Physician-Owned Hospitals, DEA Changes, PQRS Updates, and More
For questions or concerns on these or other advocacy issues, contact the Office of Government Relations at
The next issue of Advocacy Now will go out on January 10, 2017 –
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from your AAOS Office of Government Relations!
Orthopaedic Surgeons Discuss Physician-Owned Hospitals on Capitol Hill
On December 7, physicians from AAOS joined the Physician Hospital Association for a day of visits on Capitol Hill with members of Congress and key staff. The focus of the meetings was repeal of Section 6001 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which universally banned all new physician-owned hospitals from participating in Medicare and Medicaid as well as placed a strict prohibition on expansion of existing physician-owned hospitals. This has contributed to the rapid consolidation of the hospital industry that was triggered by the ACA as well as lack of choices for patients, increased costs and lower quality health care.

Click here to read more.

DEA Announces Changes to Registration Renewal Process
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has recently announced significant changes to its registration renewal process through a notice on its website. Effective January 1, 2017, only one renewal notice will be sent to each registrant’s “mail to” address approximately 65 days prior to the expiration date; no other reminders to renew the DEA registration will be provided. This change in policy signals that the DEA is eliminating the informal grace period which the agency has previously allowed for registrants to renew their registrations.  The notice also advises that online capability to renew a DEA registration after the expiration date will no longer be available, and that failure to file a renewal application by midnight EST of the expiration date will result in the “retirement” of the registrant’s DEA number.  The original DEA registration will not be reinstated.  In addition, paper renewal applications will not be accepted the day after the expiration date.  If DEA has not received the paper renewal application by the day of the expiration date, mailed in renewal applications will be returned and the registrant will have to apply for a new DEA registration.

Notification of this change can be found here:

CMS Not Penalizing Doctors for PQRS

According to a recent announcement, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will not penalize doctors in 2017 or 2018 who fail to meet the Physician Quality Reporting System’s (PQRS) requirements this year because of the ICD-10 coding update. Physicians stood to lose 2 percent of their Medicare reimbursement in 2017 and 2018 under PQRS for not meeting the program’s requirements in 2015 and 2016.

Click here to read more.

Webinars on the Quality Payment Program (QPP) – Watch Now!
Miss any of the AAOS webinars on the Quality Payment Program (QPP)? Watch them using the links below!

This webinar outlines the impact that the Quality Payment Program (QPP) will have on small orthopaedic practices, provides insight into the incentive payment provisions under MACRA and summarizes the potential cost to your practice for non-compliance. Faculty also discuss the Clinical Practice Improvement Activity (CPIA) and Advancing Care Initiative (ACI) categories of QPP.

Watch it here:

What will it take to be successful under MACRA? This webinar provides a solid overview of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM) incentive payment provisions under MACRA, collectively referred to as the Quality Payment Program. Master the program details that impact you, including timing and timeline for MACRA implementation; both tracks for participation, APMs and MIPs; incentives and penalties associated with MACRA; insight on MIPs Composite Score; and steps to begin the path to APMs Program Schedule.

Watch it here:

State Corner: National Governors Association Compact to Fight
Opioid Addiction
The National Governors Association (NGA) has secured 46 governors in a Compact to Fight Opioid Addiction. To address the growing heroin and opioid situation, the NGA Center for Best Practices developed a road map to help states prevent, respond and treat opioid misuse as well as strengthen law enforcement efforts to address illegal supply chain activity. According to the NGA, “It is designed as a policy development tool, allowing a state to use all or portions of the road map as it applies to their unique situation.” The compact says that, “Although there has been progress in recent years, inappropriate opioid prescribing continues to fuel one of the deadliest drug epidemics in our nation’s history… [The Compact] sends a clear signal to opioid prescribers and others whose leadership is critical to saving lives.”

Click here to read more.

Election 2016 Graphic of the Week
Click here to download graphic.

PAC Participation Leader Board by State

The interactive map below features each state’s PAC support through September 1, 2016.

Learn More About the Advisor’s Circle

In 2016, the Orthopaedic PAC announced a new program specifically designed for group practices, called the Advisor’s Circle. If your group practice is looking to become more involved in the political advocacy arena, or for more sophisticated opportunities, the Advisor’s Circle offers just this. We have created a tiered benefits structure that offers unique activities that will exponentially increase your partners’, your practice’s, your patients’ and your own political reach. Benefits vary, from congressional fundraising retreats; to legislative fly-in assistance and in-district training and PAC checks; even a leadership role in bringing forth priority issues to the PAC Executive Committee. The Advisor’s Circle has a broad array of benefits that are completely separate from our individual donor benefits.

To schedule a one on one meeting to learn more about the Advisor’s Circle and a free assessment of your group’s needs email Stacie Monroe at

Orthopaedic PAC Establishes Futures Capitol Club

The Orthopaedic PAC Capitol Club was established in 2014 as a way for the AAOS Orthopaedic PAC to recognize those individuals who have shown a strong commitment to advocacy. The Capitol Club has grown yearly since its inception, but has largely been unattainable for residents due to monetary constraints. In an effort to help recognize those residents who have also shown a strong commitment to the PAC, the AAOS PAC Executive Committee has recently approved the Futures Capitol Club. This club is exclusively for residents and will provide them with the same benefits bestowed upon members of the Capitol Club.

Some of these benefits include:

  • Complimentary entry and drink tickets to the resident reception held at the annual meeting in 2017;
  • A ribbon signifying Future Capitol Club participation at the annual meeting (and NOLC) in 2017;
  • A group picture with the PAC luncheon keynote speaker in 2017;
  • Invitation to Capitol Club events, such as the reception at the National Orthopaedic Leadership Conference (NOLC) and similar events throughout the year; and
  • Each individual’s name will be listed in the PAC annual report, on the PAC website and at the PAC/Advocacy booth at the annual meeting.

Click here to read more.

AAOS Orthopaedic PAC Online Contribution Center and Mobile
Orthopaedic PAC is now mobile! Supporting by phone is easy: simply text AAOS to the number 41444, and follow the link, no log-in required. We encourage our supporters to share this technology with your colleagues who have yet to renew or join and to encourage signing up on a recurring basis, for just $84 a month, or $250 a quarter you can become part of our Capitol Club Program.

And don’t forget! 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. Visit and select Donate to the Orthopaedic PAC for more information or to contribute today.

Don’t remember when you last contributed? Log in to the contribution center today to view your complete donation history!