Today’s Top Story
AAOS member under consideration for head of HHS.
Politico reports that AAOS member U.S. Rep. Thomas E. Price, MD, (R-Ga.) may be under consideration for the position of secretary of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). Dr. Price currently chairs the House Committee on the Budget and is a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means. In addition, he is a member of several caucuses, including:

  • Congressional Health Care Caucus
  • Doctors Caucus
  • Republican Study Committee
  • Tea Party Caucus

“Tom Price has been loyal to Donald Trump from the outset and his knowledge of health care is second to none,” reports Politico, reporting a source close to the Trump campaign. “Him (sic) being in contention for HHS secretary makes perfect sense.” Read more…

Other News

Study: FD of infraspinatus linked to incomplete healing of rotator cuff repair.
Findings from a study published online in The American Journal of Sports Medicine suggest that fatty degeneration (FD) of the infraspinatus may be associated with healing failure of rotator cuff repairs. The authors conducted a cohort study of 132 patients who underwent arthroscopic repair of full-thickness rotator cuff tears. At mean 12.7-month follow-up, they observed healing failure in 18.2 percent of patients, with an inverse relationship between repair tension and healing at the repair site. However, after adjustment for sex, age, tear size, amount of retraction, tendon quality, and FD of rotator cuff muscles, only FD of the infraspinatus displayed an association with the anatomic outcome of the repair. Read the abstract…

Study: Disability and social factors may influence readmission rates for Medicare patients.
According to a study published online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, disability and social factors may influence readmission risk for Medicare patients. The researchers conducted a retrospective cohort study of Medicare patients using state inpatient databases, zip code-level demographic information, and Medicare claims data for three conditions: pneumonia, heart failure, and acute myocardial infarction. They found that, for pneumonia, ≥3 activities of daily living (ADL) difficulties and prior home healthcare needs increased readmission in Health and Retirement Study-Medicare claims data (HRS-CMS) models; and ADL difficulties and ‘other’ race increased readmission in Census American Community Survey (ACS-HCUP) models. For heart failure, children and wealth were associated with lowered readmission in HRS-CMS models, while black or ‘other’ race increased readmission in ACS-HCUP models. Finally, for acute myocardial infarction, nursing home status increased readmission in HRS-CMS models, and ‘other’ patient-level race and hospital-level race were linked to increased readmission in ACS-HCUP models. Read more…
Read the abstract…

Do medical device reps bear too much influence in the OR?
An article in Kaiser Health News looks at the issue of device manufacturer representatives (reps) in the operating room (OR). The writer argues that there is little public awareness regarding the role such reps play during surgery, despite a number of court cases dating back to the late 1970s that have raised questions regarding their involvement. The authors of a study published earlier this year in the journal PLOS ONE observed that “device reps work hard to make themselves unobtrusively indispensable in order to establish and maintain influence, and to imbue the products they provide with personalized services that foster a surgeon’s loyalty to the reps and their companies.” Read more…
Read the PLOS ONE study…

Reminder: Nov. 30 deadline to request informal review for 2017 PQRS reporting.
In 2017, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will apply a downward payment adjustment to providers who did not satisfactorily report Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) results during 2015. The agency states that providers who have questions regarding the status of their 2015 PQRS reporting or who are concerned about potentially receiving the PQRS downward payment adjustment in 2017 must submit an informal review request by Nov. 30, 2016. CMS will be in contact with every eligible professional or PQRS group practice that submits a request for an informal review of their 2015 PQRS data. All informal review requestors will be notified via email of a final decision by CMS within 90 days of the original request for an informal review. All decisions will be final and there will be no further review. Read the PQRS informal review fact sheet (PDF)…

AAOS Nominating Committee recommends 2017 slate.
The AAOS Nominating Committee has released its recommended slate of nominees 120 days in advance of the business meeting at the AAOS Annual Meeting, as required by AAOS bylaws. Chaired by Joshua J. Jacobs, MD, the 2017 Nominating Committee consisted of Leesa M. Galatz, MD (N.Y.); James D. Heckman, MD (Texas); L. Scott Levin, MD (Pa.); William N. Levine, MD (N.Y.); Mary I. O’Connor, MD (Conn.); and Stuart L. Weinstein, MD (Iowa). After an expansive search process, the development of Plans for Active Management of conflicts of interest, and extensive discussion, the 2017 Nominating Committee recommended the following individuals to serve in the specified AAOS leadership positions:

  • Second Vice-President: Kristy L. Weber, MD (Pa.)
  • Member-at-Large (no age designation): Ronald A. Navarro, MD (Calif.)
  • Member-at-Large (under age 45): Jacob M. Buchowski, MD (Mo.)
  • National Membership Committee representative: David J. Mansfield, MD (Texas)

Read more (PDF)…

Last call: Women’s Health Issues Advisory Board.
Nov. 18 is the last day to submit your application for a position on the Women’s Health Issues Advisory Board (one member position—liaison to the Council on Research and Quality). The purpose of the board is to advocate, advance, and serve as a resource on sex and gender differences in musculoskeletal health. Applicants for this position must be active fellows, candidate members, or emeritus members with in-depth knowledge of women’s musculoskeletal health research issues. Learn more and submit your application…(member login required)