Meaningful Use Hardship Exemption and Omnibus Measure Passed
For questions or concerns on these or other advocacy issues, contact the Office of Government Relations at Next issue will be published January 18, 2016.
Congress Passes Meaningful Use Exemption and Important Omnibus Provisions Last week, the Senate and the House of Representatives passed S. 2425, The Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act, which includes a provision addressing relief from EHR and meaningful use. Importantly, the legislation requires that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provide a blanket hardship exemption from 2015 meaningful use penalties to all providers who ask for it. The penalties would have been assessed in 2017. The language also provides for:

  • A less tedious procedure to apply for meaningful use exemption
  • The 90 day provision previously required is no longer applicable
  • CMS will be altering their procedures for this exemption process, creating an easy interface
  • By law, all hardship applications will be accepted until March 15, 2016

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Happy Holidays from the AAOS Office of Government Relations!
Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act Hearing On Wednesday, December 9, the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing titled, “Examining Legislation to Improve Health Care and Treatment.” Six bills were considered at the hearing including H.R. 921, the Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act of 2015. This important piece of legislation would clarify medical liability rules for sports medicine professionals to ensure they are properly covered by their professional liability insurance while traveling with athletic teams in another state. Click here to read more.
AAOS Submits Meaningful Use Stage 3 Final Rule Comments The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) earlier this year released the final rule for Stage 3 of its meaningful use (MU) program for electronic health records (EHRs). AAOS, together with a multitude of other health care groups, had urged the administration to pause MU Stage 3 and reevaluate the program in light of recent changes to Medicare (read a recent letter to HHS here). In response to the Stage 3 final rules, AAOS submitted official comments on December 15 that expressed a number of concerns.

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Residency Program Challenge – Get Your Program to 100% Resident involvement is crucial in strengthening the stature and influence of the AAOS and the Orthopaedic PAC in our nation’s capital.

Over 200 residents across 44 residency programs have supported our PAC, a 145% increase from just last year. Congratulations to the six following residency programs that have reached the Gold 100% participation level this year: Cooper University, Colombia, University of Hawaii, University of Kentucky, University of Pennsylvania and Thomas Jefferson. Last year Columbia, Geisinger, the Universities of Connecticut, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Vermont Orthopaedic Residency Programs hit 100% participation. There is still time to for your program to achieve 100% participation in Orthopaedic PAC and have your residency program featured in the PAC Annual Report, the Advocacy Booth at the AAOS Annual Meeting and recognized at the NOLC. Renew your support today!

AAOS Orthopaedic PAC Online Contribution Center AAOS welcomed Stacie Monroe to the Office of Government Relations (OGR) team on October 19. Stacie joins the OGR with a strong background in fundraising and expertise within the medical community. For the past nine years Stacie was with the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) as their Political Advocacy Director. Please drop Stacie an email with any PAC requests or questions at or by phone 202.548.4150. 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. Consider joining the Orthopaedic PAC with a monthly contribution of $25 or make a $1,000 contribution manageable through $250 quarterly contributions to qualify for the new “Capitol Club”. Visit and select Donate to the Orthopaedic PAC for more information or to contribute today.

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