January 2000 AAOS Report

AAOS approves member programs, increase in dues

The AAOS Board of Directors, meeting in Chicago Dec. 3, 1999, approved a budget for FY 2000 with more than $2 million in new member-service programs, reductions in expenses and the first increase in annual fellowship dues in six years. The new initiatives are a public education and relations program to promote orthopaedics, a consumer web site that will serve the expanding public interest in health care information on the Internet and will offer free, personalized clinical web site templates to members and participation in the Bone and Joint Decade activities. The public education program is designed to raise the public's awareness of the benefits of orthopaedics and the broad scope of the specialty, and to enhance the image of orthopaedic surgeons. The AAOS has created a new Department of Public and Media Relations to develop and implement the program using a broad range of communications techniques. The consumer site will be a greatly expanded section of the AAOS home page, www.aaos.org. It will be developed by the Academy staff and will offer a wide range of basic and scientific information about musculoskeletal disorders and treatments. The AAOS also will enable members to have their own web sites that are personalized with the name of their practice, address, phone and fax numbers and other information. The practices will be able to access the public information resources on the AAOS home page and patients visiting orthopaedic practice web sites on the new system will be able to access high quality information available on the AAOS web site. The project will allow members to reach out to the public and their patients. The board also approved a budget for activities of the Bone and Joint Decade Task Force and for research for measuring the burden of musculoskeletal disease in the United States, which is part of an international research project.

The board approved the budget for 2000 with a membership dues increase to partially offset a budget deficit resulting from new member services and rising expenses that are outpacing revenues. A "first-draft" budget projection of a $3.3 million deficit had been reduced by the board's Finance Committee and staff to a deficit of $1.8 million. Following intensive discussion of the budget, resources allocated to the AAOS councils for programs, and alternative solutions, the board approved the first fellowship dues increase since 1994. The $100 dues increase will raise $1 million and the board will use reserves for the remainder of funds needed for the budget. The $100 increase will raise the annual fellowship dues in 2000 to $600 from $500, and candidate member dues to $300 from $250. There is no change in the $300 international member dues or $100 associate member dues. Since the last dues increase, in 1994, there has been an $80 erosion effect on the purchasing power of the 1999 dues amount.

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