Congress Talks Health Information Technology, Stark Reform, and More
For questions or concerns on these or other advocacy issues, contact the Office of Government Relations at
Legislation Introduced to Address EHRs, HIT Earlier this summer, Reps. Michael Burgess (R-TX), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Pat Tiberi (R-OH), and Mike Thompson (D-CA) introduced legislation focused on reducing the volume of future electronic health record-related significant hardship requests by eliminating language that requires increasingly stringent measures of meaningful use over time. AAOS recently sent a letter of support to Burgess addressing important issues related to EHRs and health information technology (HIT).

Orthopaedic Device Forum Meets in Washington, DC On September 25, 2017, the Orthopaedic Device Forum met in Washington, DC to discuss regulatory matters of significance to orthopaedics. Established in 1996, the mission of the Orthopaedic Device Forum is to foster an environment of open communication among the scientific community, government, and related industry on orthopaedic issues of mutual interest. The Orthopaedic Device Forum includes representatives of the scientific and clinical orthopaedic community, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other governmental agencies, and representatives of the industry related to musculoskeletal health and diseases. The Forum works to improve communication, provide educational seminars, respond to guidance documents, and develop consensus standards that provide the FDA with a streamlined template for device reviews. This results in fewer returned applications and a shorter timeline to the marketplace.

Tomorrow! Webinar on Working with Members of Congress in Their Home District If you are a Congressional Ambassador or would like to become one, this webinar is an excellent opportunity to learn the skills you need to push for the policies you want. In 60 minutes, get tips from current AAOS Congressional Ambassadors, who share the simple building blocks of a lasting and successful advocacy effort.

Whether you are a novice advocate hoping to build your skill set, or an experienced ambassador looking to expand your tactics, this live presentation will give you more ways to pursue the advocacy efforts that benefit your practice and your patients.

Register online for this free live event! Or call AAOS Customer Service at 1-800-626-6726.

Free Event! The Impact of Health Care Delivery Reform on Orthopaedics No matter your level of practice, this webinar is an excellent opportunity for all orthopaedic surgeons to review the importance of advocacy in the orthopaedic field. Gain an in-depth understanding of health care reform from faculty who are involved. They’ll discuss the impact of health care delivery reform prospects and how it affects your specialty. In just 60 minutes, learn the various leadership roles that impact public policy and uncover opportunities to enhance your career in the orthopaedic community. If you can’t make it to the live webinar, a replay is available to all registrants! Register to automatically receive a link to the recording of this webinar. Register online for this free webinar! Or call AAOS Customer Service at 1-800-626-6726.
AAOS Supports Stark Reform Efforts On September 18, 2017, AAOS sent a letter of support to Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-TX) on introducing H.R. 3726, the Stark Administrative Simplification Act. The Social Security Act includes physician self-referral prohibitions (commonly known as the “Stark law”) that were enacted more than 20 years ago to limit the influence of financial relationships on physician referrals. These prohibitions have not kept pace with the changing health care environment and increasingly pose barriers to care coordination in innovative payment models, including those under the new Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Alternative Payment Models (APMs) generally. These kinds of payment models are value-based programs seeking to promote high-quality care and care coordination within individual health care entities and across multiple sites of service.

Panel Discusses Doctor-Patient-Government Relationship On Tuesday September 26, 2017, three panels of prominent voices in the health care community gathered to discuss the importance of the doctor-patient relationship. Even more so, they gave valuable insight into how doctors, patients, caregivers, and advocates can navigate the complex health care system. They also addressed what policy changes can be made to make sure patients receive the best care and access to innovative and cost-effective therapies. Although the speakers had varying perspectives and backgrounds, there was one underlying message that was made clear: the doctor-patient relationship is the key to successful health care programs, and our health care system today is straying away from the importance of that relationship.

State Corner – ICYMI: AAOS, State Orthopaedic Societies Successful in Combating Insurer Campaign to Set Payment Rates to Medicare In 2017, AAOS continued to work through legislative proposals addressing out-of-network bills or “surprise” bills. In fact, more than half of all states had at least one proposal this year, but only a handful ended up being enacted. Of those enacted, four state laws (AZ, IN, NH and LA) were largely disclosure and/or study committee bills. Texas expanded their current mediation process, with the support of the Texas Orthopaedic Association, while Maine was the only state that passed broader bans on out-of-network billing. A problematic bill passed both Houses in Nevada, but was ultimately vetoed by Governor Brian Sandoval citing, in part, opposition from the Nevada Orthopaedic Society. Click here to read Governor Sandoval’s veto letter mentioning the Nevada Orthopaedic Society.

Resurgens Orthopaedics Lobbies Congress Members of Resurgens Orthopaedics were on Capitol Hill on September 26th and 27th to discuss a number of critical advocacy issues with Congress, including physician-owned hospitals, Stark law reform, and pending cuts to computed radiography (CR) reimbursement. They also discussed the need for oversight of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), noting that certain reforms are crucial to guarantee the success of the law The group met with the majority of the Georgia delegation as well as Sen. John Barasso, MD (R-WY), Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-TX), Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), and Congressman Brian Babin, DMD (R-TX).
Apply For, Share New Advocacy Fellows Program for Residents The AAOS Office of Government Relations has established a new Advocacy Fellows Program for residents and encourages you to apply or consider sharing this opportunity with residents in your network! Applications are now being accepted for 2018. The goal is to encourage the participation of orthopaedic residents in the national health policy arena. The program seeks to foster the development of orthopaedic surgeons interested in health policy and advocacy who are willing to become key members of the AAOS advocacy team. It offers orthopaedic residents the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the health policy process and contribute to the development of new policies and programs. Dr. Stuart Weinstein, former Chairman of the AAOS Political Action Committee, is directing the program.

Two fellows will be selected for the calendar year 2018. The deadline for applications is November 15.  A full description and application instructions can be found online here.

For more information contact OGR Senior Manager of Government Relations Julie Williams at

Political Graphic of the Week

What We’re Reading Speculation Heats Up Over Price’s Replacement, Axios, 10/2/17 Price Resigns From HHS After Facing Fire For Travel, Politico, 9/29/17 Price Resigns as HHS Secretary, Trump Accepts, Roll Call, 9/29/17 House to Move Forward on CHIP Next Week, Axios, 9/28/17 CMS Delays Star Ratings Update, Reconsiders Methodology, Modern Healthcare, 9/28/17 Alexander, Murray Inching Toward Deal to Stabilize Obamacare, Politico, 9/28/17 Trump Plans Order Allowing Insurance Sold Across State Lines, The Hill, 9/27/17 Are Trump, GOP on Same Page on Bipartisan Outreach? Roll Call, 9/27/17 Congress on Track to Miss Two Big Health Deadlines, The Hill, 9/27/17 Premiums Likely to Rise Amid Fallout From Graham-Cassidy Health Bill, Morning Consult, 9/26/17 Senate Republicans Say They Will Not Vote on Health Bill, The New York times, 9/26/17 With New Framework Imminent, GOP Turns to Tax Reform, Morning Consult, 9/26/17
Quality Payment Program Updates 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). AAOS has shared the details of QPP and MIPS, which can be found on our website, here: and here:

On June 20, CMS released a proposed rule that would make changes in the second year of the Quality Payment Program, including participation requirements for 2018. AAOS has been working closely with CMS to address many concerns related to the Quality Payment Program, including the need for additional flexibility and simplification, as well as protection for small, solo, and rural practices. In this proposed rule, CMS has taken significant steps to respond to these concerns, and AAOS provided CMS with comments. For any questions or comments related to this proposed rule, please email


New Resident PAC One Pager
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 2017.
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 and select Donate to the Orthopaedic PAC for more information or to contribute today.

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