Today’s Top Story
President-elect signals some intent regarding ACA.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, President-elect Donald Trump softened his language regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA), stating that the healthcare law would either “be amended or repealed and replaced.” Mr. Trump also stated that he would consider retaining at least two provisions of the ACA through any repeal effort: a prohibition against denial of coverage due to preexisting conditions and a rule that allows young adults to remain on their parents’ plans until 26 years of age. In addition, he promised no lapse in health insurance for consumers covered under the ACA.
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Read more in The New York Times
Read more in The Washington Post

Other News

Legislators differ on process for ACA repeal and replacement.
Articles in Politico and The Hill look at dissension among Republican legislators regarding ACA repeal and replacement. Some lawmakers, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have argued for a complete “root and branch” repeal of the law. Others are concerned about potential fallout from millions of people losing health insurance, and advocate working with Democrats to craft a replacement that would reduce the chances of major disruption.
Read more in Politico
Read more in The Hill

Will political landscape slow MACRA implementation?
An article in Modern Healthcare examines the future of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) in the wake of the election. The writer notes that some physicians have announced that they would retire or stop accepting Medicare due to dissatisfaction with provisions in the final payment rule, putting pressure on lawmakers to slow value-based payment efforts. However, observers note that MACRA was passed with bipartisan support through two Republican-controlled houses of Congress, and legislators may not wish to revisit a law that received wide support so soon after its passage.
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Study: Sex-specific factors may affect pain and function following THA.
Findings presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ARHP) examines sex-specific associations in self-reported pain and function for patients who have undergone total hip arthroplasty (THA). The researchers reviewed data on 124 patients (64 females) who were assessed prior to and approximately 1 year following THA. They found different biomechanical factors linked to pain and function improvements among men and women. Female patients who reported better functional recovery had more abductor strength improvement and better abductor function during walking. However, the researchers did not find the same associations among men.
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Study: NSAIDs and TNFi in combination may help slow radiographic progression of ankylosing spondylitis.
According to findings presented at the ACR/ARHP annual meeting, use of NSAIDs and Tumor Necrosis Factor inhibitors (TNFis) in patients may help slow radiographic progression of ankylosing spondylitis. The researchers reviewed data on 527 patients from a prospective cohort with at least 2 years of radiologic and clinical follow-up. Overall, NSAIDs and TNFi were used in 78.0 percent and 58.4 percent of patients, respectively. At mean 4.29-year follow-up, the researchers found that multivariable results displayed significant interaction between NSAIDs and TNFi, indicating lower progression only for patients treated with TNFi and high dose NSAIDs.
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Study: Wnt inhibitor may offer efficacy in treatment of OA.
Preliminary study data presented at the ACR/ARHP annual meeting suggest a potential positive treatment effect for the novel Wnt inhibitor SM04690 for osteoarthritis (OA) patients. The research team conducted a first-in-human, multicenter, single-dose-escalation, randomized controlled trial of SM04690 in patients with moderate to severe OA. Escalation cohorts were dosed at 0.03 mg, 0.07 mg, and 0.23 mg SM04690 per 2 mL injection, in cohorts of 20 patients, with 4 patients in each cohort randomized to placebo. Compared to placebo, the research team found statistically more Outcome Measures in Rheumatology-Osteoarthritis Research Society International strict responders in the 0.07 mg cohort at week 12, and numerically more in the 0.03 mg cohort at week 24. In addition, more patients in the 0.07 mg cohort met both pain and function criteria compared to placebo at 12 weeks and 24 weeks.
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Call for volunteers: Content Committees.
Dec. 16 is the last day to submit your application for a position on AAOS Content Committees (four member openings—generalist). Content Committees work with AAOS staff to identify member knowledge gaps in different specialty areas based on industry/healthcare data, market information, Academy product/program evaluation, membership evaluation, and survey results, including the Academy’s clinical needs assessment survey. Applicants for this position must be active fellows with experience serving on an AAOS committee and familiarity with the current orthopaedic education landscape.
Learn more and submit your application…(member login required)