AAOS Now, December 2012
Does Medical Liability Reform Decrease Healthcare Costs?
Healthcare costs in the United States recently reached $2.8 trillion or 18 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. Few will argue with the need to control these rising costs, but the best way to bend the cost curve is the subject of much debate. One potential reason for the increased costs of health care is the practice of defensive medicine and the associated costs of medical liability insurance.
AAOS Hosts NIAMS Awareness Day
During Bone and Joint Health National Awareness Week (October 12–20) the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) cohosted the 2012 National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) Awareness Day with members of the NIAMS Coalition.
Resident Opportunity in Health Policy
The American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) is currently accepting applications for the 2013 AAOS Washington Health Policy Fellowship Program. The fellowship provides an outstanding opportunity for exceptional senior orthopaedic residents and fellows-in-training with an interest in healthcare policy to take part in and understand federal health policy processes.
Second Look - Advocacy
CMS issues final payment rules The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a final rule with comment period for physician fees paid under Medicare for 2013. The rule includes new or revised relative value units (RVU) for 19 musculoskeletal procedures that AAOS had submitted to CMS. However, because of changes to Practice Expense RVU methodologies, CMS estimates the impact of RVU changes for orthopaedic surgeons to be a negative 1 percent.
In-office Ancillary Services Exception Under Fire
Physician-owned ancillary services—particularly advanced diagnostic imaging—came under fire from two directions recently. First, the Senate Finance Committee requested that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score the removal of the in-office ancillary services (IAOS) exception to the Stark Law as it applies to physical therapy, clinical laboratory services, and advanced diagnostic imaging. Then, the U.S.
As Medicare Costs Rise, Reimbursements Drop
In 1990, Medicare expenditures totaled $111 billion. That number has more than quintupled today. But even as Medicare costs have skyrocketed, the individual payments to physicians for services rendered have plummeted—particularly for surgical procedures.
Obama Wins Second Term
The news came shortly after 11:00 p.m. EST on Nov. 6: President Barack Obama had won Ohio and a second term in office. The final electoral count tally gave Mr. Obama 332 Electoral College votes and Republican nominee Mitt Romney 206. The popular vote was much closer; with 99 percent of the ballots counted, Mr. Obama had about a 3.25 million vote lead nationwide (out of more than 120 million votes cast), giving him just over 50 percent of the popular vote.