Published 3/1/2007
Susan Koshy

AAOS awards $76,500 to state societies

Grants support health policy activities in 2007

State orthopaedic societies are often on the front line in addressing tort reform, scope of practice, direct access and other legislative and regulatory issues that affect the practice of orthopaedic surgery. More often than not, they do so with limited budgets, staff and other resources.

Recognizing the growing importance of state health policy issues and the vital role that state societies play in dealing with them, the AAOS Board of Directors created the State Orthopaedic Society Health Policy Action Fund. It also provided appropriations of $200,000 for a three-year period beginning in 2005. The Board of Councilors’ (BOC) State Legislative and Regulatory Issues Committee is responsible for distributing the funds. Recently, the committee approved $76,500 in grants for 2007 to assist 12 state orthopaedic societies with their state legislative and/or regulatory efforts.

According to Fraser Cobb, executive director of the Florida Orthopaedic Society, “The Health Policy Action Fund has been instrumental in numerous state level victories. It provides critical funding to enable state societies to effectively represent the profession in state capitals across the country.”

Nearly $200,000 awarded to date

Since the establishment of the fund, the AAOS has awarded nearly $200,000 to state orthopaedic societies to deal with issues such as direct access to physical therapy, diagnostic imaging, podiatry scope of practice, and workers’ compensation. State societies that wish to apply for financial assistance must complete a detailed application describing their legislative or regulatory issue, plan of action, budget, and an assessment of their likelihood of success. The BOC State Legislative and Regulatory Issues Committee reviews each grant application to ensure that the focus remains on the issues that most affect orthopaedic practice.

The AAOS will continue to support state society efforts on behalf of orthopaedic surgeons and their patients at the state legislative level. These cooperative efforts will have a positive impact on the practice of orthopaedic medicine for AAOS members.

Susan Koshy is manager of state society and legislative affairs for the AAOS office of government relations. She can be reached at koshy@aaos.org

2007 State Orthopaedic Health Policy Grants

California Orthopaedic Association
$5,000 – To develop a legislative key contact system and identify orthopaedic surgeons who are acquainted with candidates or incumbent officials

Florida Orthopaedic Society
$5,000 – To introduce and pass legislation limiting podiatrists’ scope of practice

Georgia Orthopaedic Society
$5,000 – To remove the state’s certificate of need (CON) law for outpatient surgical centers and imaging care

Minnesota Orthopaedic Society
$5,000 –To oppose unlimited direct access to physical therapy

New York State Society of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Inc.
$5,000 – To oppose legislation to expand podiatrists’ scope of practice

North Carolina Orthopaedic Association
$1,500 – To oppose potential legislation on physician-owned physical therapy services (POPTS)

Orthopaedic Surgeons of New Jersey
$10,000 – To oppose a proposed regulation that would have reduced reimbursement for out-of-network physicians

Pennsylvania Orthopaedic Society
$5,000 – To oppose legislation to limit self-referral

Rhode Island Orthopaedic Society
$2,500 – To oppose legislation requiring certification of small magnet magnetic resonance imaging equipment and CONs for imaging equipment

South Carolina Orthopaedic Association
$20,000 – To introduce and pass legislation allowing POPTS

Texas Orthopaedic Association
$10,000 – To develop a campaign on scope of practice issues

Vermont Orthopaedic Society
$2,500 – To oppose a change in the scope of practice of physical therapists that would allow them to provide a diagnosis, prognosis, and plan of treatment for patients