Today’s Top Story
President Obama signs opioid bill into law.
President Obama has signed into law the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which authorizes the federal government to award state grants for opioid-related initiatives around education, prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts. The Act incorporates elements of 18 opioid-related bills passed earlier this year by the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill authorizes $181 million in new spending, but the Associate Press notes that the President had sought an additional $920 million to fund programs to combat opioid misuse and increase the availability of naloxone.
The American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), along with other medical organizations, has urged Congress to provide funding for the unfunded programs. Read more…
Read the law…

Other News

Study: Exercise therapy may be appropriate for some middle-aged patients with degenerative meniscal tears.
According to a study conducted in Denmark and published online in the journal The BMJ, supervised exercise therapy may be an acceptable treatment option for certain patients with degenerative meniscal tears. The researchers conducted a randomized, controlled trial of 140 adults (mean age 49.5 years) with degenerative medial meniscal tears verified by magnetic resonance imaging. Patients were treated with either 12 weeks of supervised exercise therapy alone or arthroscopic partial meniscectomy alone. At 2-year follow-up, no clinically relevant difference across cohorts was found regarding change in knee injury and osteoarthritis outcome score (KOOS4), defined as the mean score for four of five KOOS subscale scores (pain, other symptoms, function in sport and recreation, and knee-related quality of life). In addition, at 3-month follow-up, patients in the exercise group displayed greater increases in thigh muscle strength compared to those in the surgical group. Read more…
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Study: Surgeons may find adverse events difficult to discuss.
A study published online in the journal JAMA Surgery looks at the issue of adverse event disclosure. The research team conducted a observational study of 35 surgeons who were surveyed regarding their perceptions of an adverse event, personal effects from disclosure, and baseline attitudes toward disclosure. They found that surgeons who were less likely to have discussed prevention, those who stated the event was very or extremely serious, or reported very or somewhat difficult experiences discussing the event were more likely to have been negatively affected by the event. In addition, surgeons with more negative attitudes about disclosure at baseline reported more anxiety about patients’ surgical outcomes or events following disclosure. The research team concludes that “quality improvement efforts focused on recognizing the association between disclosure and surgeons’ well-being may help sustain open disclosure policies.” Read more…
Read the abstract…

Study: Retaining independence may help reduce risk of readmission and death for older surgical patients.
Data from a study published online in JAMA Surgery suggest that loss of independence (LOI) may be associated with postoperative readmission and death after discharge for older patients. The authors conducted a retrospective cohort study of 5,077 patients with a mean age of 75 years. They found that increasing age was associated with increased risk of LOI. After adjustment, the authors found that LOI was strongly associated with readmission and postoperative complication. In addition, LOI was the strongest factor associated with death after discharge, while postoperative complication was not significantly associated with death after discharge. Read more…
Read the abstract…

CMS announces plans to move forward with release of hospital star ratings.
Kaiser Health News reports that the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will soon publish star ratings summing up the quality of 3,662 hospitals, despite concerns of some stakeholders that the ratings system may unfairly penalize hospitals that serve higher numbers of lower-income patients. Under the system, hospitals will be rated between one and five stars, based on 64 individual hospital measures already available on the CMS Hospital Compare website. Based on current data, CMS states that 102 hospitals would receive the best rating of five stars, 934 would get four stars, 1,770 would receive three stars, 723 would be awarded two stars, and 133 would get the lowest rating of one star. An additional 937 hospitals are not rated due to lack of data. Read more…

Apply now to take part in the AAOS Leadership Fellows Program!
The AAOS Leadership Fellows Program (LFP) offers an exciting opportunity to all AAOS fellows age 45 and younger as of Jan. 31, 2017. The LFP is a 1-year program that starts at the AAOS Annual Meeting and is designed to facilitate the development of future AAOS leaders among younger members who have previous volunteer or leadership experience. The LFP combines didactic and experiential leadership training with an ongoing mentoring program. Fellows are matched with an established leader within the AAOS fellowship who serves as a mentor throughout the program. The program has the following goals:

  • Introduce fellows to the AAOS governance structure
  • Observe AAOS leadership at work
  • Participate in interactive leadership development programs
  • Engage in opportunities for peer-to-peer interactions and learning
  • Experience service on an AAOS committee

Applications are now available online. This is a year-long commitment with 6 mandatory meetings. Please review the LFP schedule prior to completing the application to ensure you will be able to attend all meetings. The deadline for applications is July 31, 2016. Learn more and submit your application…(member login required)
For more information, contact Kristen Erickson at 847-384-4343, or via email at:

Call for volunteers: AAOS Now Editorial Board.
Aug. 19 is the last day to submit your application for a position on the AAOS Now Editorial Board. The AAOS Now Editorial Board serves as a strategic planning and content development body for the publication. The following openings are available:

  • Pediatric orthopaedics (one member)
  • Orthopaedic trauma (one member)

Applicants for these positions must be active or emeritus fellows with a practice emphasis in the relevant topic. Learn more and submit your application…(member login required)