Hundreds of orthopaedic surgeons from around the country will travel to Washington, D.C., this month to make their voices heard on Capitol Hill during the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) National Orthopaedic Leadership Conference (NOLC), April 6–8.
Attendees will meet with their Congressional representatives to encourage and educate them on the need to protect in-office ancillary services, fix the medical liability system, repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), and support the “Access to America’s Orthopaedic Services Act of 2011” (AAOS bill). AAOS members will also be seeking cosponsors for two pieces of legislation, the Medicare Decisions Accountability Act (HR 452) and the Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act of 2011 (HR 5).
Boehner to speak
On April 6, the AAOS will hold a press conference at the National Press Club to officially unveil the Decide to Drive campaign. The campaign, organized in concert with the Orthopaedic Trauma Association and the Auto Alliance, calls attention to the dangers of distracted driving.
The opening reception that night, hosted by the Board of Councilors (BOC) and the Board of Specialty Societies (BOS), will focus on a variety of topics, including how to strategically improve AAOS advocacy efforts. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R–Ohio) has been confirmed as the keynote speaker for the evening.
The following day will be spent “on the Hill.” Armed with talking points on the selected issues, NOLC attendees will meet with senators, representatives, and key healthcare staff members. The May issue of AAOS Now will include coverage of these sessions.
Also during the NOLC, the AAOS will present the 2011 Media Orthopaedic Reporting Excellence (MORE) awards to several national and local journalists. The MORE award recognizes outstanding efforts in writing and producing accurate musculoskeletal health stories. State orthopaedic societies will also be awarded funds to assist them with their state legislative and/or regulatory efforts.
Attendees will also participate in several educational symposia. The following topics are among those that will be covered:
- physician workforce issues
- the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
- physician-owned ancillary services
- the impact of the IPAB
NOLC symposia presenters include Rep. Phil Roe, MD (R-Tenn.), chief cosponsor of HR 452, the Medicare Decisions Accountability Act; Cara Scheibling, coauthor of Orthopaedic Surgeon Ownership of In-Office Ancillary Services: A Review of the Theory and Evidence; and Secretary of the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, William A. Hazel Jr., MD, an orthopaedic surgeon and AAOS member.
Watch for more coverage of the 2011 NOLC in AAOS Now and Advocacy Now.
Madeleine Lovette is the AAOS communications specialist in the office of government relations. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org