CBO Announces Score on ACA Repeal, Lankford Introduced Legislation, Trump Releases Budget Request
For questions or concerns on these or other advocacy issues, contact the Office of Government Relations at dc@aaos.org.
House Ways and Means Medicare Hearing House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Pat Tiberi (R-OH) held a hearing entitled “Preserving and Strengthening Medicare” on Wednesday, March 16th at 10:00 AM in room 1100 of the Longworth House Office Building. At the hearing, legislators discussed “ways to put Medicare on a sustainable path for all generations and keep it from going bankrupt.”

“It is time we take the next steps in improving the Medicare program,” Tiberi stated. “Meeting with Medicare providers around my district and state, a resounding concern that I have heard is that overbearing regulations are increasingly burdening providers and seem to be driving out and discouraging small providers. I’m worried about the direction we’re heading. I am hopeful that my colleagues on the Ways and Means Committee and in Congress can work with the new Administration to spur innovation and reduce regulatory burdens across the Medicare program.”

Click here to read more.

Sen. Lankford Introduces POH Legislation Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) on May 16, 2017 introduced the Patient Access to Higher Quality Health Care Act of 2017, which lifts the ban on the creation and expansion of physician-owned hospitals (POHs) and allows these hospitals to participate in Medicare and Medicaid. Lifting this ban will increase hospital competition, which will lower costs and expand access to quality care for more Americans, especially those with Medicare and Medicaid. The American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) applauds Sen. Lankford for introducing this bill and recently joined a number of groups in a letter urging Congress to pass the legislation.

Read the letter online here. Click here to read more.

Budget Office Releases Score of ACA Repeal Bill On May 24, 2017, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its “score” (or, cost and coverage impact) of the House Republicans’ bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The House passed the legislation earlier this month by a vote of 217-213 (read more in Advocacy Now online here).

“CBO and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) have completed an estimate of the direct spending and revenue effects of H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act (AHCA) of 2017, as passed by the House of Representatives,” the report starts. “CBO and JCT estimate that enacting that version of H.R. 1628 would reduce the cumulative federal deficit over the 2017-2026 period by $119 billion… In comparison with the estimates for the previous version of the act, under the House-passed act, the number of people with health insurance would, by CBO and JCT’s estimates, be slightly higher and average premiums for insurance purchased individually—that is, nongroup insurance—would be lower, in part because the insurance, on average, would pay for a smaller proportion of health care costs.”

Click here to read more.

Congratulations to David D. Teuscher, MD! David D. Teuscher, MD, past president of AAOS, was recently sworn in by White House appointment as US Department of Health and Human Services Regional Administrator for Intergovernmental and External Affairs for Region 6, and will serve as head of the Dallas regional office for Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and 68 Indian Tribes.
Trump Releases 2018 Budget Request On May 23, 2017, President Donald Trump released his fiscal 2018 budget request, which calls for $668 billion in defense spending (coming in $22 billion above current levels) and $479 billion for non-defense programs. The White House proposed cutting funding for all federal departments outside of the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security.

Click here to read more.

State Corner: AAOS, 25+ Organizations Sign onto Prior Authorization Reform Principles In April, more than 25 organizations – including the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons – representing physicians, medical groups, hospitals, pharmacists and patients set forth a comprehensive set of 21 principles in an attempt to combat prior authorization requirements. The coalition strongly urges health insurers and middlemen utilization-review entities, along with accreditation organizations and lawmakers, to apply the agreed upon principles to their prior authorization programs for all surgical care. Further, AAOS will ask that physicians that participate in a financial risk-sharing payment plan should be exempt from prior authorization altogether. Click here to read more.
IPAB Webinar On May 17, a number of advocacy groups hosted a nationwide webinar mobilizing against the imminent threat of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). Speakers called groups to action to protect the Medicare program and seniors’ access to their trusted physicians.
Political Graphic of the Week

Click here to download infographic.

Orthopaedic PAC Capitol Club Reception For the third year in a row, the National Orthopaedic Leadership Conference (NOLC) kicked off with the Orthopaedic Political Action Committee (PAC) congressional reception. To thank members of the Orthopaedic PAC’s top donor level, the Capitol Club, for their generous support, donors joined members of Congress and congressional staff on the roof of the W Hotel in Washington, DC. Over 20 members of Congress attended, including Reps Michael Burgess, MD (R-TX), Pete Sessions (R-TX), Andy Barr (R-KY), Steve Stivers (R-OH), Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), and Anthony Brown (D-MD).

Click here to view all images.

To learn more about the PAC, including how to become a Capitol Club member, visit wwwaaos.org/pac or text AAOS to 41444.

What We’re Reading NC Health Insurer Cites Lack of Certainty for Massive Rate Increase Request, The Hill, 5/25/17 CBO Estimate of Revised House Health Care Bill Changes Little, Roll Call, 5/24/17 15 Quick Facts from CBO Report on Obamacare Repeal Bill, Modern Healthcare, 5/24/17 CBO’s Health-Law Report Sets Up Fight Among Senate GOP, The Wall Street Journal, 5/24/17 Trump’s $5.8 Billion Cut to NIH Encounters Swift Opposition, The Hill, 5/23/17 FDA Commissioner Calls for More Forceful Steps to Curb Opioid Epidemic, The Washington Post, 5/23/17 MacArthur Resigns as Co-Chairman of ‘Clearly Divided’ Tuesday Group, Politico, 5/23/17 Funding Insurers Subsidies Isn’t Going to be Easy for Congress, Axios, 5/23/17 Delay on Obamacare Subsidy Decision Leaves Insurers in Limbo, Bloomberg, 5/22/17 Trump Budget Would Cut $636 Billion from HHS Agencies, Modern Healthcare, 5/22/17
Quality Payment Program News

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) ended the Sustainable Growth Rate formula, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) then replaced it with the Quality Payment Program. Remember – the Quality Payment Program has two tracks you can choose: Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs) OR the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).

CMS recently released an interactive tool on the CMS Quality Payment Program website that clinicians can use to determine if they should participate in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) in 2017. To determine your status, enter your national provider identifier (NPI) into the entry field on the tool which can be found on the Quality Payment Program website at https://qpp.cms.gov/. Information will then be provided on whether or not you should participate in MIPS this year and where to find resources. Click here to read more.

New Resident PAC One Pager Click to download!
Follow Our New Twitter Account @AAOSAdvocacy
PAC Participation Leader Board by State Click here, to view the interactive version of the map below, which features each state’s PAC support for 2016.
Thank You to Our Current Orthopaedic PAC Advisor’s Circle Members!
AAOS Orthopaedic PAC Online and Mobile Donations Orthopaedic PAC is now mobile! Supporting by phone is easy: simply text AAOS to the number 41444, and follow the link, no log-in required. We encourage our supporters to share this technology with your colleagues who have yet to renew or join and to encourage signing up on a recurring basis, for just $84 a month, or $250 a quarter you can become part of our Capitol Club Program. And don’t forget! 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. 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!