Senate Health Bills, President’s Budget, Pre-Certification Letter, and More
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Senate Health Innovation Bills Approved

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee held the first of three committee meetings on medical innovation and passed seven bills with bipartisan support.

“This is an important day, not just for this committee—but for all Americans who stand to benefit from this exciting time in medical innovation and research,” said Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN). “The House has completed its work on the 21st Century Cures Act, the president has announced his support for a Precision Medicine Initiative and a ‘cancer moonshot’—and with this bipartisan action in committee today, we’ve shown the Senate’s potential to be the vehicle that turns these groundbreaking ideas into law this year to help improve the lives of nearly every single American.” Click here to read more.

Leadership Letter on Pre-Certification Procedures

On January 10, 2016, leaders of the AAOS, AAHKS, Hip Society, and Knee Society distributed a letter on new pre-certification procedures for total joint arthroplasty.

“We understand the goal of eliminating unnecessary health care costs, but these methods must be balanced with independent clinical judgment, patient preference, best levels of evidence and preservation of timely appropriate patient access to care,” the letter states. “We will continue to bring our combined resources and expertise to bear to address and resolve the problems associated with the activities of these insurance plans. If our constructive engagement falls short of achieving the necessary results, we are prepared to bring additional pressure to bear and seek alliances with other affected stakeholders such as patients and employers.”

Read the full letter online here.

Obama Administration Budget Proposal

On Tuesday, December 9, 2015, President Obama released his 2017 budget request, which totals $4.23 trillion and is partly funded with $3.64 trillion in revenue, abiding by the discretionary caps set by last year’s bipartisan budget deal. Specifically, it provides $82.8 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) “to continue and to expand critical investments that protect the health and wellbeing of the American people.” The budget also includes $583 billion for the Defense Department and a new $10-a-barrel tax on oil, which would raise $319 billion over 10 years.

Click here to read more.

AAOS: Distraction City

Distracted driving and walking can cause unnecessary injuries and orthopaedic traumas. The phenomena are the focus of two AAOS public relations campaigns— Decide to Drive and Digital Deadwalkers—to help you promote this effort in your local markets and offices.

Click here to view or download.

Orthopaedists want to educate patients and the public about ways to keep their bones and joints safe from harm and injury. Are you doing your part?

Take a walk through Distraction City during Annual Meeting, located in Academy Hall. Can you make it through with little to no distractions?


1.     Stop in Distraction City.

2.     Learn about the campaigns. Drop off your business card to receive further information.

3.     Smile for a photo.

4.     Share on social media why you choose to be distraction-free.

For additional information, email Kayee Ip at

Telemedicine Legislation Introduced

On February 3, 2016, Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI), Roger Wicker (R-MI), Thad Cochran (R-MI), Ben Cardin (D-MD), John Thune (R-SD), and Mark Warner (D-VA) introduced the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act, bipartisan legislation that would expand telehealth services through Medicare, improve care outcomes, make it easier for patients to connect with their health care providers, and help cut costs for patients and providers. Representatives Diane Black (R-TN), Peter Welch (D-VT), and Gregg Harper (R-MS) introduced companion legislation in the House.

Click here to read more.

Members of Congress Express Support for Trauma Care

In the past few years, our nation has experienced a number of mass casualty events where too many lives were lost, and the attack in Paris only codifies the need to ensure our nation’s trauma system is able to respond adequately to these injuries.  Even though trauma is the number one cause of death in people under 45 years of age, funding for trauma grant programs under the Public Health Service Act (PHSA) has stalled since 2005.  More and more rural centers are closing and funding is needed to accurately coordinate these systems in times of need. Traumatic injury can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere, and the care that is received in the first “golden hour” after a traumatic injury is the most important care that victim will receive.

Click here to read more.

What We’re Reading

With End of Doc Fix, Effort to Craft a New Payment System Underway, The Hill, 2/11/16

Opioid Bill Easily Clears Senate Panel, But Dems Want More Funding, Morning Consult, 2/11/16

Why the House May Skip a Budget, National Journal, 2/11/16

CMS Releases Final Rule on Medicare Overpayments, MedPage Today, 2/11/16

Senate Dems Vow Fight Over Drug Abuse Funding, The Hill, 2/11/16

Burwell Says Administration Will Double Down on Drug Prices, Opioid Battle, Modern Healthcare, 2/10/16

Republicans Reject Obama Budget, Facing Spending Fights of Their Own, The Washington Post, 2/9/16

Obama Goes Big on Healthcare in Final Budget Wish List, The Hill, 2/9/16

Senate Health Committee Unanimously Passes HIT Bill, Fierce HealthIT, 2/9/16

Budget Contains Partisan and Widely Accepted Health Proposals, Morning Consult, 2/9/16

Senate Looks for Path Forward on Medical Innovation Bill, The Hill, 2/9/16

White House’s 2017 Budget to Suggest Narrowing Cadillac Tax, Modern Healthcare, 2/4/16