Disaster Preparedness, Opioid Legislation, and Drug Prices
For questions or concerns on these or other advocacy issues, contact us at dc@aaos.org.
Senate Approves Disaster Preparedness Legislation

Last week, the Senate health committee approved legislation to reauthorize the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act, making targeted improvements to the tools at our nation’s disposal to prepare for and respond to the threats that we face, whether naturally occurring like pandemic flu, or as a result of a deliberate attack on our country. The reauthorization legislation, titled the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act (PAHPAI), focuses on improvements to programs within the original framework to address these 21st century threats. According to the legislators, Ebola, Zika, and a destructive hurricane season have all made clear that these threats are constantly evolving, requiring further work to protect our communities.



AAOS Commends Continued Work on Opioid Legislation

The American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) commends the House Energy and Commerce Committee, together with the House Ways and Means Committee, for advancing important legislation to help combat the opioid crisis. As has been noted by the committees, overdose deaths from opioids, including prescription opioids, have increased by more than five times since 1999. The AAOS acknowledges this growing problem and believes that comprehensive reforms are necessary with input and assistance from all stakeholders.

Follow the NOLC Conversation

Once every year, hundreds of orthopaedic surgeons from around the country visit Washington, DC to meet with their congressional representatives as part of the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) National Orthopaedic Leadership Conference (NOLC). The NOLC advances the AAOS’ Unified Advocacy Agenda by providing legislative and regulatory education, building support for orthopaedic-related legislation and regulation, and strengthening relationships with key decision makers within the US Government. In addition to symposia, updates, advocacy training, and open microphone sessions, the NOLC supports Capitol Hill visits. The NOLC also hosts numerous committee and business meetings, and several social events to encourage networking opportunities among the attendees.

This year’s NOLC is taking place June 6-9, 2018. Be sure to follow the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #NOLC2018 and read more about the three advocacy issues online at www.aaos.org/NOLC/.

Azar Proposes Changes to Address Drug Prices

The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) this month issued a request for information (RFI) to seek comment from interested parties to help shape future policy development and agency action on lowering drug prices and reducing out-of-pocket costs. The blueprint released by HHS, also this month, covers multiple areas including, but not limited to:

  • improving competition and ending the gaming of the regulatory process,
  • supporting better negotiation of drug discounts in government-funded insurance programs,
  • creating incentives for pharmaceutical companies to lower list prices, and,
  • reducing out-of-pocket spending for patients at the pharmacy and other sites of care.
ICYMI: CMS Administrator Seema Verma Talks Value-Based Care

On May 7, 2018, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma delivered a speech that touched on the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) efforts to move to a “value-based” health care payment system, including information on pending Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) initiatives and efforts to address drug pricing in Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D. Verma also discussed efforts to reduce regulatory burdens facing providers, including efforts to streamline measures and reduce reporting burdens.

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 more information on our website, here: www.aaos.org/MACRA-DeliveryReform/.

Political Graphic of the Week

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!

To learn more about the Advisor’s Circle, email Stacie Monroe at monroe@aaos.org.

  AAOS Orthopaedic PAC Online and Mobile Donations

Did you know? Supporting our Orthopaedic PAC 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 www.aaos.org/pac and select Donate to the Orthopaedic PAC for more information or to contribute today.

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