Inpatient Rule Addresses Transparency and Interoperability; Congress Talks Innovation and Opioids
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CMS Releases Inpatient Payment Proposed Rule

On April 24, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule that makes updates to Medicare payment policies and rates under the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and the Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH) Prospective Payment System (PPS). According to CMS, these changes and other policy proposals will “empower patients through better access to hospital price information, improve the use of electronic health records, and make it easier for providers to spend time with their patients.”

Congress Moves Opioid Legislation

The Senate health committee last week voted to approve the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018, which Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said will “help create an environment for states to succeed in fighting the opioid crisis.”

“Over the last six months, this committee has heard from experts on how the federal government can be the best possible partner as we work to combat the nation’s largest public health crisis – the opioid crisis,” Alexander said. The challenge before us has often been described as needing a moonshot. Solving the opioid crisis might require the energy and resources of a moonshot, but ultimately it is not something that can be solved by an agency in Washington, D.C.”

Ways and Means Committee Talks Health Care Innovation

On April 26, 2018, the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee discussed innovations in the health care sector and how such innovations can be used to improve and modernize the Medicare program. Subcommittee Chairman Pete Roskam (R-IL) opened the hearing, emphasizing the importance of “implementing policies that open the door to potentially life-saving devices, drugs, and delivery methods,” and urged members and witnesses to identify legislative and regulatory reforms that can help Medicare “benefit from pioneer ideas.”

State Corner: UEVHPA Is Important for Orthopaedic Surgeons

The Uniform Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioners Act (UEVHPA) is policy developed by the Uniform Law Commission that recognizes, during a declared emergency, the licensure of physicians and health practitioners in other states if those professionals have registered with a public or private registration system. At its October 2017 meeting in San Diego, CA, the American College of Surgeons revised and updated their support of UEVHPA.

AAOS members are uniquely qualified to assist during disasters. Orthopaedic surgeons with their training in trauma and critical care, could provide life-saving care in emergency situations. Currently UEVHPA is law in 17 states and is being considered by 2 state legislatures in their 2018 legislative sessions. Currently, Arkansas, Colorado, District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.

ICYMI: AAOS Joins American Corporate Partners

AAOS is pleased to announce, through the leadership of the Council on Advocacy (COA), a partnership with a national nonprofit organization focused on helping returning veterans find their next careers through one-on-one mentoring, networking, and online career advice. American Corporate Partners (ACP), founded in 2008, engages people in unique volunteer opportunities to provide career guidance to returning military as they transition back into civilian life. More than 20,000 post-9/11 veterans have participated in ACP’s programs.

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:

What We’re Reading

CMS Releases Medicare Advantage Data for First Time, Modern Healthcare, 4/26/18

Democrats, Public Health Experts Highlight Lack of Funds as Opioid Bills Advance, Morning Consult, 4/26/18

FDA Moves to Encourage A.I. in Medicine, Drug Development
, CNBC, 4/26/18

Ronny Jackson Withdraws as Trump’s Nominee to Lead Veterans Affairs
, The Washington Post, 4/25/18

CMS Proposal for Hospitals to Publish Prices Raises Tricky Issues
, Modern Healthcare, 4/25/18

House Panel Moves More Than 50 Bills Combatting Opioid Abuse
, Washington Examiner, 4/25/18

HHS Proposes Medicare Payment Rules to Encourage Hospitals to be Clearer About Prices
, The Washington Post, 4/24/18

CMS Seeks to Allow Doctors to Bill Patients Directly
, Modern Healthcare, 4/23/18

Senate Finance Panel’s Opioid Hearing to Focus on Changes to Medicare, Medicaid, Morning Consult, 4/19/18

Sessions Tries to Put New Pressure on Drug Companies in Opioid Crisis
, The New York Times, 4/17/18

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

  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 and select Donate to the Orthopaedic PAC for more information or to contribute today.

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