Published 5/1/2012

Second Look—Advocacy

CMS delays 5010 enforcement
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will not enforce compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act 5010 transaction set until after June 30, 2012. The transaction rule applies to providers who submit claims electronically. The postponement is in response to concerns about Medicare claims interruptions.

FDA to discuss MoM implants
The U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will convene a public advisory committee meeting, June 27–28, to discuss current knowledge about the safety and effectiveness of metal-on-metal (MoM) hip arthroplasty systems. The agency will seek expert scientific and clinical opinion on the risks and benefits of MoM devices based on available scientific data. The American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) plans to submit comments to FDA and to participate in this meeting.

AAOS, others oppose Sunshine Act proposed rule
In a letter to CMS, the AAOS, the American Medical Association, and more than 90 specialty and state medical societies have asked the agency to make several changes to its proposed rule implementing the “Sunshine Act”—a provision included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that requires drug and device manufacturers to track gifts and payments to physicians and teaching hospitals starting this year. Although they support the underlying goal of enhancing transparency, the organizations oppose a provision that would allow physicians to challenge reports only once a year, during a 45-day window. The AAOS sent an additional letter separate from the joint communication.

States oppose federal tort reform
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCLS) has sent a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives to state their “strong, bipartisan opposition” to a bill that, among other things, would cap noneconomic damages in medical liability cases at $250,000. NCLS argues that a federal liability cap would undermine state rights and disregard factors unique to each state.

Interactions between drug companies and healthcare groups
The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA)—a pharmaceutical industry trade group—expanded its code of practice to govern how companies interact with healthcare professionals, medical institutions, and patient organizations. All member companies and associations worldwide must adopt and implement the new code, which, among other requirements, bans companies from paying physicians to attend conferences.

These items originally appeared in AAOS Headline News Now, a thrice-weekly enewsletter that keeps AAOS members up to date on clinical, socioeconomic, and political issues, with links to more detailed information. Subscribe at www.aaos.org/news/news.asp (member login required)