Orthopaedic Surgeons Head to Capitol Hill On Thursday, April 30, 2015, more than 400 orthopaedic surgeons from around the country took to Capitol Hill to meet with their congressional representatives as part of the AAOS National Orthopaedic Leadership Conference (NOLC). Attendees expressed their thanks for the passage of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (H.R. 2) and discussed with their members of Congress other issues important to the orthopaedic community, including repealing the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) through legislation such as H.R. 1190/S. 141 and protecting sports medicine professionals by enacting H.R. 921/S. 689. Click here to read more.

Send Us Your Local Bone and Joint Health Articles for the Academy’s MORE Award Competition
Next time you read a great article about a bone and joint treatment, patient success stories, or breakthrough in care; or if you view or hear a musculoskeletal news story on the television or radio, let us know. Each year, AAOS presents MORE Awards to journalists who demonstrate excellence by accurately reporting on orthopaedics while fostering public awareness of musculoskeletal health issues. Entries are judged by a distinguished panel of orthopaedic surgeons, and evaluated for overall quality, accuracy and effectiveness in promoting greater awareness of musculoskeletal health issues. Click here to read more.
IPAB Legislation Surpasses 220 Cosponsors One of the main issues AAOS members advocated for at the 2015 NOLC was the repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) (read the Advocacy Now article here). On May 1, 2015, AAOS – together with over fifteen orthopaedic specialty and regional societies and more than 500 other physician groups – sent a letter to Congress urging support to repeal the IPAB. Last week, Reps. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN) and Linda Sánchez (D-CA) announced their legislation to repeal the IPAB – H.R. 1190, the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act of 2015 – has surpassed 220 cosponsors, a critical milestone necessary to ensure House passage should the legislation receive a floor vote. Click here to read more.
ICD-10 Legislation Introduced

Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX) recently introduced H.R. 2126, the Cutting Costly Codes Act of 2015, which would prohibit the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) from replacing ICD-9 with ICD-10. The bill has been referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Committee on Ways and Means. According to Poe, “big government must get out of the way and let doctors do what they were trained to do—help people.” Similar legislation was introduced in 2013, which the AAOS supported. Further, AAOS prepared testimony in advance of a recent congressional hearing on the issue (read more in Advocacy Now here).

Click here to read more.

What We’re Reading

Senate adopts Republican budget targeting Obamacare, Modern Healthcare, May 6, 2015

GOP Leaders Consider Preserving Obamacare Subsidies Until After the 2016 Election, Bloomberg, May 5, 2015

Republicans Put Big-Time Medicare Overhaul On The Shelf, National Journal, May 5, 2015

Congress must encourage the 21st Century Cures initiative, The Hill, May 5, 2015

Electronic record errors growing issue in lawsuits, Politico, May 4, 2015

500 groups urge repeal of ObamaCare cost-cutting panel, The Hill, May 4, 2015

House Draft Bill Drops CMS Payment Disclosures to Sunshine Database, The Wall Street Journal, May 1, 2015

For more, follow @AAOSAdvocacy on twitter!

National Orthopaedic Leadership Conference (NOLC) Kicks Off with Orthopaedic PAC Congressional Reception

Click here to watch this slideshow.

Over 130 AAOS fellows gathered at the W Hotel’s top-floor, Point of View lounge overlooking the National Mall on Wednesday, April 29 for an Orthopaedic PAC congressional reception. Members of the PAC’s top donor level, the Capitol Club joined other PAC donors who purchased tickets to attend the event or bundled contributions from colleagues back home. All ticket proceeds went directly to the Orthopaedic PAC, raising a record amount of $58,150 during the NOLC.

PAC members enjoyed stunning views of the National Mall while visiting with some of AAOS’ biggest legislative champions. PAC Chairman, John T. Gill, MD, welcomed the crowd and thanked them for their generous support of the PAC before introducing the nine members of Congress in attendance.

Click here to read more.

Advocacy Forum for Spouses and Other Patient Advocates

Born out of a dinner at the 2015 AAOS Annual Meeting, the first NOLC Advocacy Forum for Spouses and Other Patient Advocates proved to be a complete success and has only increased efforts to continue this program at the next meeting in Denver, CO, October 22 – 24, 2015. Chosen as the group’s focus was fragility fractures and the impact on our nation’s healthcare system. Dr. David Halsey, MD and Dr. David Mansfield, MD gave a quick overview on this Grassroots Advocacy Pilot Project. As introductions began, it was evident the attendees were engaged, interested and ready to advocate for this cause. In addition, all had different stories to tell and brought unique backgrounds and perspectives to the conversation. It was clear there was overwhelming agreement that politics and advocacy does matter.

Click here to read more.

Senate Committee Talks Precision Medicine

The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee recently held a hearing on Continuing America’s Leadership: Realizing the Promise of Precision Medicine for Patients. During the hearing, Committee Chairmen Lamar Alexander (R-PA) emphasized the importance of interoperability and how funding these and other Electronic Medical Records (EMR) programs must produce a return on investment. Specifically, he asked Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology how she plans to work with doctors to get the EMRs working to full efficiency and efficacy. DeSalvo acknowledged that there is still work to be done, but she shared that her office has met with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to get extra time for physicians and allow flexibility in upgrading. She also noted that they want to give physicians a more streamlined approach to cut down in number of clicks to get information into system. Finally, DeSalvo pointed out that there is a fellowship program to expose and train physicians with the EMRs.

“We’ve got to get these records to a place where the systems can talk to one another – that’s called interoperability – and also where more doctors, particularly the smaller physicians’ offices, want to adopt these systems, can afford the cost, and can be confident that their investment will be of value,” Alexander said. “The federal government has spent $28 billion to drive the adoption of these records systems, and the result is that doctors don’t like the systems, they say they disrupt workflow, interrupt the doctor-patient relationship, and haven’t been worth the effort. So, Senator Murray and I have begun a working group to identify the five or six things we can do to help make the failed promise of electronic health records something that physicians and providers look forward to instead of something they endure.” Click here to read more.

2014 Stuart L. Weinstein, MD PAC Participation Awards Presented to Vermont and Puerto Rico

The Stuart L. Weinstein, MD PAC Participation Awards were presented on Friday, May 1, 2015 during the National Orthopaedic Leadership Conference (NOLC) held in Washington, DC to Puerto Rico and Vermont.  The PAC Participation Awards were established in 2013 to honor the states with the highest PAC participation rate as well as the individual state that has demonstrated the greatest improvement in PAC participation from one year to the next. Congratulations to Puerto Rico for achieving the highest participation rate in the Orthopaedic PAC at an impressive 69 percent! Meanwhile, congratulations to Vermont for seeing the greatest improvement in their PAC participation, up from 16 percent in 2013 to 58 percent in 2014.

Click here to read more.

Save the Date: Sixth Annual Physician & Dentist Candidate Workshop, July 10-11, 2015

With many health policy challenges on the horizon, it is more important than ever that individuals who understand and care about the future of medicine are elected to public office. Fortunately, physician involvement in politics has grown considerably in recent years. In the 114th Congress there are 17 physician members serving in Congress, including two orthopaedic surgeons: Dr. Tom Price (R-GA-06) and Dr. John Barrasso (R-WY). Many more physicians are serving their communities through elected office at the state and local level.

The Orthopaedic PAC strives to educate and help elect AAOS members and other specialty physicians to political office at all levels. AAOS is co-hosting the 6th Annual Specialty Physician and Dentist Candidate Workshop on Saturday, July 11 in Washington, DC along with the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Society of Anesthesiologists, American College of Radiology and the American Dental Association. Click here to read more.