Resolutions, Bylaws Committees Hold Open Hearings Tomorrow

By: Richard N. Peterson, JD

The AAOS Resolutions and Bylaws Committees will conduct Open Hearings regarding the proposed resolutions and bylaw amendments for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (Academy) and the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (Association) on Wednesday, March 2, starting at 1:00 p.m. in Room W308A of the Orange County Convention Center. The Bylaws Committee Open Hearing will start shortly after the conclusion of the Resolutions Committee Open Hearing.  

All fellows are encouraged to participate and will have the opportunity to vote on the Committees’ recommendations shortly after the 2016 Annual Meeting.

Copies of all proposed resolutions and bylaw amendments, with the recommendations of the Board of Councilors (BOC), the Board of Specialty Societies (BOS), and the AAOS Board of Directors, were included in the official meeting notice sent electronically to each fellow in January. 

Academy resolutions
The following three Academy resolutions are being considered as part of the 5-year review process. 

Resolution 1—Maintenance of Certification (MOC): The recommendation of the Board of Directors, supported by the BOC and BOS, is to retain this resolution without change.  It requires the Academy Board to continue to communicate with the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery about the current MOC process. The BOC, BOS, and AAOS Board of Directors recommend that this resolution be retained as AAOS policy.  

Resolution 2—Residency Review Committee: If adopted as revised, this resolution would require AAOS to continue to support the work of the Residency Review Committee on Orthopaedic Surgery (RRC) in its role accrediting residency programs in an efficient and effective manner; its roles in accrediting fellowship programs is deleted from this resolution. The BOC, BOS, and AAOS Board of Directors recommend that this resolution be retained as revised as AAOS policy.   

Resolution 3—FDA: Regulation of Orthopaedic Devices, Biological Products and Pharmaceuticals: If adopted as recommended, this resolution would be retained as it is currently written. This action would continue to require AAOS to “encourage the timely and efficient development, introduction, and ongoing surveillance of orthopaedic devices, biological products, and pharmaceuticals in order to facilitate the safety, monitoring, and availability of those products.” The BOC, BOS, and AAOS Board of Directors recommend that this resolution be retained as AAOS policy.  

Association resolutions
The following four Association resolutions are being considered as part of the 5-year review process.

Resolution 4—Billing Codes for Evaluation and Management of Physician Services: If adopted as recommended, this resolution would require the Association to oppose “by appropriate means the misuse of the Evaluation and Management (E & M codes) by the government, private payers, and others,” and also would support the “modification of the E & M and ICD codes to make them more user-friendly.” The BOC, BOS, and the AAOS Board of Directors recommend that this resolution be retained as Association policy.

Resolution 5—Prompt Payment and Uniform Claims: If adopted as recommended, this resolution would require AAOS to “support legislation and policies to require the prompt payment of physician claims at the federal, state, and private insurer levels;” to support prompt payment legislation and policies that are most effective from an orthopaedic surgeon’s point of view; to support legislation that would require insurance companies to provide “all fee schedules and edits upon request to prospective or existing contracted physicians;” and to support legislation and policies that permit acceptance of electronic physician claims at the federal, state, and private insurer levels. The BOC, BOS, and the AAOS Board of Directors recommend that this resolution be retained as Association policy.

Resolution 6—Physician Practice with Managed Care Organizations; Physician Practice as an Employee of a Hospital or a Foundation Closely Affiliated with a Hospital: If adopted as recommended, this resolution would not be altered. It would require the AAOS to support legislation that prohibits the dismissal of physicians who are hospital employees without due process; prohibit financial incentives to hospital-employed physicians that would “deny or interfere with the provision of appropriate medical care;” and prohibit policies, loyalty oaths, or gag clauses of hospital-employed physicians that would “impede or interfere with the physician–patient relationship.” In addition, the resolution would require the Association to continue to monitor the issues of open panels in managed care and the employment of physicians by hospitals and foundations closely affiliated with hospitals. The BOC, BOS, and the AAOS Board of Directors recommend that this resolution be retained as Association policy.

Resolution 7—Medicare Reimbursement; Advocacy; Friend of the Court Briefs: If adopted as recommended, this resolution would not be altered. It would require the Association “to take appropriate steps, including the consideration of legal action when appropriate, to challenge reductions in Medicare reimbursement for orthopaedic procedures and ancillary services; to demonstrate that continued reduction in Medicare payments to physicians ultimately will jeopardize the availability of orthopaedic and other health care services; and to submit “friend of the court” briefs or otherwise participate in litigation affecting orthopaedic surgeons and their patients. The BOC, BOS, and the AAOS Board of Directors recommend that this resolution be retained as Association policy.

Bylaw amendments
The following two sets of proposed bylaw amendments will be considered.

Group 1—Change the Name and Requirements for International Affiliate Members: If adopted as recommended by the BOC, BOS, and the AAOS Board of Directors, the name “International Affiliate Member” would be changed to “International Member.” In addition, provision is added to deal with the situation where there is an applicant from a country where no national orthopaedic organization exists.   

Group 2—Addition of a Provision to Allow for Inactive Status for Certain Associate Members: If adopted as recommended by the BOC, BOS, and the AAOS Board of Directors, a system parallel to the process for granting Inactive Status for AAOS Fellows would be extended to those individuals in AAOS Associate Member-Orthopaedic and AAOS Associate Member-Osteopathic categories.    

All fellows are encouraged to participate in the Open Hearings of the Resolutions and Bylaws Committees and to vote on the Committees’ recommendations shortly after the 2016 Annual Meeting.

Richard N. Peterson, JD, is the AAOS General Counsel. 

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