21st Century Cures Legislation Approved by Full Committee On May 21, 2015, the full Energy and Commerce Committee approved the latest version of the 21st Century Cures legislation by a vote of 51-0. The bill, H.R. 6, is a forward-looking bipartisan legislative initiative that includes various strategies designed to help foster research and innovation in the U.S. by reducing the burden on researchers and promoting the efficient development and delivery of new and innovative therapies. The goal of the proposal is to transform, accelerate, and advance the development of new drugs and devices, as well as streamline the clinical trials process. AAOS applauds the House Energy and Commerce Committee for their work and believes the legislation has the potential to accelerate innovation, boost research, streamline drug and device approvals, and enhance interoperability and telemedicine, all of which will improve patient care exponentially. Click here to read more.
Physician-Owned Hospitals Discussed at Health Hearing The House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, led by Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), held a hearing May 19 entitled “Ideas to Improve Competition in the Medicare Program.” The hearing examined competition in Medicare and the potential for expanding access, quality, and savings for Medicare patients. One of the specific issues highlighted was a provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which put a moratorium on the expansion and new construction of physician-owned hospitals. Witnesses discussed a bill by Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX) that would repeal the moratorium. In light of the importance of the issue, AAOS submitted a statement for the record (read the statement here). Click here to read more.
What We’re Reading Washington Is Paying Attention to Opioid Abuse, National Journal, May 20, 2015 Health Insurer CareFirst Says It Was Hacked, Wall Street Journal, May 20, 2015 CBO’s new scoring policy could affect federal healthcare programs, Modern Healthcare, May 19, 2015 Ways and Means Hearing on Medicare Steers Clear of ‘Premium Support,’ Morning Consult, May 19, 2015 Top Republican drafts bill to replace Obamacare, The Hill, May 14, 2015 New ICD-10 bill asks for transition period, but not a delay, Healthcare Finance, May 14, 2015 For more, follow @AAOSAdvocacy on twitter!
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Congressional Efforts on Medical Device Tax, Opioids, and Defense Appropriations Opioid Hearing Focuses on State Efforts The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, chaired by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), held a hearing entitled “What are the State Governments Doing to Combat the Opioid Abuse Epidemic?” on Thursday, May 21. The subcommittee continued its hearing series to review how states are combatting the opioid abuse epidemic and explore how state and federal policies can most effectively incentivize the development and broadened use of evidence-based practices and treatments in their communities. In the hearing, subcommittee members heard testimony from several state health leaders about their experiences in coordinating efforts with the federal government; witnesses from Colorado, Indiana, Massachusetts Click here to read more.
Trends in Delivery and Payment Innovations A May 15 Alliance for Health Reform briefing explored trends in both delivery and payment innovations within Medicare. According to the Alliance, per capita spending growth in Medicare has slowed over the last few years, although economists disagree about whether that trend will continue. Meanwhile, the number of Medicare beneficiaries continues to increase. The briefing explored trends in both delivery and payment innovations within Medicare, including the movement toward alternative payment models that promote high-quality, high-value care, as well as identify key issues that Congress is likely to face over the next several years. Click here to read more.
Save the Date: Sixth Annual Physician & Dentist Candidate Workshop, July 10-11, 2015 With many health policy challenges on the horizon, it is more important than ever that individuals who understand and care about the future of medicine are elected to public office. Fortunately, physician involvement in politics has grown considerably in recent years. In the 114th Congress there are 17 physician members serving in Congress, including two orthopaedic surgeons: Dr. Tom Price (R-GA-06) and Dr. John Barrasso (R-WY). Many more physicians are serving their communities through elected office at the state and local level. Click here to read more.
BOS Quality and Patient Safety Action Fund The BOS Quality and Patient Safety Action Fund’s (Action Fund) purpose is to support BOS member organizations’ involvement in developing and implementing quality and patient safety initiatives, and related advocacy efforts.  Projects that meet prescribed criteria are eligible for AAOS matching funds up to $50,000.  The Action Fund started accepting applications on March 30, 2015, and the first deadline is July 1, 2015.  We expect demand for funds to exceed supply, so please be sure to submit thorough and complete applications. Click here to read more.