Second Look – Reimbursement & Regulation

If you missed these Headline News Now items the first time around, AAOS Now gives you a second chance to review them. Headline News Now—the AAOS thrice-weekly, online update of news of interest to orthopaedic surgeons—brings you the latest on clinical, socioeconomic, and political issues, as well as important announcements from AAOS.

Medicare fund insolvent by 2017
According to an
annual report released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees, the Medicare trust fund will be exhausted in 2017—2 years earlier than previously estimated. Total Medicare expenditures in 2008 were $468 billion and are expected to rise at a greater rate than workers’ earnings or the economy overall. Costs for Medicare during 2008 were 3.2 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product.

Medical boards disciplining fewer physicians
A
report released by the not-for-profit advocacy group Public Citizen finds that the rate of discipline for physicians in 2008 was 21.5 percent lower than in 2004. In 2008, there were 2.92 serious disciplinary actions per 1,000 physicians, compared with 3.72 actions per 1,000 physicians in 2004. The following states had the largest reductions in physician discipline since the 2001–2003 report: California, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and New Hampshire.

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