Worked with members of the U.S. House and Senate in urging Congress to act quickly before the end of the year and prevent cuts to specialty care slated for 2021.
Met with U.S. Health and Human Services Department Deputy Secretary Eric D. Hargan as part of our ongoing advocacy efforts on the agency’s Medicare payment policy proposals.
The Bone Beat Episode Coming Soon!
Conversations on health policy issues affecting musculoskeletal care…

Why the Election Matters for MSK Care
With the U.S. general election just weeks away, much is at stake for the physician community. In the next episode airing on Tuesday, October 27, Orthopaedic PAC Executive Committee Treasurer Douglas W. Lundy, MD, FAAOS, and former candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives and Oregon State House Representative Knute Buehler, MD, FAAOS, discuss the upcoming election and orthopaedic surgeons’ need to both vote on Nov. 3 and become involved in other forms of civic engagement year-round. 

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AAOS Biologics Dashboard is Debuted, Advancing Biologics Initiative

AAOS recently debuted the AAOS Biologics Dashboard in continuing to demonstrate its commitment to advancing the quality of musculoskeletal care in a fully transparent and scientific way. Conceptualized and created from the ground up by orthopaedic surgeons across a variety of specialties who serve on AAOS’ Committee on Devices, Biologics & Technology, this member-exclusive benefit is a dynamic online tool designed to help navigate biologic-based interventions. It works by aggregating the various types of orthobiologics products that are currently available in an easily searchable database and displaying a color indicator to help visually illustrate each product’s regulatory status. As available evidence and federal guidance evolve, and new products come on the market, the AAOS Biologics Dashboard will also continue to be updated to best serve AAOS members and their patients. Learn more about the AAOS Biologics Dashboard… 

Webinar: E/M Changes – What you need to know for 2021 – Part II

On October 28, from 7:15 – 8:15 pm CT, Dan Nagle, MD, and KarenZupko & Associates consultant Margi Maley BSN, MS, will lead this second session of a two-part webinar series offering an in-depth analysis of the changes occurring to the 2021 Evaluation and Management (E/M) services. Part II will address the top 10 questions orthopaedic surgeons have about these new 2021 guidelines for new and established outpatient visits. Examples include the difference between an independent historian and an interpreter when documenting medical decision making, using chart and lab review for choosing the level of E/M service, documenting prescription drug management, types of orthopaedic problems that would be considered “undiagnosed new problem with uncertain prognosis,” and how CPT differentiates a chronic illness with exacerbation from one with severe exacerbation. Register for the webinar…


Healthcare Policy News

Congress Urges Leadership to Prevent 2021 Physician Pay Cuts

Members of both the House and Senate are urging congressional leadership to prevent cuts to specialty care slated for implementation on January 1, 2021. The ill-timed payment cuts being proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services would affect orthopaedic surgeons as well as numerous other specialty healthcare professionals who continue to face the unprecedented public health emergency. They are the result of the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule having to remain budget neutral and needing to offset increases for other services with corresponding decreases. In their independent letters, U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and 229 members of the U.S. House of Representatives led by Reps. Ami Bera, MD (D-CA), and Larry Bucshon, MD (R-IN), noted the strain that the changes would have on the health care system and patients’ access to care and requested that leadership avoid the cuts by waiving budget neutrality or examining another bipartisan solution in upcoming legislation moving through Congress. Letters from Sen. Collins and Reps. Bera and Buschon with 229 others…


Simpler Loan Forgiveness Process for Paycheck Protection Program

On October 8, the Small Business Administration (SBA) announced a new, streamlined Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness application for loans less than or equal to $50,000. The change comes in response to calls for additional financial relief amidst the ongoing public health emergency. Applications for the updated forgiveness process will be accepted when the amount of forgiveness requested is less than the principal amount of the PPP loan. Forgiveness will only be granted if the applicant also fulfilled requirements related to the use of loan funds on forgiveness-eligible items such as payroll, as well as several other terms stipulated in the application. Read more about the program and apply here…


CMS Expands Access to Telemedicine Services During COVID-19

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has added 11 services to the list of telemedicine services covered by Medicare fee-for-service during the COVID-19 public health emergency, which was recently extended again until January 21, 2021. The agency will begin paying eligible practitioners who furnish these newly added telehealth services effective immediately which include certain neurostimulator analysis and programming services, and cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation services. CMS also announced continued support for state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) agencies to increase telemedicine access. It released preliminary data on Medicaid and CHIP telemedicine usage during the public health emergency, which indicate a significant increase in telemedicine usage during the pandemic View AAOS’ practice management and telemedicine resources…

OrthoPAC Corner

Resident Assembly Health Policy Committee Records Fall Webinar

On October 19, the Resident Assembly Health Policy Committee (HPC) recorded its annual “Politics and Pumpkins” fall webinar featuring an election update and fireside chat with Representative Roger Marshall, MD. The conversation was led by HPC Chair Molly Day, MD, and recorded with Representative Roger Marshall, MD, who is running for the open U.S. Senate seat in Kansas. Dr. Marshall, who has served two terms in Congress and is one of AAOS’ biggest advocates in Congress, spoke about some of his most impressive legislative health care victories, how he got involved in politics, and what it is like to run for federal office as a physician. HPC staff liaison Meredith Allison also gave an update on the state of the upcoming election and some key races that the OrthoPAC is involved with in the U.S. House and Senate. Watch the webinar recording…


REMINDER: OrthoPAC Offers Voter Resources for 2020 Election

The outcome of the 2020 election cycle will have a profound impact on the medical community—not only because of the public health crisis we are still enduring, but also because there are a record number of physicians running for federal office. AAOS members have an opportunity to elect leaders who will champion orthopaedic issues and support policies that positively affect both how physicians care for their patients and also how patients can pay for and access care. The Orthopaedic Political Action Committee (OrthoPAC) is encouraging all eligible members to get involved in the political process by becoming a member and by utilizing the voter resources it has put together to navigate the patchwork of each state’s voting deadlines and procedures Members can learn about absentee and mail-in voting procedures; voter registration, absentee ballot, and ballot submission deadlines; how to register to vote; and more. Also remember to vote OrthoPAC and join the almost 3,000 members that have joined the team in 2020 by texting ‘AAOS’ to 41444 or by visiting Find your state voter resources…

What We’re Reading

·        Civic Duty: Don’t Be a No-show at the Polls (AAOS Now, October)

·        First-ever In-District Advocacy Event Focuses on Four Key Areas (AAOS Now, October)

·        Implementation of E/M Service Payment Creates Uncertainty for Medicare Professional Services Payment and Policy (National Law Review, 10/22)

·        A $52,112 Air Ambulance Ride: Coronavirus Patients Battle Surprise Bills (NYT, 10/13)

·        CMS’ plan to end inpatient-only list worries providers (Modern Healthcare, 10/6)


For questions or concerns on these or other advocacy issues, contact us at

Did you know? Supporting our Orthopaedic PAC by phone is easy: simply text AAOS to the number 41444. Learn more about OrthoPAC.


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