Today’s Top Story
FDA announces Class I recall of Greatbatch Medical Standard Offset Cup Impactors.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a Class I recall for Greatbatch Medical Standard Offset Cup Impactors with POM-C Handle. The Standard Offset Cup Impactors are reusable handheld devices used during hip joint replacement surgeries to implant cups in the hip socket (acetabulum). The device is provided as non-sterile and must be sterilized prior to use in surgery. During hip replacement surgery, the ball (femoral head) is removed and replaced with a prosthetic ball, and the acetabulum is removed and replaced with a prosthetic cup. Greatbatch Medical is recalling the Standard Offset Cup Impactor with a POM-C handle that failed sterility testing when sterilized in a dedicated instrument case. Read more…

Other News

HHS finalizes new Medicare Alternative Payment Models to “reward better care at lower cost,” including a model for surgical hip fracture repair.
The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule to create new Medicare Alternative Payment Models—including a model for total hip replacement following hip fractures—that aims to advance the current administration’s stated goal of reforming how the healthcare system pays for care. This final rule incorporates changes first published in a Medicare proposed rule in August 2016. According to HHS, these models shift Medicare payments “from rewarding quantity to rewarding quality by creating incentives for hospitals and clinicians to work together to avoid complications, avoid preventable hospital readmissions, and speed patient recovery.” Today’s announcement finalizes new policies that do the following:

  • Affect orthopaedic care with a new payment model that will, HHS says, support clinicians in providing care to patients who receive surgery after a hip fracture beyond hip replacement. In addition, HHS is finalizing updates to the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model (CJR), which began in April 2016. This will separate out hip replacement for hip fractures from hip replacements for nonfracture conditions, which will still be covered under CJR.
  • Affect cardiac care with three new payment models that will support clinicians in providing care to patients who receive treatment for heart attacks, heart surgery to bypass blocked coronary arteries, or cardiac rehabilitation.
  • Provide an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) opportunity for small practices, with measures intended to encourage more practices, especially small practices, to advance to performance-based risk. The new Medicare ACO Track 1+ Model will have more limited downside risk than in Tracks 2 or 3 of the Medicare Shared Savings Program. The model also enables hospitals, including small rural hospitals, to participate in this new ACO model.

See the final rule (PDF)…
Read the AAOS comment letter on the proposed rule (PDF)…
Read more information on the models…

HHS: Agency cannot meet targets for reducing backlogged claims without more funding.
HHS says it will not meet annual targets for the reduction of 658,000 backlogged Medicare claim appeals without obtaining more funds from Congress, Bloomberg reports. The agency asked a federal court to reconsider its Dec. 5 ruling setting annual backlog reduction targets of 30, 60, 90, and 100 percent during the next 4 years. According to HHS, meeting those goals would effectively involve violating its “statutory obligation to protect the Medicare Trust Funds” through paying out “nonmeritorious [and/or] fraudulent” Medicare claims. “The only way for the department to potentially meet such reduction targets without legislative action would be to settle claims of the full value or nearly the full value of each appeal without regard to its merit,” Ellen Murray, assistant secretary for financial resources and chief financial officer of the HHS, stated in a declaration, reports Home Health Care News.
Bloomberg notes that HHS made a similar argument previously, one rejected in favor of the American Hospital Association’s proposed 4-year timetable. HHS argues the court has left it in a bind between two mandates that it cannot fulfill with its current funding level. Read more…
Read more in Home Health Care News

Study: Early physical activity may reduce risk of post-concussive symptoms for pediatric patients.
Data from a study published online in The Journal of the American Medical Association suggest that early physical activity following acute concussion may be linked to reduced risk of persistent post-concussive symptoms (PPCS) for younger patients. The research team conducted a prospective cohort study of 2,413 pediatric patients aged 5 to 18 years with acute concussion. The researchers found that PPCS at 28 days occurred in 30.4 percent of patients (n = 733). Overall, 1,677 patients participated in early physical activity, including light aerobic exercise, sport-specific exercise, noncontact drills, full-contact practice, or full competition; and 30.5 percent of patients (n = 736) had no physical activity. Compared to no physical activity, the research team found that physical activity within 7 days of injury was associated with lower risk of PPCS on propensity score matching, absolute risk difference, and inverse probability of treatment weighting analysis. View the abstract…

AAOS accepting commentary on proposed Guideline on the Management of Osteoarthritis of the Hip.
The newest AAOS Clinical Practice Guideline on the Management of Osteoarthritis of the Hip has completed peer review and is entering the public commentary stage. If you would like to provide comments on this guideline, please follow the public comment instructions. Public comments will be accepted until Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. Access the public comment instructions (PDF)…

AAOS QPP webinars now available online.
AAOS has made available two webinars recently held to discuss the Medicare Quality Payment Program (QPP). The first webinar outlines the impact that the QPP will have on small orthopaedic practices, provides insight into the incentive payment provisions under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), and summarizes the potential costs to a practice for noncompliance. Faculty also discuss the Clinical Practice Improvement Activity (CPIA) and Advancing Care Initiative (ACI) categories of QPP. View the webinar…
     The second webinar provides an overview of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and the Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM) incentive payment provisions under MACRA. View the webinar…

Call for volunteers: CMS panel on unplanned readmission measure for Medicaid beneficiaries.
AAOS seeks to nominate members to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Technical Expert Panel on Hospital-Wide 30-Day All-Cause Unplanned Readmission Measure for Medicaid Beneficiaries. The primary goal of this project is to develop an outcome measure to reflect the quality of care for Medicaid beneficiaries. The measure will adapt methodology from the Medicare hospital-wide readmission measure to the Medicaid population, taking into account features specific to Medicaid beneficiaries and the Medicaid program. Applicants for this position must be active fellows, candidate members, candidate members osteopathic, candidate member applicants for fellowship, or candidate member applicants for fellowship osteopathic. In addition, all applicants must provide the following: an online AAOS CAP application, a current curriculum vitae, a 100-word biosketch, a letter of interest highlighting their expertise in the subject area, and a CMS nomination form. All supporting materials must be submitted by Monday, Jan. 16, 2017, at 11:59 p.m. (CT), to Kyle Shah at: .
Learn more and download the nomination form…
Learn more and submit your application…(member login required)

Last call: Committee positions closing soon!
A number of openings on the AAOS Committee Appointment Program website are closing soon. Act now to apply for the following positions:

  • Central Evaluation Committee (Dec. 27; one member—hand)
  • Medical Liability Committee (Jan. 3; one member)
  • OKU Evaluation Committee (Dec. 27; one member—oncology)
  • Resolutions Committee (Jan. 2; two members)

Learn more and submit your application…(member login required)

Note: The AAOS offices will be closed on Dec. 23, Dec. 26, and Jan. 2. AAOS Headline News Now will not be published Dec. 23 through Jan. 2. It will return on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2016.