AAOS Board approves position statement on government healthcare programs

In this election year, healthcare issues are being widely debated. Each of the presidential candidates has developed proposals for reform—some more detailed than others. In anticipation of an increasingly significant national debate on healthcare reform, the AAOS Board of Directors approved a position statement on existing government healthcare programs during its meeting on March 3. The statement, developed by the Council on Advocacy, had previously been vetted by several groups within the orthopaedic community.

The new position statement recognizes that programs such as Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) will continue to play a role in providing access to care for the nation’s estimated 46.5 million uninsured, nonelderly individuals. It takes a position on issues such as universal coverage, universal access, accountability, continuity of care, cost containment, external reforms, infrastructure and administration, and quality of care. The statement also outlines principles that should apply to such programs and structural changes that must be made for patients to have high quality, safe, cost-effective medical care in general and, specifically, to obtain necessary musculoskeletal care.

Universal coverage, access issues
To address the issue of universal coverage, the statement reads: The AAOS strongly supports providing individuals consistent access to patient-centered, timely, unencumbered, affordable, and appropriate health care and universal coverage while maintaining that physicians are an integral component to providing the highest quality treatment. The AAOS supports prioritizing the coverage of children under the SCHIP program.

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