AAOS Brings MACRA Conversation to Capitol Hill
For questions or concerns on these or other advocacy issues, contact the Office of Government Relations at dc@aaos.org.
AAOS Hosts MACRA Briefing on Capitol Hill

On Tuesday, May 31, the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill to educate congressional staffers and health care leaders about the importance of MACRA implementation and the issues currently raised by the proposed rule. Council on Advocacy Chair Thomas C. Barber, MD, presented on behalf of AAOS and stressed key areas of concern, including risk adjustment, small practice issues, infrastructure needs, measure development, and more. He also discussed the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model as it related to alternative payment models (APMs) under MACRA.

View Dr. Barber’s entire presentation online here.

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Have you recently read, seen or heard an excellent
bone and joint health article?

Nominate a story for the 2017 MORE Awards

Entry into the Academy’s 2017 Media Orthopaedic Reporting Excellence (MORE) Awards is now open!

Academy members are encouraged to nominate stories for this prestigious award.

The MORE Awards recognizes and honors efforts by journalists who further the public’s understanding of musculoskeletal health issues and encourages healthy behaviors in the care of bones and joints.
To qualify for a MORE Award, all entrants:

  • Must be journalists or freelance writers/editors/producers in either print, broadcast or online journalism.
  • Articles must have been published between October 1, 2015 and October 1, 2016.
  • All entries must be written for a consumer audience

To nominate a story, simply email the story link to media@aaos.org. The entry deadline is Monday, October 10, 2016.

House Energy and Commerce Markup of H.R. 921

On June 7 and 8, 2016, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will markup H.R. 921, the Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act of 2015. Authored by Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Vice Chairman Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and introduced as a bipartisan bill with Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) in February of last year, this important piece of legislation would clarify medical liability rules for sports medicine professionals to ensure they are properly covered by their professional liability insurance while traveling with athletic teams in another state. The Committee held a hearing in December where Chad A. Asplund, MD, MPH, FACSM presented oral testimony in front on behalf of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (read more in Advocacy Now here).

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CuresNOW Day of Action

On Tuesday, June 7th, the EveryLife Foundation for Rare Diseases and Research!America are organizing a #CuresNOW Day of Advocacy to make a final push in support of the 21st Century Cures Act/Senate Cures Legislation. As part of this effort, the groups are asking individuals to engage with them on social media and to reach out to members of Congress. If you are interested, visit http://bit.ly/curesnow2016 to call your Senators and show your support for the Senate Cures Legislation.

While the U.S. House of Representatives passed the 21st Century Cures Act on July 10, 2015, the Senate has not taken action since wrapping up committee work in April, 2016 (read more about the Senate status in Advocacy Now here). The House legislation, H.R. 6, seeks to encourage innovation in medicine by increasing funding for research and expediting the approval of new devices and drugs. It also gives funding to the National Institutes for Health (NIH) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) while including agency reforms.

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What We’re Reading

AdvaMed Meeting on Coding, Coverage and Reimbursement

The CMS’s Coding, Coverage and Reimbursement: What it Means for Patient Access meeting, hosted by AdvaMed on May 24, 2016, was a meeting focused on how CMS impacts patient access and innovation.  Medicare is the federal health insurance program for Americans 65 years of age or older and some disabled people under 65. Administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) within the Department of Health and Human Services, the Medicare program is the largest insurer in the United States, covering more than 54 million beneficiaries in 2014.

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Election 2016 Graphic of the Week

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ICYMI: BPCI Models 2-4 Extended

On April 18, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that participants in the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) initiative will have the opportunity to extend their participation in Models 2, 3 and 4 through September 30, 2018. This extension applies to the first batch of awardees in Models 2, 3, and 4 that began in October 2013 (who were scheduled to end their participation on September 30, 2016) along with those that joined later in 2014.

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Reminder: 2015 EHR “Meaningful Use” Hardship Exemption Information

Note: visit www.aaos.org/advocacy/HIT/ for all the latest updates on health information technology and meaningful use, including information on applying for a 2015 exemption.

In an effort to allow physicians to avoid a potential 3 percent meaningful use penalty in 2017, a law was passed by Congress that allows the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to consider hardship exceptions for categories of eligible professionals (EPs) and hospitals in a new, more streamlined process. Physician groups, including the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), lobbied for the legislation because the delayed release of modifications to the Stage 2 of the program left physicians with insufficient time to report under the modified requirements (read about the changes in an earlier Advocacy Now article here).

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New for 2016: Advisor’s Circle

Orthopaedic PAC is proud to announce a new program specifically designed for group practices, called the Advisor’s Circle. If your group practice is looking to become more involved in the political advocacy arena, or for more sophisticated opportunities, the Advisor’s Circle offers just this. We have created a tiered benefits structure that offers unique activities that will exponentially increase your partners’, your practice’s, your patients’ and your own political reach. Benefits vary, from attending the convention, and Congressional Fundraising retreats; to legislative fly-in assistance and in-District training and PAC checks; even a leadership role in bringing forth priority issues to the PAC Executive Committee. The Advisor’s Circle has a broad array of benefits that are completely separate from our individual donor benefits. To schedule a one on one meeting to learn more about the Advisor’s Circle and a free assessment of your group’s needs email monroe@aaos.org.