Published 9/1/2011
Simit Pandya

AAOS to host inaugural Orthopaedic Quality Institute

Focus will be on healthcare quality and payment issues

Critics claim that the U.S. healthcare system delivers high cost, yet ineffective, services. They point to studies that show that Americans receive recommended care only about half of the time. As a result, both federal and state governments have launched initiatives aimed at reducing healthcare costs and bolstering healthcare quality. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 is perhaps the most far-reaching of these reform initiatives.

Unfortunately, many of these proposals are being developed with little or no physician input or participation. As part of its efforts to shape this debate, the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) will be hosting its inaugural Orthopaedic Quality Institute (OQI), Oct. 5–6, 2011, at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill.

The OQI will bring together the orthopaedic community, other clinicians, healthcare payers, healthcare purchasers, consumer advocates, and government representatives who have experience with quality initiatives. It will provide an opportunity for all these stakeholders to have informative discussions about trends and priorities related to musculoskeletal care.

The OQI will also include an assessment of current AAOS quality initiatives, such as clinical practice guidelines, appropriate use criteria, the American Joint Replacement Registry, and evidence-based medicine initiatives. Confirmed attendees include Carolyn Clancy, MD, director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ); Peter Lee, JD, acting deputy director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI); William A. Hazel Jr, MD, Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources; and Randall Krakauer, MD, Aetna’s national Medicare medical director.

The role of quality at AAOS
Although the AAOS has undertaken several quality improvement initiatives in recent years, orthopaedics, as a specialty, was a latecomer to the quality movement. More than 115 organizations had developed evidence-based guidelines and listed them with the National Guideline Clearinghouse when the AAOS began its own guidelines initiative in 2005.

Under the leadership of John J. Callaghan, MD, the AAOS held two workshops focused on quality in late 2009 and early 2010. A Quality Project Team, headed by Frederick M. Azar, MD, developed a series of recommendations to enhance the AAOS role in the quality movement. Many of these recommendations were based on the experiences of the American College of Cardiology (ACC), which has been active in the quality movement for more than 20 years. The AAOS adopted the framework of the ACC quality institute as a model for the OQI.

Co-chairs for the Inaugaral OQI are Kevin J. Bozic, MD, MBA, chair of the AAOS Health Care Systems Committee, and Kristy L. Weber, MD, chair of the AAOS Council on Research and Quality. The primary staff member for OQI is William Martin III, MD, AAOS’ medical director.

The Institute will commence on Oct. 5 with a formal reception; Dr. Clancy will deliver the keynote address. On Oct. 6, invited attendees will hear brief presentations, panel discussions, and a roundtable discussion on quality and performance measurements in orthopaedics among various payer and purchaser stakeholders, including CMMI’s Mr. Lee; Steven H. Stern, MD, vice president cardiac and orthopaedic/neuroscience serviceline, United Healthcare; and M. Bradford Henley, MD, MBA, FACS, past chair of the Board of Specialty Societies and a member of the Quality Project Team. Attendees will have several opportunities to share their views during the various question-and-answer sessions scheduled during the meeting.

“We strongly believe that this meeting will facilitate an exchange of ideas to ensure high quality care for musculoskeletal patients,” said Dr. Weber, “as well as provide opportunities for participants to explore concepts that will benefit a broad array of stakeholders.”

Questions on the inaugural OQI should be directed to Dr. Martin at martin@aaos.org or (202) 546-4430.

Simit Pandya is the Orthopaedic Quality Institute/government relations specialist in the AAOS office of government relations. He can be reached at pandya@aaos.org