opportunity for interested members to continue their service to veterans and will be looking for members to participate as mentors in this program in the coming months. For more information, email Stacie Monroe at monroe@aaos.org.
New Resident PAC One Pager
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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 2017.
Thank You to Our Current Orthopaedic PAC Advisor’s Circle Members!
To learn more about the Advisor’s Circle, email Stacie Monroe at monroe@aaos.org.
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!