Draft Physician Fee Schedule Released, Stark Modernization Discussed, Update on Lower Extremity Advocacy
For questions or concerns on these or other advocacy issues, contact us at dc@aaos.org.
CMS Releases Draft Physician Payment Rule


On July 12, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) Proposed Rule 2019 that includes proposals to update payment policies as well as the provisions of the Quality Payment Program. These updates, if finalized, will come into effect on or after January 1, 2019. AAOS will circulate a summary of the rule and will comment before the deadline of September 10, 2018.



AAOS Meets with CMMI

From left: Josh Kerr; James Huddleston III, MD; Adam Boehler; Kristy Weber, MD; William Shaffer, MD; Shreyasi Deb, PhD; and Graham Newson.  

On July 12, 2018, AAOS and AAHKS met with Mr. Adam Boehler, the new Director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI or the Innovation Center) and CMS Deputy Administrator for Innovation and Quality. This meeting was held at the US Department of Health and Human Services headquarters in Washington, DC. The objective of this meeting was to introduce ourselves to Mr. Boehler and discuss our ongoing concerns with the CMMI payment models including the Bundled Payment for Care Improvement (BPCI) Classic and Advanced models, the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model and other related CMS policy. AAOS invited AAHKS to join the meeting since the two organizations have jointly met with CMS in the past and have common concerns and issues. AAOS was led by First Vice-President, Dr. Kristy Weber, and by AAHKS Advocacy Chair, Dr. James Huddleston III.

House Committee Endorses Critical Registry Policy

Late Wednesday night House appropriators voted along party lines to approve a $177.1 billion Labor-HHS- Education spending bill for fiscal 2019. The House Appropriation Committee’s 30-22 vote ended a marathon 1-hour markup that touched on a range of contentious issues including the Affordable Care Act and immigration.

AAOS successfully requested the committee insert report language that clarifies that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) may use their funds to support the development and utilization of Qualified Clinical Data Registries (QCDRs) as part of the Innovation Center’s purpose of testing innovative payment and service delivery models.

House Committee Discusses Stark Modernization

On Tuesday July 17th, the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee held a hearing on reforming the Stark Law entitled “Modernizing the Stark Law to Ensure the Successful Transition from Volume to Value in the Medicare Program”.

The Physician Self-Referral Law, commonly known as the Stark Law, was put in place during the 1980s to protect against inappropriate referrals and waste. The members of Congress and witnesses both recognized the important function the law has served in the fee-for-service context but spoke to the need for reform to support the transition to value based systems.

State Orthopaedic Societies Advocate for Proper Surgical Care of the Lower Extremities


The American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS), and state orthopaedic societies in 2018 continued to advocate that all patients should have access to high quality, comprehensive musculoskeletal care by providers who have met and completed uniform standards for education, licensure, training and certification at state legislatures.

FDA Approves First Drug to Treat Smallpox


On July 13th, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced the agency had approved TPOXX (tecovirimat) the first drug with an indication for the treatment of smallpox. While the World Health Organization declared smallpox eradicated in 1980, there have been long-standing concerns that smallpox could be used as a bioweapon.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD made the announcement, stating “This is the first product to be awarded a Material Threat Medical Countermeasure priority review voucher. This new treatment affords us an additional option should smallpox ever be used as a bioweapon and ensures that the United States is prepared for any public health emergency with timely, safe and effective medical products.”

Recording of Webinar on In-District Advocacy

On July 11, AAOS Advocacy Resources Committee (ARC) Chair Claudette Lajam, MD and other advocacy leaders held a webinar on in-district congressional advocacy. The webinar covered proven strategies that will help you be an effective advocate at home, without having to travel to DC.  If you weren’t able to make the webinar it’s not too late to learn from these experts, you can view the webinar replay here.

Orthopaedic PAC presence at Specialty Society Meetings

The Orthopaedic PAC recently had a presence at both the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) and the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) Annual Meetings in San Diego and Boston, respectively. These meetings were great opportunities to educate attendees about the great work that the Orthopaedic PAC, the only federal political action committee solely dedicated to our specialty in Washington, DC, is doing for all orthopaedic surgeons. We are pleased to be offering value to the specialties and are excited to continue to partner with them to advocate on behalf of the house of orthopaedics. If you have any questions about our specialty society partnerships or are interested in having an OrthoPAC presence at your specialty society meeting, don’t hesitate to reach out to pac@aaos.org.

Thank You to Our Current Orthopaedic PAC Advisor’s Circle Members!
  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.

Don’t remember when you last contributed? Log in to the contribution center today to view your complete donation history!