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.

Defensive medicine and imaging
According to a study reported on in the Richmond (Va.) Times Dispatch, nearly 20 percent of imaging tests ordered by orthopaedic surgeons may be for so-called “defensive” purposes. Members of the Pennsylvania Orthopaedic Society were asked to self-track demographic information, modality, region, and indication for imaging. More than 2,000 patient encounters were included. Defensive imaging orders accounted for 324 (19.7 percent) of the 1,642 orders recorded by 56 orthopaedists. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) accounted for 161 (49.7 percent) of all defensive orders. Based on Medicare pricing, defensive imaging was responsible for $93,422 (35.0 percent) of total imaging charges ($267,166). A lawsuit within the last 5 years and practice for more than 15 years predicted an increased incidence of defensive orders.

Medicare Fraud Task Force arrests 100
The Los Angeles Times reports that more than 700 federal agents in nine cities arrested more than 100 physicians, nurses, physical therapists, and podiatrists. The defendants allegedly cheated the government out of more than $225 million through as many as 40 different false billing schemes. Earlier this week, in a separate sweep, 21 suspects accused of bilking $200 million from Medicare were arrested in Miami.

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