CMS Proposes to Bundle Payments, House Passes 21st Century Cures Act, and AAOS Hosts Candidate Workshop
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CMS Announces Proposal to Bundle Payments for Hip and Knee Surgery On July 9, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed rule to establish a new Medicare payment model for hip and knee replacement procedures performed in hospital inpatient settings. This model – named the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CCJR) Model – would test bundled payment and quality measures for an episode of care associated with hip and knee replacements at hospitals in 75 randomly selected geographic areas. All hospitals in those regions (with the exception of those currently participating in Model 1 or Phase II of Models 2 or 4 of the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative) would be required to participate. Under this proposal, the hospital in which the hip or knee replacement takes place would be accountable for costs associated with the entire episode of care – from the time of the surgery through 90 days after discharge. The proposal, if adopted, is expected to affect more than 100,000 Medicare beneficiaries starting in January and is proposed to last five years. Click here to read more.

Support the AAOS 2016 Safe and Accessible Playground Build
The Academy is gearing up for its 17th Annual Playground Build in Orlando, Fla., March 1, 2016. With YOUR help, we can make this build a success by providing a place where children with and without disabilities can play safely. The award-winning Safe and Accessible Playground build program is a highlight that’s not to be missed during the AAOS Annual Meeting. Orthopaedic surgeons get the opportunity to promote playground safety, accessibility, and the importance of exercise and physical activity, while giving back to the children and families who live in the host city. Sign up to volunteer the day- of the build and please consider making a financial donation to help make the Academy’s 17th Annual Safe and Accessible Playground a reality. For more information, visit:, or email
House Passes 21st Century Cures Act In a strong bipartisan vote, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the 21st Century Cures Act on July 10, 2015. The bill, H.R. 6, seeks to encourage innovation in medicine by increasing funding for research and expediting the approval of new devices and drugs. It also gives funding to the National Institutes for Health (NIH) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) while including agency reforms. The Senate is on a parallel track with similar legislation, and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) is hoping to have a bill finalized by Thanksgiving. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), the Democratic cosponsor on the Cures bill, recently stated she hopes the bill will get to the president’s desk by the end of the year.

“On behalf of over 18,000 board-certified orthopaedic surgeons and members of AAOS, I commend the House of Representatives for passing this bipartisan and forward-looking legislation,” stated David D. Teuscher, MD, President of AAOS. “The 21st Century Cures Act makes a number of significant improvements – from streamlining the device approval process at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to increasing funding for the National Institutes for Health (NIH) – that will accelerate innovation, boost research, and modernize physician practices, all of which will advance patient care exponentially.”

Click here to read more.

AAOS Co-Hosts 6th Annual Specialty Physician & Dentist Candidate Workshop More than 40 physicians and dentists from around the country travelled to Washington, DC to attend the 6th Annual Specialty Physician and Dentist Candidate Workshop on Saturday, July 11. The workshop, co-hosted by AAOS along with the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Society of Anesthesiologists, American College of Radiology, American Dental Association and the American College of Emergency Physicians, provides participants with a full-day course packed with essential campaign preparatory information. Orthopaedic PAC Chair, John T. Gill, MD gave the Workshop’s closing address with five orthopaedic surgeons in attendance at the event.

Click here to read more.

What We’re Reading If Slavitt Heads CMS, Rulemaking Will Be Key, Medpage Today, July 13, 2015 Former ObamaCare Official Becomes Top Lobbyist for Insurers, The Hill, July 15, 2015 King v. Burwell Ruling Doesn’t End Our Fight for Real Health Care Reform, Roll Call, July 8, 2015 Medical Device Tax Repeal Has Bipartisan Support And It’s Going Nowhere, National Journal, July 13, 2015 McConnell Hints at Fast-Track Procedure for Obamacare Repeal, Politico, July 14, 2015 Surgeons’ Performance Under Scrutiny, Modern Healthcare, July 14, 2015 Big Changes Coming for Hip, Knee Surgery Payments, CNBC, July 10, 2015 House Passes Bill to Improve Safety Monitoring of Medical Devices, The Wall Street Journal, July 12, 2015

For more, follow @AAOSAdvocacy on twitter!

Two-Midnight Rule Updates Discussed On July 1, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Calendar Year 2016 Outpatient Prospective Payment System Proposed Rule. Among other changes, the proposed rule would modify the two-midnight rule, which governs whether inpatient hospital admissions are entitled to Medicare Part A payment. The proposed rule would make it easier to get an exception by removing the presumption that only under “rare and unusual” conditions is Part A payment appropriate for inpatient stays of less than two midnights. Instead, it would permit Part A payment for admissions of less than two midnights if medical documentation supports the physician’s determination that the patient requires inpatient admission. In addition to substantially lowering the threshold for a rule exception, CMS is planning to change the agency responsible for medical review from Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) and Recovery Audit Contractors (RACs) to Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs). The outpatient payment rule also advances chronic care management codes and boosts telehealth. Click here to read more.
ICYMI: CMS Announces Changes to ICD-10 Implementation The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced several changes to ICD-10 implementation, including a transition period where doctors will not be penalized with claims denials or quality-reporting penalties as long as they select a diagnosis code from the right family of codes for the first year of implementation. Physicians and other eligible professionals are expected to implement the International Classification of Diseases–10th edition (ICD-10) diagnostic coding system effective October 1, 2015. Under ICD-10, the number of diagnostic codes would increase from the 13,000 currently in place under ICD-9 to more than 68,000 codes. Click here to read more.
BOS Quality and Patient Safety Action Fund The BOS Quality and Patient Safety Action Fund’s (Action Fund) purpose is to support BOS member organizations’ involvement in developing and implementing quality and patient safety initiatives, and related advocacy efforts.  Projects that meet prescribed criteria are eligible for AAOS matching funds up to $50,000.  The Action Fund started accepting applications on March 30, 2015, and the first deadline is July 1, 2015.  We expect demand for funds to exceed supply, so please be sure to submit thorough and complete applications. Click here to read more.
Resident Involvement in the Orthopaedic PAC Orthopaedic PAC resident member participation thus far in 2015 has already surpassed resident involvement levels in 2014 under the PAC’s increased resident outreach initiative.  Congratulations to the programs below for their involvement in the Orthopaedic PAC’s Resident Challenge.

Residents from the following programs have joined the PAC thus far in 2015:

Baylor University Boston University Campbell Clinic Carolinas Medical Center Cleveland Clinic Cooper University – 100% participation Emory University George Washington University Hospital for Joint Diseases John Peter Smith Hospital Loma Linda University Medical Center Louisiana State University Madigan Army Medical Center Ohio State University Rush University San Antonio Uniformed Services     Health Education Consortium St Louis University Temple University Thomas Jefferson University UC Irvine UC San Diego UC San Fran University of Florida University of Hawaii University of Kentucky University of Mississippi University of North Carolina University of Pennsylvania University of South Alabama University of Southern California University of Texas Medical Branch University of Vermont UPMC Hamot Walter Reed Army Medical Center Washington University Yale University

To learn more about the importance of residency involvement in the PAC or for resources you can use to encourage your program to become involved, please visit the Orthopaedic PAC Resident Toolkit or contact Kristin Brackemyre at or 202.546.4430.

AAOS Orthopaedic PAC Online Contribution Center

The Orthopaedic PAC website features an online contribution center, which can now 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!