House Passes Controlled Substances Legislation, CMS Releases Proposed Rules
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House Passes Bipartisan Bill to Better Equip Medical Professionals

The House of Representatives on July 12, 2017 passed H.R. 1492, the Medical Controlled Substances Transportation Act of 2017. H.R. 1492 would update the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration process for mobile medical practitioners and team physicians to ensure these health care providers can administer controlled substances at locations other than their principal places of business while complying with new limitations on the timing of transport and related recordkeeping requirements. H.R. 1492 passed the Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously by voice vote in June. AAOS and AOSSM support the legislation and are now working to advance the bill in the Senate. Click here to read more.

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Entry to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) 2018 Media Orthopaedic Reporting Excellence (MORE) Awards is now open. These awards recognize excellence in accurate reporting on musculoskeletal health issues, innovative treatment, preventative care and stories of recovery If you’ve read, seen or heard a bone and joint health news story that qualifies for the MORE Awards, email it to by Monday, October 9, 2017.   Eligible entries must have been published or broadcast between October 1, 2016 and October 1, 2017.    If you have additional questions email AAOS Media Relations Specialist Kelly King Johnson at

CMS Releases Physician Fee Schedule, Changes for Hospital Outpatient, Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Systems The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued two important proposed rules. First, the Physician Fee Schedule would update Medicare payment and policies for doctors and other clinicians who treat Medicare patients in calendar year (CY) 2018. Another proposed rule would updates payment rates and policy changes in the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment System According to CMS, the proposed rules are a few of several Medicare payment rules for CY 2018 that “reflect a broader strategy to relieve regulatory burdens for providers; support the patient-doctor relationship in healthcare; and promote transparency, flexibility, and innovation in the delivery of care.” AAOS will be submitting comments on both proposed rules Click here to read more.
House Committee Approves Veteran Legislation Over the past several months, the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) has worked with the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health on the issue of lower extremity injuries among veteran patients within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). For example, on Tuesday, May 2, 2017, orthopaedic surgeon Col. James Ficke, MD (ret.) testified on behalf of the AAOS and the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) (read more in Advocacy Now here). He expressed that podiatrists are an essential part of the care team at the VA and provide excellent service to Veterans, but explained that podiatrists and orthopaedic surgeons are trained differently. AAOS advocated for changes to legislation, and as a result, the altered measure – supported by AAOS – recently passed the House committee. Click here to read more.
Health Subcommittee Examines Medicare Legislation

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, chaired by Rep. Michael C. Burgess, MD (R-TX), held a hearing on July 20 examining 11 bipartisan bills that would improve Medicare.

“Each of these policies exemplifies our shared commitment to strengthening the Medicare program for current beneficiaries, and improving it for future generations,” said Chairman Burgess.

Dr. Brett Kissela, Chair, Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Cincinnati Gardner Neuroscience Institute, spoke on behalf of the American Academy of Neurology in support of H.R. 1148, the Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine (FAST) Act of 2017. Dr. Kissla stated, “This legislation, if enacted, would allow Medicare beneficiaries with acute stroke to receive the most efficient and effective care, which will save lives and reduce the number of those who survive with costly post-stroke disability.”

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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. The American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) has been working closely with CMS to address a number of 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 will be providing CMS with further comments by the August 21 deadline. For any questions or comments related to this proposed rule, please email

Click here to read more.

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ICYMI: 5 Ways for Healthcare Providers to Get Ready for New Medicare Cards Medicare is taking steps to remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), this initiative will prevent fraud, fight identity theft and protect essential program funding and the private healthcare and financial information of our Medicare beneficiaries. CMS will issue new Medicare cards with a new unique, randomly-assigned number called a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) to replace the existing Social Security-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) both on the cards and in various CMS systems in use now. New cards will be mailed to people with Medicare benefits in April 2018. All Medicare cards will be replaced by April 2019 Click here to read more.
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 2016.
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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