AAOS Policy For a Fellow or Member Who Fails To Disclose Conflicts Of Interests Accurately and Completely

AAOS Orthopaedic Disclosure Program Background

  • Each Fellow or Member participating in an AAOS CME program, serving as an author of enduring materials, as a member of the AAOS Councils, Cabinets, Committees, Project Teams or other official AAOS groups, editors-in-chief and editorial boards or AAOS guideline development workgroups has the obligation to disclose all potentially conflicting interests accurately and completely through the AAOS Orthopaedic Disclosure Program.
  • Each Fellow or Member is responsible for providing accurate and complete information to the AAOS Orthopaedic Disclosure Program regarding the nature of his or her relationships with commercial entities relating to orthopaedics, which must be updated at least semiannually (usually April and October). It is recommended that participants note any changes to the AAOS Orthopaedic Disclosure Program as soon as possible after the changes occur.
  • The AAOS Orthopaedic Disclosure Policy expressly provides that "a failure of a required participant to participate in the AAOS Orthopaedic Disclosure Program will result in the participant being asked not to participate in the AAOS CME program, the AAOS governance group, as editor-in-chief or on an editorial board and AAOS guideline development."
  • All Fellows and Members are encouraged to participate in the AAOS Orthopaedic Disclosure Program.

Directions for Handling Failure of Fellow or Member to Disclose Accurately and Completely

  • Upon receipt of notice that an AAOS Fellow or Member has failed to disclose a conflict of interest accurately or completely, AAOS staff shall discuss the disclosure deficiency with the Fellow or Member. If unsuccessful at obtaining accurate and complete disclosure, AAOS staff shall then talk with the appropriate Committee/Project/Group Chair. From these discussions, AAOS staff will follow AAOS Orthopaedic Disclosure Policy in an effort to obtain the Fellow or Member's accurate and complete disclosure, time permitting.
  • If unsuccessful in obtaining an accurate and complete disclosure, staff will prepare a summary with recommendations on handling the matter, including the following information:
    • The identity of the Fellow or Member and his/her role within the project/program;
    • Background on the project/ program/guideline involved;
    • Documentation on attempts to have the Fellow or Member complete the Disclosure Report accurately and completely; and
    • Any materials related to known conflict(s) of interest (e.g., prior disclosures; industry website disclosure report, if available/applicable).
  • The summary will be presented to the Department Manager and/or Executive Team member for review and resolution of the disclosure deficiency issue in conjunction with the Committee/Project/Group Chair.
  • If the issue cannot be satisfactorily resolved, AAOS staff shall submit an updated summary, with supporting materials, to the Office of General Counsel. The Office of General Counsel shall advise the President regarding the appropriate action for AAOS to take. The President of AAOS shall make the final decision regarding matters of accurate and complete disclosure. As appropriate, the Office of General Counsel will request the assistance of the Committee on Outside Interests in developing recommendations for the President regarding appropriate actions for failure to accurately and completely report.
  • All incidents of failure to accurately and completely disclose must be submitted to the Office of General Counsel.
  • On an annual basis, the Committee on Outside Interests will review a report developed by the Office of General Counsel documenting any and all incidents of failure to accurately and completely disclose within Academy programs.

The AAOS disclosure and conflict of interest processes are being developed and reviewed with the goal of transparent and appropriate decision-making. This protocol was developed to provide guidance to the various Committee/Program/Group Chairs, Editors, and appropriate staff on challenging conflict of interest issues. This protocol may be modified as other AAOS policies and procedures are developed.

Adopted: September 23, 2011
Revised: December 2011