AAOS Advocacy in Action

Asked congressional leadership for immunity at the federal level to help healthcare professionals care for patients during COVID-19 without the threat of lawsuits, as part of the Health Coalition on Liability and Access.
Requested that support from the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Small Business Administration go towards private practices and the continuity of care.
The Bone Beat New Episode
Conversations on health policy issues affecting musculoskeletal care…

Special Episode: Congressional Response to COVID-19

In this add-on episode to AAOS’ new advocacy podcast, Congressman Brad Wenstrup, D.P.M. (OH-02), provides insight on the congressional response to COVID-19. We cover the three stimulus bills that have passed so far and look towards what’s coming in the fourth package and the future of health care post-pandemic. (Recorded on 4/17/20)

Listen to the episode

AAOS Releases Clinical Considerations for Resuming Elective Surgery

The AAOS recently released clinical considerations for navigating the COVID-19 pandemic including the decision to resume elective surgery. The considerations, which include five guiding principles, come as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued recommendations for re-opening America’s health care systems (see news item below). “CMS has once again offered a helpful, nationwide framework for entering this new phase of the pandemic, and we applaud the agency for recognizing the significant differences in disease incidence and prevalence in each state and locale,” said AAOS President Joseph A. Bosco III, MD, FAAOS in a press release. “Now as individuals across the country begin evaluating these recommendations and implementing them in their practices, the AAOS is offering additional detail for prioritizing the safety of our patients and members.” The AAOS clinical considerations cover COVID-19 testing, risk stratification, telehealth services, as well as in-person services and resuming elective surgery. They note that orthopaedic surgeons should continue to follow federal, state, and local public health guidance and were formed with the below guiding principles.  View the full AAOS clinical considerations…


CMS Issues Recommendations to Re-Open Health Care Systems

Late last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued guidance on providing essential non-COVID-19 care to patients without symptoms in regions with low and stable incidence of the virus. The agency noted that the change in guidance from postponing non-elective surgeries and medical procedures is part of Phase 1 in the Trump Administration’s Guidelines for Opening Up America Again, which were released on April 16. CMS also noted that the new guidelines recommend a gradual transition and encourage health care providers to coordinate with local and state public health officials, and to review the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies, workforce availability, facility readiness, and testing capacity when making the decision to re-start or increase in-person care.  View the new CMS recommendations…

HHS Begins Delivering Relief Funds to Providers

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on April 10 that is beginning to deliver the initial $30 billion in relief funding to providers from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Importantly, the payments are grants, not loans, and do not need to be repaid. Facilities and providers that received Medicare fee-for-service reimbursements in 2019 are eligible for the initial rapid distribution. Thanks in part to AAOS raising concern over some initial confusion, HHS also clarified that it considers every patient to be a possible case of COVID-19. Physicians who have questions about eligibility or whether/where a payment has been issued can contact UnitedHealth Group (UHG) Provider Relations at 866-569-3522. Physicians or practices that did not already set up direct deposit through CMS or UHG’s Optum Pay, will receive a check at a later date. Learn more about the relief funds…

AAOS Asks Congress for Additional Support in Fourth COVID-19 Package

As lawmakers continue discussions on a fourth COVID-19 response bill, AAOS is asking for additional support to ensure the survival of musculoskeletal care and to allow its members to effectively respond to this crisis (show your support via the Advocacy Action Center). In a letter to congressional leadership, which was signed by several other orthopaedic organizations, it was noted that plummeting case volume is making it difficult for many practices to stay in business and keep their employees on staff after postponing elective surgery.  AAOS President Joseph A. Bosco III, MD, FAAOS, wrote, “As the pandemic becomes more manageable and these surgeries can take place, we are concerned that too many of our private practices will have become financially insolvent, threatening access to care.” He noted that the initial support from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has helped, but may not be enough for safeguarding the nation’s musculoskelteal health.  Read AAOS’ letter to congressional leadership…


OrthoPAC Releases 2019 Annual Report

The AAOS Orthopaedic Political Action Committee (OrthoPAC) is proud to unveil its 2019 Annual Report recapping another historic year. In addition to its growth of the Advisors’ Circle and record-breaking resident involvement, OrthoPAC reached its best off-election fundraising year in its 20-year history having raised $1.9 million. It also had unprecedented access and representation at more than 23 subspecialty and state society meetings and 550 political events in D.C. OrthoPAC saw a 40 percent increase in events attended in congressional districts and a 51 percent increase in events hosted. In 2019, OrthoPAC also joined the Republican and Democratic Governor’s and State Legislative Committees to increase its political footprint. The strength of the PAC has allowed orthopaedists to have a seat at the table and educate members of Congress about the importance of musculoskeletal care. Check out the full Annual Report…

What We’re Reading

·         FDA authorizes first at-home coronavirus sample collection kit (Politico, 4/21)

·         Hospitals tiptoe toward restarting non-emergency surgery and procedures (Washington Post, 4/20)

·         Providers can score MIPS credit by reporting COVID-19 clinical data (Modern Healthcare, 4/20)


For questions or concerns on these or other advocacy issues, contact us at dc@aaos.org.

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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