AAOS Now, July 2014
GAO Report Examines PT Self-Referral
In June, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report demonstrating that physicians who provide physical therapy (PT) services in their offices (self-referred) had much lower overall costs of PT during the period studied than those who refer patients to other providers (non–self-referred). The total number of self-referred PT services showed essentially no increase from 2004 to 2010, whereas non–self-referred services increased by 41 percent.
Meet the New Secretary of HHS
Ms. Burwell will oversee the 11 agencies that make up the HHS department, including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Food and Drug Administration. She will also oversee the continued implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
What Does the CBO Do?
During the debates on repealing and replacing the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula for Medicare physician payments, one set of numbers got a lot of media attention. That was the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate of how much the legislation would cost. For example, in February 2014, the CBO estimated that S. 2000, the SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014, would increase direct spending by about $138 billion during the period 2014–2024.
Washington Health Policy Fellows Selected
Elizabeth Fassbender The Washington Health Policy Fellows (WHPF) Selection Committee has chosen Jared Harwood, MD, and Andrew J. Pugely, MD, as the 2014 Washington Health Policy Fellows. The WHPF program seeks to foster the development of orthopaedic surgeons interested in health policy and advocacy who are willing to become key members of a volunteer network built around such topics.
There’s Still Time to Sign Up for Candidate Workshop
If you or a colleague is considering a run for office—whether at the local, state, or federal level—the Physician and Dentist Candidate Workshop is an opportunity you shouldn’t pass up.
PQRS: How You Can Participate
The Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), is being used to determine whether physicians will receive an incentive payment or a payment penalty next year. Satisfactory participation in PQRS during 2014 can generate an incentive payment of 0.5 percent of Part B submitted charges, but—depending on their performance in 2013—physicians could see up to a 0.5 percent decrease in their Medicare payments in 2015.