AAOS Now, December 2018
Advocacy in Action
How the AAOS Office of Government Relations (OGR) is working for you … Celebrated the signing of the AAOS-led Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act into law—a product of five years of advocacy, a coalition of bipartisan supporters, and more than 1,000 meetings on Capitol Hill. Prevented strict prescribing guidelines from being included in the House- and Senate-passed opioid legislation.
Congress Reaches Compromise on Opioid Crisis
After months of bipartisan work by eight committees in the House of Representatives and five committees in the Senate, Congress overwhelmingly passed sweeping legislation to help combat the opioid crisis. The new law is one of the most significant legislative achievements of the year—a rare bipartisan response to the public health crisis that led to more than 72,000 drug overdose deaths in 2017, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
AAOS Recognizes Advocacy Champions
The recently established AAOS Congressional Awards Program recognizes members of Congress who are committed to high-quality health care and musculoskeletal health. Recipients receive an award to display in their offices, and the announcement is shared through AAOS communication channels. This year’s awardees include, among others: Sen. John Barrasso, MD (R-Wyo.) Ami Bera, MD (D-Calif.) Bill Cassidy, MD (R-La.) Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) Raul Ruiz, MD (D-Calif.
The Orthopaedic Political Action Committee (PAC) supports candidates for federal office who champion orthopaedic issues and help advance the legislative agenda of AAOS. The PAC worked extremely hard to elect and reelect orthopaedic surgeon-friendly candidates in the 2018 midterm election. In fact, as noted by Bloomberg, it was the biggest contributor among medical provider PACs. An upcoming issue of AAOS Now will feature an extensive election analysis.
Cybersecurity Is Not Just a Software and Hardware Issue
Cybersecurity is a growing threat for many industries, particularly health care. Healthcare data are richer in volume and value than financial or retail data, and medical identity fraud takes longer to detect, making the industry an attractive and easy target. Earlier this year, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) warned about an increase in ransomware attacks targeting healthcare organizations.
History Lesson: Tort Reform in Iowa
Traditionally, Iowa has been home to “Midwest values” with respect to medical malpractice, the tenets of which are reasonable plaintiffs and juries and responsible jurisprudence. Over the past decade, these tenets began to drift. The number of medical malpractice cases increased, and more cases were settled than litigated—and with changing outcomes. Cases that were litigated had more verdicts in favor of the defense, creating a steep win-lose situation for the parties involved.
According to a report from the Government Accountability Office, low-income adults in states that have not expanded Medicaid are more likely to forgo medical care than those who live where coverage has been expanded. In nonexpansion states, 40 percent of low-income adults said they had unmet medical needs compared to 26 percent of low-income residents in expansion states.
AAOS-led Sports Liability Protection Bill Becomes Law
After more than five years of tireless advocacy by the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), the Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act was signed into law on Oct. 5. The legislation, which AAOS has championed since its origin, provides legal protection for traveling team physicians and safeguards injured athletes’ timely access to healthcare professionals who know their medical histories best.