August Updates, ASC Meaningful Use Legislation, DeSalvo Nomination, and More
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August Recess Updates Before recessing for the annual August district work period, senators advanced several health bills (see “Congress Passes Electronic Health Fairness Act”) and postponed a committee markup that would have considered a bipartisan mental health program reauthorization bill (S. 1893) and measures promoting reports on efforts to combat prenatal opioid abuse (S. 799) and coordinating the drug approval process between federal drug agencies (S. 481). However, Senate committee members advanced the nomination of Karen DeSalvo as HHS assistant secretary for health (see “DeSalvo Nomination Advances”). Additionally, the White House sent to the Senate the nomination renewals of Charles Blahous and Robert Reischauer as public trustees of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds. Click here to read more.
What’s your biggest distraction?
Join the distracted driving conversation on social media Over the past five years, Decide to Drive (the Academy’s distracted driving awareness campaign in partnership with the Auto Alliance) has sought to minimize distracted driving-related crash injuries, as orthopaedic surgeons would rather prevent bone and joint injuries than treat them.
This year, the campaign has released a series of videos highlighting the message (humorously but effectively) that distractions behind the wheel are not as small as they seem. In fact, small distractions can pose big dangers to drivers, passengers and pedestrians. We’re asking members to join the distracted driving conversation on social media. Share one or more of the videos below, your greatest distraction behind the wheel, and/or how you pledge to end this behavior. Ask your friends, family, colleagues and patients about their greatest distraction. Don’t forget to use the hashtags #NoSmallDistractions and #DecidetoDrive on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Join the distracted driving conversation on social media. Share your greatest distraction behind the wheel, and how you pledge to minimize it using the hashtags  #NoSmallDistractions and #DecidetoDrive on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The more people view these videos, the better. This discussion is especially relevant as we return to work and school after the summer months.

Congress Passes Electronic Health Fairness Act The Senate this month approved a bill to exempt patient encounters in ambulatory surgery centers (ASC) from meaningful use requirements. Specifically, the Electronic Health Fairness Act (S. 1347), which was approved by unanimous consent Wednesday, would amend title XVIII (Medicare) of the Social Security Act to prohibit, for a payment year after 2015, “any patient encounter of an eligible professional occurring at an ambulatory surgical center from being treated as such an encounter in determining whether an eligible professional qualifies as a meaningful electronic health record (EHR) user.” Click here to read more.
DeSalvo Nomination Advances

President Obama in May nominated Karen DeSalvo, current head of the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology, as Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Earlier this month, the Senate health committee sent DeSalvo’s nomination to the Senate floor. The full Senate will likely vote on DeSalvo’s nomination following the August recess. “Before the Senate recessed, Chairman Alexander got UC from committee members to send all four nominations to the floor,” Haulsee said by email, referring to “unanimous consent” of the nominations of DeSalvo and three others. “These nominations will be taken up by the full Senate on the floor at a time TBD by the Majority Leader when the Senate returns from August recess.”

Click here to read more.

CMS Data Inaccuracies The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently distributed a notice to Electronic Health Record (EHR) and Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) vendors in regard to 2014 PQRS data and identified errors or inaccuracies in the QRDA I, QRDA III and QCDR data including, but not limited to, missing or incorrect performance rates, missing or invalid numerator data, missing or invalid denominator data and calculation errors. Due to these findings, CMS will not be able to use these data to determine quality performance and/or establish benchmarks for the 2014 reporting year. Click here to read more.
AAOS Orthopaedic PAC Online Contribution Center Starting July 29, 2015, please contact Graham Newson at with any Orthopaedic PAC questions or concerns 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 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!