Today’s Top Story
CMS administrator: Meaningful Use program “effectively over.”
Acting U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Andy Slavitt stated Monday that in 2016, meaningful use “as it has existed—with MACRA—will now be effectively over and replaced with something better.” Meaningful Use, set to sunset in 2019 in favor of an outcomes-based system under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), has received much criticism from the provider community. “We have to get the hearts and minds of physicians back,” Mr. Slavitt continued. “These are the people that our beneficiaries count on every day, and we lost them.” According to Mr. Slavitt, plans for the future incentive program will center around the following themes:

  • A focus away from rewarding providers for the use of technology and towards higher quality outcomes
  • Provider-customized goals built around the needs of individual practices
  • A more level playing field for technology start-ups to increase competition
  • Improved interoperability across electronic health records systems

Read more…
Read the complete speech…

Other News

Study: Ideal cup position for some patients may lie outside “safe zone.”
Data from a study published in the February issue of the journal Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research (CORR) suggest that the ideal cup position for some total hip arthroplasty (THA) patients may lie outside the commonly accepted “Lewinnek safe zone.” The researchers reviewed data on 9,784 primary THAs at a single center and identified 206 (2 percent) that subsequently dislocated. They found that 58 percent of dislocated THAs had a socket within the safe zone. Overall, 65 percent of dislocated THAs that were performed through a posterior approach and 33 percent of dislocated THAs performed through an anterolateral approach had an acetabular component within the combined acetabular safe zones. Compared to an anterolateral approach, the researchers found that a posterior approach was associated with a three-times greater likelihood of an acetabular component to be within the combined acetabular safe zones. However, acetabular components performed through a posterior approach were also at increased risk of dislocation compared to those performed through an anterolateral approach. The researchers suggest that stability may be linked to multiple factors, with the ideal cup position for some patients lying outside the Lewinnek safe zone and more advanced analyses required to identify correct targets in that subgroup. Read the abstract…

Study: Smoking may be only modifiable risk factor for SSI after ORIF of elbow fracture.
A study published in the February issue of CORR attempts to identify risk factors for surgical site infection (SSI) for patients who undergo surgical repair of elbow fractures. The research team reviewed data on 1,320 adult patients who underwent surgery for an elbow fracture. Of those, 48 (4 percent) developed an SSI. For all elbow fractures, the research team noted that use of plate and screw fixation and use of external fixation before surgery were associated with higher infection rates. In a subset analysis of closed fractures, they found that the only modifiable risk factor for SSI after open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) was cigarette smoking. As plate fixation and temporary external fixation may be surrogates for more complex injuries, they suggest that no recommendations be inferred from those associations. Read the abstract…

WUSF Public Media reports that the Florida House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee has approved a measure that, if enacted, would allow patients to stay for up to 24 hours at ambulatory surgery centers, as well as permit the operation of recovery care centers, at which patients could remain up to 72 hours. In addition, the subcommittee approved a separate measure that would eliminate the certificate of need regulatory process, which requires hospitals to get state approval for building or expanding facilities, and for adding certain programs. Read more…

An article in The New York Times looks at a group of hospital-employed physicians in Oregon who unionized in response to a threatened move to outsource their jobs in a bid to increase efficiency. The physicians argued that seeing more patients per shift could negatively impact patient care. The hospital later backed down on the outsourcing plan, but the article examines the hospitalist career and outlines the institutional balance sought between factors such as efficiency, profit, and patient care. Read more…

South Carolina.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice have submitted a statement regarding the competitive implications of South Carolina’s CON laws and a bill under consideration in the state House of Representatives that seeks to repeal them. The agencies comment that CON laws create barriers to expansion, limit consumer choice, and stifle innovation, and may also deny consumers the benefit of an effective remedy for antitrust violations and facilitate anticompetitive agreements. The commission vote approving the comment was 3-1, with one commissioner issuing a separate dissent. Read more…

Apply now for the 2016 AAOS/OREF/ORS Clinician Scholar Career Development Program.
March 31 is the last day to submit your application to participate in the Clinician Scholar Career Development Program (CSCDP). The program is a joint project of AAOS, the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF), and the Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS). CSCDP seeks applicants in years PGY2 to PGY5 of orthopaedic residency, fellows, and junior faculty through year 3 who have the potential and desire to become orthopaedic clinician scholars (scientists and investigators). Up to 15 applicants will be selected to participate in the 1.5-day training workshop, with up to 10 additional participants sponsored by orthopaedic specialty societies. The 2016 AAOS/OREF/ORS CSCDP will take place Sept. 15-17, 2016, in Rosemont, Ill. Please submit applications, along with curriculum vitae and a letter of support, by 11:59 PM CT on March 31, 2016 to:
Learn more and submit your application…

Call for volunteers: AMA Senior Physicians Section Governing Council.
AAOS seeks to nominate members to the American Medical Association (AMA) Senior Physicians Section Governing Council. The Governing Council is comprised of seven physicians who direct Section programs and activities. The purpose of the group is to support projects of interest to the senior physician community, including continued communication with colleagues, advocacy on behalf of senior physician issues, and ongoing development of member benefits and activities. Nominations are currently being accepted for the following positions, with terms commencing in June 2016:

  • Delegate-2-year term (one opening)
  • Alternate delegate-2-year term (one opening)
  • Officers-at-large- 2-year term (two openings)

Nominees for these positions must be physicians who are 65 years or older; working full-time, part-time or retired; and active members of the AMA. In addition, applicants must provide the following: an online AAOS CAP application, a current curriculum vitae, a letter of interest, an AMA nomination form, an AMA biosketch form, and a headshot photo in JPEG format. To request forms and submit supporting materials, please contact Kyle Shah by Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. CT, at:
Learn more and submit your application…(member login required)