Congress Talks Mandatory CMS Programs, MACRA, and More
For questions or concerns on these or other advocacy issues, contact the Office of Government Relations at
Legislators Write to CMS on Mandatory Initiatives, MACRA Three prominent members of the House of Representatives recently organized a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) stating opposition to current and future planned mandatory initiatives within the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). In the letter, which was signed by 179 members of Congress, House Ways & Means Committee Member and Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, MD (R-GA), House Ways & Means Committee Member Charles Boustany Jr., MD (R-LA), and House Ways & Means Committee Member Erik Paulsen (R-MN) contended that CMMI overstepped its legislative authority by implementing compulsory, nationwide alternative payment models without congressional approval. They also asserted the federal agency neglected to gather stakeholder feedback on the three compulsory alternative payment models, and failed to determine if the large-scale programs would maintain or improve quality of care. Click here to read more.
NEW – FREE bookmarks with easel displays for your patients!

Distracted walking and driving continue to be dangerous occurrences in today’s society. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons wants the public to put safety first and encourages members to continue the distraction conversation with their patients.

The Academy has free bookmarks with easel displays for your offices—a perfect takeaway with pedestrian injury prevention tips for your patients.

To order, visit the “Store” at, or, and click “show all” at the bottom of the page, to access the Public Relations resources.

Click here to read more.

AAOS Comments on SHFFT Model and CJR Changes In a proposed rule announced on July 25, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) suggested new bundled payment models for orthopaedic and cardiac care as well as updates to the existing Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model. The new surgical hip/femur fracture treatment model (SHFFT) builds on the CJR model and CMS has similarly proposed it as a hospital led bundle. The SHFFT model will begin on July 1, 2017 and will continue for 5 performance years. Further, CMS is proposing to create pathways that might allow the CJR (and the new SHFFT) model to qualify as an Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM) beginning in 2018. The creation of new pathways for these models to qualify as Advanced APMs is a direct result of AAOS engagement with the CMS and CMMI leadership to discuss CJR methodology and bundling. Click here to read more.
ONC Releases Health IT Playbook Last month, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released the Health IT Playbook to help make using health information technology (health IT) easier for providers. According to an ONC blog post, the Playbook is a dynamic, web-based resource that builds on and updates the Patient Engagement Playbook for Providers, which was released earlier this year. It is a mixture of key “plays” that combines practical, technical, and workflow assistance through a variety of tools and resources that should prove helpful to providers and practice staff. Click here to read more.
State Corner: Colorado Ballot Measure Seeks to Create Government-funded Single Payer Health Care System

By Davis Hurley, M.D. President, Colorado Orthopaedic Society & Beverly Razon, COPIC Director of Public Affairs

In November of this year, the voters of Colorado will consider a ballot measure that could dramatically change health care delivery in Colorado and possibly the nation. Amendment 69 is a proposed change to the Colorado Constitution to create a government-funded, state-level universal health care system known as ColoradoCare. While this ballot measure is just before the Colorado voters, the political platforms adopted this year at the national conventions indicate that this is an issue the health care industry across the country will continue to face for years to come.

Click here to read more.

Election 2016 Graphic of the Week Click here to download infographic.
NIHCM Briefing on the Future of Health Care in America On Tuesday, October 5, 2016, the National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) Foundation held a briefing entitled “The Future of Health Care in America: Transforming Health Care Through Evidence and Collaboration.” NIHCM Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization focused on spurring workable and creative solutions to pressing health care problems. This briefing featured five leaders with broad experience in the health care industry. Each speaker discussed their perspective concerning health care currently and any predictions as to the future of health care. Click here to read more.
ACA: Limited English Proficiency Compliance Deadline Fast Approaching The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published its final rules implementing the anti-discrimination provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) § 1557 on May 18, 2016.  The ACA requires health care providers to provide Limited English Proficient (LEP) patients with access to information and materials required to make informed decisions related to health care. This includes ensuring payment systems, programs, and documents are properly translated, and providing LEP patients access to interpreters when they receive health care services. Click here to read more.