July 1999 AAOS Report

Association gives testimony urging passage of H.R. 1304

The American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (Association) in a written statement to the House Judiciary Committee at its hearing on June 22, urged passage of the Quality Health Care Coalition Act of 1999 (H.R. 1304). William W. Tipton Jr., MD, Association executive vice president, said in the statement that health plans have gained market power and economic strength which allows them to dictate the terms of contracts with physicians on a "take it or leave it" basis. Dr. Tipton said the legislation would enhance competition and improve patient care. Health care professionals would be able to more effectively oppose onerous contract provisions such as restrictions on the patient's ability to receive "medically necessary" care or forcing physicians to participate in all of an insurer's plans. He emphasized the bill would not result in strikes by physicians.

The Association also has set up a public service phone line, (888) 812-8824, that allows AAOS members and their patients to contact members of the U.S. House of Representatives to urge them to co-sponsor H.R. 1304. When contacting the phone line, callers are connected to their representative's office. "We urge you to call our special phone number as well as pass it along to patients," Dr. Tipton said. "These calls can make a difference."

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