Congress Starts Hearings on ACA Repeal, AAOS Holds Extremity War Injuries Symposium
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Energy and Commerce Health Care Reform Agenda Republicans have begun considering a handful of bills in various committees – including the House’s Energy and Commerce Committee – that could make up part of the plan to replace the ACA.

“First, our committees are set to begin holding legislative hearings on bills to deliver relief for Americans struggling under Obamacare,” stated House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) at a press conference in January. “This is the next step in a step-by-step approach to repealing and replacing Obamacare with an affordable, patient-centered system. We know that this law is collapsing. We hear it every day from our constituents. We hear it from the families who tell us the deductibles are so high, it doesn’t feel like they have insurance. We hear it from the people who have been denied choices. This law is collapsing, and we need to step in and restore real choices and real competition so that we can actually lower costs for patients and families.”

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AAOS, OTA, and Others Host Extremity War Injuries Symposium   On January 31, 2017 through February 1, 2017, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), in partnership with the Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA), the Society of Military Orthopaedic Surgeons (SOMOS), and the Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS) hosted physicians and researchers in Washington, DC for the 2017 Extremity War Injuries Research Symposium. The twelfth annual EWI symposium, Homeland Defense as a Translation of War Lessons Learned, focused on disaster preparedness as well as an ongoing research agenda that highlighted state-of-the-art research and identified gaps in the treatment of extremity trauma. The two-day program included presentations and collaborative discussions on domestic readiness, disaster education, communication between providers, and developing response teams. Click here to read more.
Ortho Surgeons Talk Physician-Owned Hospitals Orthopaedic Surgeons from the Rothman Institute in Pennsylvania came to Capitol Hill this week to advocate for physician-owned hospitals and the patients who receive high quality care at these facilities. As negotiations continue on the specifics of Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal, orthopaedic surgeons work to include a repeal on the ACA’s controversial restrictions on these hospitals.

The group also helped secure cosponsors for Rep. Sam Johnson’s (R-TX) legislation that would repeal Section 6001 of the ACA, which prevents any new physician-owned hospitals from participating in Medicare or Medicaid and prevents existing hospitals from expanding. These restrictions must be lifted to ensure Medicare patients have access to high quality health care, as these hospitals provide some of the highest quality care in the country. Physician-owned hospitals also inject much-needed competition into the marketplace, forcing traditional hospitals to improve and innovate. Click here to read more.

State Corner: The State of Visiting Team Physician Legislation in the States Certificate of need (CON) laws require health care providers and facilities to receive permission from the government before they can offer certain services, purchase certain equipment or expand their facilities. Often times, the process to receive approval from the state government is costly and cumbersome. State orthopaedic societies are working to dismantle these laws to lessen the burden of expanding or creating an orthopaedic practice. Massachusetts Orthopaedic Association (MOA)

Last year, Dr. R Scott Oliver (right) and the Massachusetts Orthopaedic Association (MOA) met with Governor Charlie Baker and his staff to ask him to repeal the state’s determination of need (DoN) law – known as certificate of need in most states. This meeting was facilitated through the Republican Governors Association. The MOA also advocated for DoN reform to Lt. Governor Karyn Polito (right). The Massachusetts state government came out with recommendations in December that were accepted in January as law.

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Advocacy at the Annual Meeting – Mark Your Calendar! With a new administration and new Congress, 2017 promises to be a busy year for healthcare reform. Whether you are elated or deflated by the 2016 election results, many legislative and regulatory issues central to orthopaedic practice and the orthopaedic profession as a whole are at stake. Mark your calendars and plan to take advantage of the following advocacy opportunities at the 2017 Annual Meeting.

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What We’re Reading House Considers Elements of Obamacare Replacement, The Hill, 2/2/17

Republicans Suspend Rules, Push Price Nomination to Senate Floor, Medpage Today, 2/1/17 Health Insurers Warn of Wider Defections from ACA Marketplaces for 2018, The Washington Post, 2/1/17 Obamacare Repeal Timeline Puts Insurers in Deadline Crunch, Washington Examiner, 1/31/17 Healthcare Industry Celebrates One-In, Two-Out Executive Order, Modern Healthcare, 1/30/17 Republicans Roll Out Their Obamacare Replacements, Washington Examiner, 1/30/17 First Health Care Repeal Deadline Missed by Congress, Roll Call, 1/27/17 McConnell Wants to Finish Work on Obamacare Quickly, The Hill, 1/27/17 After Retreat, GOP Decided Little on Health Plan, Morning Consult, 1/26/17 Health Insurers Quietly Shape Obamacare Replacement with Fewer Risks, Reuters, 1/25/17 Rand Paul Unveils Obamacare Replacement, The Hill, 1/25/17 House Republicans Feel Big-Footed on Obamacare, Politico, 1/25/17 HHS Nominee Says Congress Will Determine New Health System, The Wall Street Journal, 1/24/17

Political Graphic of the Week Click here to download infographic.
Quality Payment Program Resources The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently posted new resources to the Quality Payment Program website to help eligible clinicians and data submission vendors successfully prepare to participate in the program. According to the agency email announcement, CMS encourages these eligible clinicians, registries, qualified clinical data registries (QCDRs), and electronic health record (EHR) vendors to visit the website to review the new materials and information, including:

For Clinicians:

 Click here to read more.

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PAC Participation Leader Board by State Click here, to view the interactive version of the map below, which features each state’s PAC support through September 1, 2016.