Second Look—Advocacy

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.

Variances in arthroplasty procedure rates
According to a report released by the nonprofit Dartmouth Atlas Project, rates for patients undergoing hip, knee, and shoulder replacement under Medicare vary widely by race and geographic location. For example, in 2005–2006, Bryan, Texas, had the lowest rate of hip replacements in the United States, at 1.8 per 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries, while the rate in Boulder, Colo., was 6.7 per 1,000. Similarly, in 2005–2006, black Medicare enrollees underwent knee replacement at a rate of 5.6 per 1,000, compared to a rate of 9.1 per 1,000 for all other beneficiaries. Additionally, the report finds that usage rates among Medicare beneficiaries are on the rise for all three procedures.

Physicians take aim at political office
According to USA Today, 47 physicians—41 Republicans and 6 Democrats—are running this year for positions in the U.S. Congress. Currently a total of 16 physicians serve in Congress, including two orthopaedic surgeons. The large number of physician candidates may be in response to debate surrounding recently approved healthcare reform legislation.

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