Published 4/26/2017

Orthopaedic Surgeons in DC to Urge Congress to Support Important Legislation

Washington, D.C. (April 26, 2017) — On Thursday, April 27, 2017, more than 300 orthopaedic surgeons from around the country will take to Capitol Hill to meet with their congressional representatives as part of the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) National Orthopaedic Leadership Conference (NOLC). Attendees will be urging legislators to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) through legislation such as S. 260/H.R. 849, to reverse the restrictions on physician-owned hospitals via H.R. 1156, and to take meaningful steps towards medical liability reform with legislation including H.R. 1704. Orthopaedic surgeons will also be sharing AAOS efforts to raise awareness of the importance of prescription safety and the dangers of opioid misuse, including a public service campaign with print and radio ads.

“While Congress continues to debate the future of health care, we urge legislators to consider important measures that would promote and ensure access to effective, high-quality health care,” stated AAOS President William J. Maloney, MD. “AAOS believes health care policy should ensure unencumbered access to specialty care, make health care coverage more affordable, and improve quality of care. H.R. 1156, the Patient Access to Higher Quality Health Care Act, would take steps towards these goals by reversing restrictions on physician-owned hospitals and allowing these hospitals, which provide some of the highest quality in the country, to meet the increasing demand in their communities. H.R. 1704, the Accessible Care by Curbing Excessive Lawsuits (ACCESS) Act, would mirror successful reforms in California and Texas to protect patients, end medical lawsuit abuse, and ensure all patients can afford the medical care they need.” 

Orthopaedic surgeons will also discuss the importance of IPAB repeal and urge Congress to support S. 260/H.R. 849, the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act. Not only does the creation of the IPAB severely limit congressional authority, it essentially eliminates the transparency of hearings and debate and precludes the meaningful opportunity for stakeholder input. Further, requiring the IPAB to achieve savings in one-year increments is not conducive to generating savings through long-term delivery reforms. The Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act, introduced by John Cornyn in the Senate and Phil Roe, MD in the House, is especially important this year as IPAB-directed cuts could be impending, with the Medicare per capita growth rate projected to exceed the per capita target growth rate in 2017.

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Kristen Coultas