AAOS Now, August 2008
Issues Facing America: Medicare
An estimated $2.3 trillion was spent on health care in the United States in 2007, and the cost of health care continues to grow at an astronomical rate. The $432 billion spent on Medicare in 2007 accounted for more than 3 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). Growing concern about the rate of healthcare spending has forced policymakers and third-party payors to evaluate new cost-control solutions.
AAOS issues patient safety member alert
On July 2, 2008, the AAOS issued a patient safety member alert in response to a public health notification released by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on July 1, 2008, about reports of life-threatening complications associated with recombinant human Bone Morphogenetic Protein (rhBMP) when used in the cervical spine. The FDA noted that the safety and effectiveness of the use of rhBMP in the cervical spine have not been demonstrated and the FDA has not approved these products for this use.
Puerto Rico surgeons tackle liability reform
Comprehensive campaign makes significant progress In response to a growing crisis created by Puerto Rico’s flawed medical liability system, the Puerto Rico Orthopaedic Society (Sociedad Puertorriqueña de Ortopedia y Traumatología or SPOT) has conducted an aggressive advocacy campaign for comprehensive policy reforms. With an active membership and support from the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), SPOT advanced liability reform legislation in 2008 farther than ever before.
Medical liability reform comes full circle in Nevada
Nevada made national news when the only trauma center in Las Vegas (the University Medical Center [UMC] of Southern Nevada) closed July 3–13, 2002, due to the unavailability of general surgeons, trauma surgeons, and orthopaedic trauma surgeons. A dramatic increase in medical liability insurance rates had made the risks unbearable for surgeons to continue working at the trauma center. Jury rewards and claims were skyrocketing.
Second Look – Reimbursement and Regulation
MedPAC calls for bundled payment pilot The U.S. Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has recommended that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS) conduct a voluntary pilot program to test bundled payment for all hospitalization services for select conditions. MedPAC said that such a pilot program would allow CMS to resolve design and implementation issues, while giving providers who are ready the chance to start receiving a bundled payment.