BOC Report 2018

Dear Colleague, What’s all too common for us is completely foreign to others, notably Congress. Like it or not, Congress is in our business and it is the sole job of our AAOS advocacy arm to educate and protect our profession and patients’ interests in our nation’s capital.

You probably know total ankle replacement (TAR) now falls under DRG-469, but did you know that up until last year we were reimbursed significantly less? We worked tirelessly on your behalf to explain the complexity of a TAR and its inappropriate categorization as a DRG-470 procedure. Ultimately, we were rewarded with an increase that reflects the difficulty of the procedure. Additionally, we have worked for over a decade asking that Congress and CMS not award higher payments by site for the same procedure, which has led to hospital acquisition of physician practices. In the latest outpatient rule proposal, CMS has finally listened to our concerns, recognizing that site neutral payments remove the perverse incentive that has furthered hospital consolidation, putting your private practice and ambulatory surgery center on a level playing field. These are just two examples of our niche education campaigns coming to fruition.

Lobbying has recently been tagged as a dirty word, but one thing you can be certain, if you are not at the table, you are on the menu. It is the hard work of our lobbying and political action committee (PAC) that opens doors, allows access and our view points to be heard. Our adversaries are well-funded and represented, however, we pride ourselves on having the largest physician political action committee in the nation. We are ready in a moment’s notice to go toe-to-toe with any outlier that does not have our surgeons’ and our patient’s best interests in mind.

This is an unpredictable and critical election cycle and as your state Board of Councilor representatives, we want to ensure that we are well-positioned come 2019. A few years back, we launched the Stu Weinstein State Participation Challenge. The state with the highest participation and the most improved state are recognized throughout the year and honored at the AAOS NOLC. As of June 30, Arkansas, we are at just 18% participation and $9,598 raised. We can and must do better. To see how we rank amongst our colleagues, please view the map here. Thank you to those who have already given, and to those who have not…we want you PAC!

Can you please invest in our Orthopaedic PAC? We want to show the other states that we are leading the way for a better and brighter future for our profession. Give a little or give a lot, we just want you on the team. Click the button below or text the letters AAOS to the number 41444 to put Arkansas on the map.

Donate to the PAC

Thank you in advance for your support,

Basil Besh, MD, Chair, BOC
Jeffery Angel, MD, BOC, Arkansas

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