AAOS Submits MACRA Comments, House Talks Health Care
For questions or concerns on these or other advocacy issues, contact the Office of Government Relations at dc@aaos.org.
AAOS Comments on CMS Proposed Rule for Physician Reimbursement

On Friday, June 23, 2016, the AAOS submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on its proposed rule for the physician reimbursement framework required under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015. The new framework replaces the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula, and offers details on two reimbursement options: the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), and Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs).

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House Republicans Unveil Health Care Plan

On Wednesday, June 22, 2016, House Republicans unveiled their plan to replace President Obama’s health care reform law. The 37-page document explains the shortcomings of the current health care system and offers a comprehensive solution by piecing together a variety of ideas that have circulated among conservative think tanks and campaign platforms for more than a decade.

“What you’re seeing today is a consensus by House Republicans on the best way to replace Obamacare, and that is a very important achievement in and of itself,” stated House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI). “The goal of this is not to show that we can send a bill and watch it get vetoed by the president. The goal of this is to show the country a better way on the big issues of the day that can get into law in 2017 with a Republican president.”

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Medicare Trustees Report Released

On Wednesday, June 22, 2016 the 2017 Medicare Trustee’s report was released and indicated that the controversial Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) could be triggered in 2017, with recommendations on those cuts required to be submitted in 2018. The IPAB, a fifteen-member board comprised of individuals nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate, was created in 2010 by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Board’s purpose is to achieve specified savings in Medicare without affecting quality or patient coverage. However, AAOS and others argue that because the IPAB includes unelected, unaccountable members, the Board threatens the ability of the people’s elected representatives in Congress to ensure seniors have access to the health care they need, when they need it. Further, the IPAB eliminates the transparency of hearings and debate and precludes the meaningful opportunity for stakeholder input. Requiring the IPAB to achieve savings in one-year increments is also not conducive to generating savings through long-term delivery reforms. Finally, the IPAB recommendations are to be “fast tracked” and will automatically go into effect unless Congress passes an alternative proposal that achieves similar savings or votes to reject the proposal (with a 60 vote supermajority needed in the Senate).

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What We’re Reading

HHS Announces Initiative to Help Small Practices Prepare for the Quality Payment Program

On June 20, 2016 the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced $20 million to fund “on-the-ground training and education for Medicare clinicians in individual or small group practices of 15 clinicians or fewer” in order to help small practices prepare for the Quality Payment Program. This program implements the new, bipartisan law changing how Medicare pays clinicians, known as the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). According to the HHS release, these funds “will help provide hands-on training tailored to small practices, especially those that practice in historically under-resourced areas including rural areas, health professional shortage areas, and medically underserved areas.”

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Election 2016 Graphic of the Week

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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 Stacie Monroe at monroe@aaos.org.


Orthopaedic PAC Establishes Futures Capitol Club

The Orthopaedic PAC Capitol Club was established in 2014 as a way for the AAOS PAC to recognize those individuals who have shown a strong commitment to advocacy. The Capitol Club has grown yearly since its inception but it has largely been unattainable for residents due to their monetary constraints. In an effort to help recognize those residents who have also shown a strong commitment to the PAC, the AAOS PAC Executive Committee has recently approved the Futures Capitol Club.  This club is exclusively for residents and will provide them with the same benefits bestowed upon members of the Capitol Club. Some of these benefits include:

  • Complimentary entry and drink tickets to the resident reception that will be held at the annual meeting in 2017;
  • A ribbon signifying Future Capitol Club participation at the annual meeting (and NOLC) in 2017;
  • A group picture with the PAC luncheon keynote speaker in 2017;
  • Invitation to Capitol Club events such as the reception at NOLC and similar events throughout the year;
  • Each individual’s name will be listed in the PAC annual report, on the PAC website and at the PAC booth at the annual meeting.

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AAOS Orthopaedic PAC Online Contribution Center
  Stacie Monroe, Political Affairs Manager in the AAOS Office of Government Relations, has a strong background in fundraising and expertise within the medical community. Please drop Stacie an email with any PAC requests or questions at monroe@aaos.org or by phone (202) 548-4150.  
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.

Consider joining the Orthopaedic PAC with a monthly contribution of $25 or make a $1,000 contribution manageable through $250 quarterly contributions to qualify for the new “Capitol Club”. 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!