AAOS Now, December 2011
Data, quality measures will drive payment policies
AHRQ director outlines priorities, supportive programs “Quality performance and payment policy are not passing fads,” Carolyn M. Clancy, MD, director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), told participants at the inaugural Orthopaedic Quality Institute (OQI). Dr. Clancy is widely respected in both the medical and political worlds and has frequently testified before Congress on how to make healthcare more efficient.
The battle against childhood obesity
Orthopaedic surgeons must take a leadership role Americans’ waistlines have been increasing over the past several decades. This increase in obesity is particularly concerning because it is also occurring in the pediatric population, with the most recent reports from the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control showing that 18 percent of American children are obese.
ACO final rule affords providers greater flexibility
Changes ease requirements for participation, address AAOS concerns On Oct. 20, 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released its final rule setting out parameters for accountable care organizations (ACOs) to be formed under the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP). ACOs are arrangements among healthcare providers designed to reduce healthcare expenses through improved care coordination and higher quality care. The final rule will go into effect on Jan. 3, 2012.
Medical liability reform works
Results in Texas support initial promises of backers It’s been 9 years since Texas adopted landmark reforms to its civil liability system, but opponents are still disputing the positive results for patients’ access to care and the healthcare providers who serve them. Most recently, Public Citizen’s “A Failed Experiment” charged that the proponents of reform promised lower healthcare costs, which have not been realized.
How to put antitrust laws to work FOR you
Be aware of anticompetitive behavior in your community Hospital and health insurance markets have undergone significant consolidation during the past 20 years. In many areas throughout the country, physicians now face a dominant hospital with the power to cripple physician-owned facilities.
Healthcare reform isn’t the only challenge facing orthopaedics
BOC/BOS focus on issues ranging from bundled payments to workforce adequacy “The orthopaedist must be the leader, not only in direct patient care but in the orchestration and design of care delivery,” Kevin P. Black, MD, told the members of the AAOS Board of Councilors (BOC) and Board of Specialty Societies (BOS) who gathered in Seattle, Oct. 27–30, 2011, for the AAOS Fall Meeting. Dr.
A decade at war shows evolution of care
By Erin Lynn Ransford AAOS partners with OTA, SOMOS, and ORS on EWI VII The AAOS is once again partnering with the Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA), the Society of Military Orthopaedic Surgeons (SOMOS), and the Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS) in a major research symposium designed to foster relationships between civilian and military surgeons and collaboration on research and treatment of extremity war and disaster injuries.
2012 MPFS presents problems for orthopaedics
The 2012 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) final rule, released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Oct. 27, 2011, did not contain good news—especially for orthopaedists.
No deal on deficit
As this issue of AAOS Now went to press, the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction acknowledged that it failed to reach a bipartisan deficit reduction agreement. As a result, $1.2 trillion in across-the-board cuts to federal spending will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2013. These cuts include a potential 2 percent reduction in Medicare reimbursements.