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Published 2/1/2019
John Cherf , MD, MPH, MBA; Cindy Bracy

AAOS Commits to Strengthening Its Practice Management Portfolio

In early 2018, the AAOS Board of Directors created a Practice Management Task Force to conduct an internal and external assessment of the AAOS practice management portfolio.

The goal of the task force was to support the development of the Academy’s practice management portfolio, reinforce the education strategy, enhance member value, and drive incremental revenue. To achieve this goal, the task force engaged an outside consultant to perform an audit of current practice management products and compare the AAOS portfolio to those of several similarly structured specialty organizations.

The audit determined that although AAOS has a significant amount of practice management content, it is dispersed throughout the organization and lacks a centralized hub for member access.

An internal workgroup then was formed that included senior AAOS leadership and members from key internal AAOS departments that affect practice management content: marketing, education, membership, research, and the Office of Government Affairs. The workgroup’s goal was to develop a proposal for the task force based on the consultant’s analysis. Once the proposal was approved, the task force would bring recommendations to the AAOS Board of Directors.

AAOS staff worked to identify solutions to consolidate and reorganize practice management content and developed a new mission and vision statement for practice management moving forward. Additionally, four goals were identified: strengthen the current AAOS practice management portfolio, pursue revenue-generating opportunities, improve access and awareness, and optimize internal operations. The Practice Management Task Force recommendations, with the mission “to equip the musculoskeletal care team with skills and resources to provide the highest quality care across career stages and practice settings,” were approved unanimously at the September 2018 AAOS Board of Directors meeting.

Meeting members’ needs

A newly formed internal department has since been created to support the horizontal management of practice management content across the Academy. This team will develop a communication plan to ensure that new products and educational opportunities are disseminated to the membership in a cohesive and strategic manner. Practice management staff have developed a 12-month tactical approach to prioritize practice management products and resources; reposition practice management content through better organization and integration; develop new, sustainable product offerings that deliver member value; and increase external sponsorship opportunities so that low-cost resources continue to be available to members.

In 2016, the AAOS Practice Management Committee merged with the Health Care Systems Committee (HCSC). John Cherf, MD, MPH, MBA, practice management section leader of the HCSC, will work in collaboration with Brian McCardel, MD, who leads the Policy and Payment Section, and Daniel B. Murrey, chair of the HCSC. The Practice Management Section also will work collaboratively with the Coding, Coverage, and Reimbursement Committee; Clinical Quality and Value; and the Councils on Education and Advocacy.

To strengthen the practice management portfolio, products and services will be created to meet stakeholder needs across career stages and practice settings. The need for practice management resources applies to employed, academic, multispecialty group, and private practice orthopaedic surgeons who work in large, medium, small, and solo practices. According to the “2016 Orthopaedic Practice in the United States Report,” more than a third of respondents (35 percent) were in a private practice group setting, 17 percent were hospital employed, 15 percent were in traditional academic practices, 11 percent were in solo private practices, and 9 percent were in multispecialty private practices. It is vital that the Academy identify membership needs at every career level and tailor content accordingly. However, independent of practice setting, all musculoskeletal care providers will be charged with delivering high-value care that emphasizes optimal clinical, operational, and financial performance. Orthopaedic surgeons also need to prepare and help develop delivery models customized to a new healthcare economy that will be transformed by technological innovation.

To improve access to practice management content, a new AAOS practice management webpage is scheduled to launch in early summer. Located prominently on the AAOS website, the practice management webpage will be a hub dedicated to practice management content. The Practice Management section of the HCSC and practice management staff are working together to identify the key practice management content areas most relevant to orthopaedic surgeons. This newly designed webpage will enable the fellowship to access articles, webinars, primers, and legislative and regulatory materials with ease under each specific content header related to practice management.

“This is an exciting time to focus on practice management,” said Dr. Cherf. “I look forward to the opportunity to advance practice management content for our fellowship and appreciate AAOS providing the necessary resources. The rapid change in our healthcare economy provides opportunity for those best prepared for evolving delivery models.”

John Cherf, MD, MPH, MBA, is a member of the AAOS Now Editorial Board. He also serves as the practice management section leader of the AAOS HCSC and is the liaison to the Council on Education.

Cindy Bracy is the manager of practice resources, AAOS course operations, and practice management

Academy defines commitment to practice management
Mission: To equip the musculoskeletal care team with skills and resources to provide the highest quality care across career stages and practice settings.
Vision: The Academy is the trusted, preferred source for practice management products and services that maximize reimbursement, maintain compliance, and provide member value.