Today’s Top Story

AAOS Leadership to Address COVID-19 Response—Webinar Update

Join AAOS on Thursday, April 9 at 8 p.m. C.T. (9 p.m. E.S.T.) for an update on the Academy’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. AAOS President Joseph A. Bosco III, MD, FAAOS, along with First Vice President Daniel K. Guy, MD, FAAOS, and Second Vice President Felix H. Savoie III, MD, FAAOS, will be available live to discuss current efforts to support AAOS members during this challenging time. Programming will cover updates on AAOS’ overall advocacy efforts, practice management, Annual Meeting virtual education, and guidance on elective versus nonelective surgery. This interactive forum offers chat-box Q&A, which will enable participants to share their questions directly with the Academy’s leadership. Registration is free, and the webinar will be recorded and made available to watch again after the event.

Register for the webinar…

In Other News

Outpatient Healthcare Sectors Suffer Amid March Job Losses

Outpatient healthcare sectors, including physicians’ offices and home health providers, were significantly impacted by the sharp job losses the healthcare sector suffered in March. According to preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the healthcare industry lost about 42,500 jobs in March; the ambulatory sector shouldered 96 percent of the losses.

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COVID-19 Relief Funds Will Be Used to Pay for Care for Uninsured

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will tap into a $100 billion hospital and provider relief fund to reimburse hospitals at Medicare rates for unpaid COVID-19 care provided to uninsured patients. HHS Secretary Alex Azar did not specify how much of the fund will be used but said that funding will be distributed through the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund.

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HHS Secretary Issues Statements on Defense Production Act, Mask Recommendations

Mr. Azar, HHS secretary, recently released two statements. The first pertains to President Donald J. Trump’s signage of two memoranda ordering Mr. Azar and the Secretary of Homeland Security to authorize the Defense Production Act to (1) facilitate the supply of materials for ventilator production to certain companies and (2) prevent certain materials, including personal protective equipment (PPE), from being exported. Mr. Azar’s statement read, in part, “Thanks to the president’s bold actions and vision for an all-of-America response, U.S. companies have already dramatically scaled up ventilator production, with tens of thousands of new units expected to become available in the coming months.”

Mr. Azar also issued a statement on the White House Coronavirus Task Force and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation that the public wear face coverings, saying, “Face coverings are a new, voluntary opportunity for a unified national effort: I’m wearing one to protect you, and you’re wearing one to protect me. Taking this step will protect our loved ones, our communities, and our country from the invisible enemy we’re fighting together.”

Read the Defense Production Act statement…

Read the face covering guideline statement…

Federal Agencies Distribute More Than Half a Million Medical Supplies Taken from Price Gougers

The Department of Justice and HHS obtained more than half a million hoarded PPE supplies and distributed them to frontline healthcare workers in New York and New Jersey. Obtained supplies included about 192,000 N95 respirator masks; 598,000 medical grade gloves; and 130,000 surgical masks, procedure masks, N100 masks, surgical gowns, disinfectant towels, particulate filters, bottles of hand sanitizer, and bottles of spray disinfectant.

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Study: Can Contact Tracing and Case Isolation Control New COVID-19 Outbreak?

A study published in the April issue of The Lancet Global Health assessed whether isolation and contact tracing can control onwards transmission from imported COVID-19 cases. The researchers implemented a stochastic transmission model and quantified the potential effectiveness of contact tracing and case isolation at controlling a pathogen similar to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Variables included the number of initial cases, basic reproduction number ( R0), delay from symptom onset to isolation, probability that contacts were traced, proportion of transmission that occurred before symptom onset, and proportion of subclinical infections. Outbreak control was defined as transmission ending within 12 weeks or before totaling 5,000 cases. Even with low contact tracing probability, simulated outbreaks beginning with five initial cases, an R0 of 1.5, and 0 percent transmission before symptom onset was controllable. As the number of initial cases increased, the probably of controlling the outbreak decreased. With an R0 of 1.5, the most significant factor to determine whether an outbreak was controllable was the delay between symptom onset and isolation.

Read the study…


COVID-19: Information for Members

To help Academy members stay informed during this rapidly evolving situation, AAOS is gathering COVID-19 resources to be housed in one place online. In addition to general resources, AAOS is working to provide materials that are more specific to orthopaedics, including information for practice management, patient safety, policy changes around coding and regulation, and ongoing advocacy efforts.

Be sure to check this page regularly, as it is updated daily with new information, including a message about COVID-19 from AAOS President Dr. Bosco.

Access the resource center…