AAOS Policy for a Fellow or Member Who Fails to Disclose Conflicts of Interest when Required

AAOS Orthopaedic Disclosure Program Background

  • Each Fellow or Member participating in an AAOS CME program, serving as an author of enduring materials, as a member of the AAOS Councils, Cabinets, Committees, Project Teams or other official AAOS groups, editors-in-chief and editorial boards or AAOS guideline development workgroups has the obligation to disclose all potentially conflicting interests through the AAOS Orthopaedic Disclosure Program.
  • Each Fellow or Member is responsible for providing accurate and complete information to the AAOS Orthopaedic Disclosure Program regarding the nature of his or her relationships with commercial entities relating to orthopaedics, which must be updated at least semiannually (usually April and October). It is recommended that participants note any changes to the AAOS Orthopaedic Disclosure Program as soon as possible after the changes occur.
  • The AAOS Orthopaedic Disclosure Policy expressly provides that "a failure of a required participant to participate in the AAOS Orthopaedic Disclosure Program will result in the participant being asked not to participate in the AAOS CME program, the AAOS governance group, as editor-in-chief or on an editorial board and AAOS guideline development."
  • All Fellows and Members are encouraged to participate in the AAOS Orthopaedic Disclosure Program.

Directions for Handling Failure of Fellow or Member to Disclose When Required

  • Upon receipt of notice that an AAOS Fellow or Member has failed to disclose a conflict of interest when required, AAOS staff shall discuss the disclosure matter with the Fellow or Member who failed to disclose. If unsuccessful in obtaining the disclosure, AAOS staff shall then talk with the appropriate Committee/Project/Group Chair. From these discussions, AAOS staff will follow AAOS Orthopaedic Disclosure Policy in an effort to obtain the Fellow or Member's disclosure, time permitting.
  • If unsuccessful in obtaining a disclosure, staff will prepare a summary with recommendations on handling the matter, including the following information:
    • The identity of the Fellow or Member and his/her role within the project/program;
    • Background on the project/ program/guideline involved;
    • Documentation on attempts to have the Fellow or Member complete the Disclosure Report; and
    • Any materials related to known conflict(s) of interest (e.g., prior disclosures; industry website disclosure report, if available/applicable).
  • The summary will be presented to the Department Manager and/or Executive Team member for review and resolution of the disclosure issue in conjunction with the Committee/Project/Group Chair.
  • If the issue cannot be satisfactorily resolved and there is no disclosure, AAOS staff shall submit an updated summary, with supporting materials, to the Office of General Counsel. The Office of General Counsel shall determine the appropriate action for AAOS to take. The Office of General Counsel will inform the Presidential Line of any actions under consideration for failure to report. In addition, as appropriate, the Office of General Counsel will request the assistance of the Committee on Outside Interests regarding appropriate actions for failure to report.
  • All incidents of failure to disclose must be submitted to the Office of General Counsel.
  • On an annual basis, the Committee on Outside Interests will review a report developed by the Office of General Counsel documenting any and all incidents of nondisclosure within Academy programs.

The AAOS disclosure and conflict of interest processes are being developed and reviewed with the goal of transparent and appropriate decision-making. This protocol was developed to provide guidance to the various Committee/Program/Group Chairs, Editors, and appropriate staff on challenging conflict of interest issues. This protocol may be modified as other AAOS policies and procedures are developed.

Adopted: September 23, 2011

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