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Advocacy

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to dominate the lives of orthopaedic surgeons and their patients, the AAOS Office of Government Relations is committed to advocating on their behalf. Our advocacy team is working around the clock to help shape fast-moving COVID-19 response policy for much-needed relief and flexibility.

We want to ensure that members are well-equipped to provide care—both today in this global pandemic and tomorrow as the future of musculoskeletal care continues to take shape.

Webinar: COVID-19 Updates From the Hill

In this first webinar hosted by AAOS in a collaborative series with AANS, NASS, and CNS, President Joseph A. Bosco III, MD, FAAOS, and 2021 Distinguished Congressional Ambassador Robert Hagen, MD, FAAOS, interview Rep. Larry Bucshon, MD (IN-8). They discuss the congressional response to COVID-19, recent initiatives to reform prior authorization processes, as well as ongoing efforts to preserve the payment values for surgical services delivered to Medicare patients.

Legislative 

July 31 - Sent a letter to congressional leadership regarding AAOS priorities for forthcoming COVID-19 relief pacakges. Read the letter here.

July 9 - Signed onto a letter to Congress in support of the Resident Physcian Shortage Reduction Act of 2020. Read the letter here.

April 10 - Led an orthopaedic multi-signatory letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell outlining key requests for ensuring the survival of practices and allowing surgeons to most effectively respond to this crisis. Read the letter here. 

April 7 - Signed onto a letter as part of the Health Coalition on Liability and Access to congressional leadership requesting immunity at the federal level for healthcare professionals and facilities hard at work during this pandemic. Read the letter here. 

March 24 - Signed onto a letter to Congress in support of the Immediate Relief for Rural Facilities and Providers Act. Read the letter here. 

March 20 - Sent a letter to Congress with recommendations for change to certain aspects of current healthcare law. Read the letter here. 

March 19 - Signed onto a letter to Congress that asks for several provisions to be considered in draft legislation, including protection of frontline physicians, funding of military-civilian partnerships, and relief of unnecessary prior authorization. Read the letter here.

Regulatory 

June 23 - Sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services requesting that it rely on existing authorities to waive or substantially reduce the interest rate on advance payments made to physicians during the COVID-19 emergency. Read the letter here.  

May - Published an open letter as part of the Regulatory Relief Coalition to all health plans, calling for the suspension of regulatory barriers, specifically prior authorization and step therapy for both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19-related services until the health care delivery system returns to normalcy. Read the letter here. 

April 24 - Signed onto a surgical coalition letter to both the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Department of Health and Human Services providing recommendations on the Quality Payment Program and on advancing interoperability during COVID-19. Read the letter here.

April 21
- Signed onto a surgical coalition letter to the Department of Health and Human Services providing recommendations for ensuring that physicians and hospitals are equipped to effectively absorb and manage potential surges of critically ill individuals. Read the letter here.

April 9
 - Sent a letter to the Department of Treasury to ensure that physician practices will be prioritized as small businesses in the distribution of loan programs created through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. Read the letter here. 

April 7 - Signed onto a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services requesting immediate financial assistance for physicians who are taking heroic action to treat patients with coronavirus, providing ongoing care for patients with chronic conditions and urgent needs, and incurring significant financial losses due to postponing non-essential procedures and visits. Read the letter here. 

March 31 - Signed onto a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services asking that physician practices and ambulatory surgery centers that have been or will be adversely affected by the pandemic be eligible for relief through the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund. Read the letter here. 

March 23 - Sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services requesting greater clarity on the impact of incentive payments for eligible clinicians who have already submitted or plan to submit within the next month their 2019 Merit-based Incentive Payment System data. Read the letter here.  

March 23 - Sent a letter to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation urging it to immediately forgive any losses recognized by participant groups in BPCI Advanced. Read the letter here.

Administration 

May 7 - Joined the New York State Society of Orthopaedic Surgeons in urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to allow ambulatory surgical centers to resume performing medically necessary care. Read the letter here.

March 26 - Sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence discussing concerns about access to personal protective equipment and essential medical equipment as well as expressing the need for guidance for emergency surgery. Read the letter here. 

March 18 - Joined other physician organizations to advocate for a twice-weekly update from the Administration on the COVID-19 response. Read the letter here.