Advocacy in Action

Received a response from UnitedHealthcare regarding our concern over its new commercial medical policy imaging requirements.
The Bone Beat New Episode
Conversations on health policy issues affecting musculoskeletal care..

Lifting Restrictions on Physician-Owned Hospitals
Physician-owned hospitals provide some of the highest quality care, at the lowest cost. Yet since the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, they have been prohibited from expanding or establishing new facilities to meet the growing demand for services. Congressman Michael Burgess, MD (TX-26), explains why restrictions on this competitive force in America’s healthcare system should be permanently lifted—not just during the COVID-19 pandemic—for patients who deserve the right to receive care at the hospital of their choice.


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Members Invited to In-District Advocacy Event 

During the month of August, AAOS members across the U.S. have the unique opportunity to serve as advocates in their own communities. As participants in this first-of-its-kind In-District Advocacy Event, orthopaedic surgeons will engage with members of Congress in their district and regional offices as well as virtually to advocate for access to musculoskeletal care.

The first step to getting involved is connecting with your state orthopaedic society or Board of Councilors representative(s). These groups have been working to schedule congressional meetings and political fundraisers for you to host or join.
Healthcare Policy News

Administration Extends Public Health Emergency 

On July 23, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar signed an order to renew the COVID-19 public health emergency designation for another 90-day period. The order, which was first signed on January 31 and subsequently extended on April 21, will continue to offer physicians, hospitals, and healthcare organizations the regulatory flexibilities necessary to provide care during the pandemic. These include telehealth flexibilities and a wide range of relaxed Medicare regulations on Stark law, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) rules, as well as physician-owned hospitals. The AAOS is pleased with the extension, which it had advocated for in light of the ongoing pandemic and significant impact on orthopaedic practices.


Negotiations Continue for Fourth COVID-19 Package

Monday afternoon, the Republican-led Senate introduced the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protections and Schools (HEALS) Act. The legislation comes as an alternative proposal to the House Democrats’ Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, which passed in late May and attempts to address issues related to COVID-19. The Senate bill contains additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, changes to the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payment Program, and broad liability protections for businesses, schools, and healthcare providers. Negotiations now begin between the two chambers to create a singular fourth congressional package which could pass Congress and be signed into law by the president.


HHS Medicaid/CHIP Funds Application Deadline Extended

Last week the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that the deadline to apply for grants from the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) tranche of the Provider Relief Fund has been extended to August 3, 2020. HHS also announced that an additional $10 billion has been designated for hospitals in areas that have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will be distributed to more than 1,000 hospitals based on their COVID-19 admissions rate. Eligible hospitals will receive $50,000 for each eligible patient admission.

OrthoPAC Corner

Capitol Club Members Hear From Candidate Manny Sethi, MD, FAAOS
On July 22, John T. Gill, MD, FAAOS, chair of the AAOS Orthopaedic Political Commitee (OrthoPAC), invited Capitol Club members to take part in an intimate conversation with Manny Sethi, MD, FAAOS, also known as “Dr. Manny,” who is running for U.S. Senate in Tennessee. The event prompted a timely conversation, given the upcoming Tennessee primary election on August 6. Dr. Gill started the event with Douglas Lundy, MD, FAAOS, who introduced Dr. Manny to the attendees and discussed the importance of having “one of our own” in Congress. Dr. Manny gave the attendees a critical campaign update and the state of the race. Current polling indicates that Dr. Manny is in a tie for first place in a crowded fifteen-candidate primary.

What We’re Reading

·         21 Republican Governors Push For ‘Commonsense’ Coronavirus Liability Protections In Next Stimulus Bill (Forbes, 7/21)

·         Critical Considerations For Condition-Based Alternative Payment Models: A Multi-stakeholder Perspective (Health Affairs, 7/17)

Member Poll: Alternative Payment Models
This poll will assess member engagement in alternative payment models (APMs) that are focused on achieving value-based care, through improving quality and/or reducing costs, and ultimately achieving better outcomes for patients. The data collected will inform AAOS advocacy and practice management initiatives to help members thrive in these new payment models and adapt to future changes in the health care landscape.

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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