Richard J. Barry, MD, BOC chair, opened the meeting and welcomed participants to this year’s event. Moderated by Dirk Alander, MD, and David Markel, MD, the meeting included presentations on the impact of state budgets on Medicaid, the impact on states of the federal healthcare reform legislation, medical liability reform in Illinois, and deliberating differently in the boardroom, among other topics.


Published 7/1/2010
Maureen Leahy

State societies share strategies

Annual event strengthens state societies

The AAOS State Societies Strategy Meeting was held in Washington, D.C., prior to the start of the National Orthopaedic Leadership Conference. More than 125 state orthopaedic society officers, directors, and members of the AAOS Board of Councilors (BOC) attended the educational and planning initiative.

Developed in conjunction with the state societies, the BOC State Legislative and Regulatory Issues Committee, and the BOC State Orthopaedic Societies Committee, the annual program provides state society leadership with a forum for discussing legislative and organizational issues. The meeting also gives attendees the opportunity to network, establish and foster relationships, and learn from each other.

BOC Chair Richard J. Barry, MD

Building alliances, increasing relevancy
Fraser Cobbe, executive director of the Florida Orthopaedic Society and the South Carolina Orthopaedic Association, noted that building alliances and coalitions with relevant partners benefits state societies. These include alliances with common interest organizations, such as the American Association of Orthopaedic Executives (AAOE); issue-oriented coalitions, such as Citizens for Therapy Reform, Inc.; and alliances with patient or charitable organizations, such as the Arthritis Foundation. He noted that state societies and the AAOE can collaborate on committees such as medical economics, legislation, and political action; conduct grassroots advocacy; work on special projects such as establishing risk purchasing groups (RPG); obtaining sponsorship support; meeting programming; social networking; and leadership development.

Douglas W. Lundy, MD; Charles N. Hubbard, MD; and James W. Barber, MD, addressed how to make state societies relevant in 2010 and shared recruiting strategies used by the Georgia Orthopaedic Society. Despite the benefits they offer members, state societies face challenges when recruiting surgeons who are part of large megagroups, working in smaller urban or suburban groups, are solo practitioners, or are in academic practices.

By increasing their value to members, state societies can attract these surgeons. Possible solutions include offering group purchasing programs, RPGs, practice management education and information, Webinars, and surveys. In addition, effective recruiting involves simplifying the application process and targeting leadership within groups as well as individuals.

Additional meeting highlights included discussions of the changing hospital-orthopaedic surgeon relationship and its impact on state society membership, negotiating with private payors, and the status of in-office imaging and physician-owned physical therapy services.

Maureen Leahy is assistant managing editor for AAOS Now. She can be reached at

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