AAOS Now, January 2016
Money Deals Affect Health Care and Providers
The 2-year bipartisan budget deal signed by President Obama in November 2015 not only averted a default on the nation's debt but also extended a 2 percent sequestration cut to Medicare reimbursements. The measure, which raised the debt ceiling, could have a significant impact on health care and healthcare providers.
Teaming Up Gets Results
The American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) office of government relations (OGR), based in Washington, D.C., is dedicated to ensuring the voice of orthopaedic surgeons is heard on Capitol Hill. One of its top priorities is working with orthopaedic specialty societies to help them achieve their federal legislative objectives.
Building a Culture of Advocacy Involvement
My father and I have many similarities, but when it comes to recycling, we just grew up in different eras. Every 2 to 3 weeks, I load four trash cans of paper, glass, plastic, and metal into my car and haul it over to the Galveston recycling center. It's a pain, inevitably adding more stains to my car floor. And yet I continue to recycle because, for as long as I can remember, I've been taught the importance of recycling. Now, it is second nature.
Data released by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) find that per-capita spending on health care in the United States increased by 4.5 percent during 2014, while overall health spending grew by 5.3 percent. CMS notes that healthcare spending grew 1.2 percentage points faster than the overall economy in 2014, resulting in a 0.2 percentage-point increase in the health spending share of gross domestic product, from 17.3 percent to 17.5 percent.
Which Path Will You Take?
In April 2015, after many years of efforts by physician advocacy groups, new legislation permanently replaced the Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula. No more stopgap legislative actions would be necessary to avoid drastic cuts in physician payments under Medicare. Instead, the Medicare Access and CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program) Reauthorization Act (MACRA) set a much different path for the future.
CMS Finalizes Mandatory Bundled Payment Model
On Nov. 16, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a plan to bundle payment and quality measures for several lower extremity joint replacement procedures. The Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model was originally announced in July and would have required participation by nearly all hospitals in 75 geographic areas, beginning Jan. 1, 2016.