Advocacy Now

Advocacy Now is an email newsletter produced bi-weekly by the Office of Government Relations to keep AAOS members on top of important health care policy issues as well as supporting advocacy efforts. Questions or concerns about related content can be emailed to staff at dc@aaos.org.

Below are updates from the most recent newsletter, as well as an archive of old issues.

Advocacy Now, August 19, 2021

AAOS Advocacy in Action

  • Expressed our support for the Permanency for Audio-Only Telehealth Act (H.R. 3447), which would permanently allow Medicare to pay for doctor visits performed via audio-only phone calls rather than always requiring a video component.
  • Also expressed our support to House and Senate sponsors of the Research Investment to Spark the Economy Act (H.R. 869 /S. 289), which would reinvigorate crucial federal research projects and pursuits that have been limited by the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Reminder to Engage with Advocacy at the Annual Meeting

Booth #4035 in the Exhibit Hall

With less than two weeks till the AAOS 2021 Annual Meeting, the AAOS Office of Government Relations and Orthopaedic PAC want to remind members to visit booth #4035 which will be located in the Exhibit Hall. Members can learn more about what the Office of Government Relations is doing to advance musculoskeletal care and meet with colleagues who are passionate about healthcare policy, including representatives from the Board of Councilors.

Healthcare Policy News

Administration Invests $19 Million for Telehealth in Rural and Underserved Communities
On August 18, the Biden-Harris Administration announced that it is investing over $19 million to strengthen telehealth services in rural and underserved areas. The funds will be allocated to 36 recipients through the Health Resources and Services Administration at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Specifically, the investments will go towards the following telehealth programs: Telehealth Technology-Enabled Learning Program; Telehealth Resource Centers; Evidence-Based Direct to Consumer Telehealth Network Program; and the Telehealth Centers of Excellence program. Since these services have increased access to care, particularly during the pandemic, the funding will promote an expansion and equity of treatment to the most vulnerable of populations. Read the press release…

Senate Passes Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill and $3.5 Trillion Budget Resolution
On August 10, the U.S. Senate passed a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package by a vote of 69-30, with 19 Republicans joining in support of the legislation. The bill contains traditional infrastructure-related provisions to fund roads, bridges, transit, and broadband build-out with nearly $550 billion in new funding. The package will now be sent to the U.S. House of Representatives, which is currently in recess. The Senate also recently passed a $3.5 trillion budget resolution on a 50-49 party-line vote. Roughly one-third of the $3.5 trillion budget framework consists of healthcare related provisions, including an expansion of the Medicare program to include dental, vision, and hearing care; lowering of the Medicare eligibility age to 60 years old; closing the Medicaid gap; making permanent recent increases to health insurance subsidies; increasing access to home and community-based services; addressing health professional shortages; and preparing for the next pandemic. Read more about the deal...

APM Incentive Payment Details from CMS Are Now Available Online
In June, eligible clinicians who were Alternative Payment Model (APM) Qualifying Participants (QPs) based on their 2019 performance began receiving their 5 percent APM Incentive Payments for 2021 from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Details on the amounts paid to individuals and organizations can now be viewed on the Quality Payment Program (QPP) website. CMS has issued a list of unpaid QPs for whom they have been unable to complete payments. QPs who have not begun to receive their payment should download the file from the public notice, check for their name, and verify their Medicare billing information by Nov. 1. For assistance you can reach out to the QPP Help Desk at QPP@cms.hhs.gov or call 1-866-288-8292. Download and read the public notice...

States News

Grant Applications Open for State Orthopaedic Society Health Policy Action Fund
The AAOS Board of Councilors Committee on State Legislative & Regulatory Issues is now accepting applications for grants to assist state orthopaedic societies in responding to state-level legislative, regulatory and legal issues impacting the practice of orthopaedics and patient care. The State Orthopaedic Society Health Policy Action Fund was established by the AAOS to advance strategic state advocacy priorities consistent with the AAOS United Advocacy Agenda developed by the Advocacy Council. Most recently, grants have supported efforts to advance prior authorization reform, respond to scope-of-practice issues and control medical liability costs. The submission deadline for this consideration cycle is Friday, August 27. Contact your state orthopaedic society for more information...

OrthoPAC Corner

OrthoPAC Donor Appreciation Luncheon
Wednesday, September 1, 11:30am, Room 16 AB

In addition to picking up their 2021 lapel pin/ribbon and relaxing at the exclusive PAC Donor Lounge, 2020 and 2021 donors are invited to attend the annual luncheon and hear from Ronald Brownstein, a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist for his coverage of presidential campaigns. Brownstein is one of the few political analysts who focuses on healthcare and has been featured on all four broadcast networks as well as other broadcast and cable programs. RSVP here or text PACLunch to 41444.

5th Annual Resident Leadership Reception
Thursday, September 2, 8:00-11pm, Side Bar, 536 Market Street

All members are encouraged to support and network with our residents alongside colleagues that are influential advocacy leaders. Join the PAC Executive Committee, the BOC, the BOS, and the Resident Assembly for drinks, food, and great company. A $5 monthly recurring PAC donation is suggested for drink tickets for residents, and a $150 PAC donation is suggested for Active Fellows. RSVP here or text ResReception to 41444.

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