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.

Support for IPAB falters
According to, support for the creation of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) is decreasing. The IPAB is a panel created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and tasked with reining in Medicare costs. Beginning in 2015, if Medicare spending exceeds a specific target, the IPAB will have the authority to recommend cuts that will immediately take effect unless Congress votes to block or change them. Several House Democrats have come together to support a bill repealing the IPAB.

CMS review of existing work RVUs
On May 24, 2011, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed rule related to the congressionally mandated 5-year review of existing procedure work relative value units (RVUs). The rule reviews CMS recommendations for approximately 300 procedure codes, including 23 codes for procedures that are commonly performed by orthopaedic surgeons. Many of the CMS recommendations for these 23 codes were for values lower than had been recommended. The American Association for Orthopaedic Surgeons plans to comment on the proposed rule by the July 25, 2011, deadline. CMS will review comments, possibly make adjustments to their proposed values, and release the 2012 Medicare Physician Schedule on or around Nov. 1, 2011.

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