October 1996 AAOS Report

Board urges HCFA to cancel joint demonstration project

The Board of Directors, meeting in Rosemont, Ill., Sept. 20-21, approved a Position Statement urging that the Medicare Joint Replacement Demonstration Project be canceled. The board also authorized $25,000 to pursue legal action, if necessary, to challenge the terms "Centers of Excellence" or "Participating Centers of Excellence" which the Health Care Financing Administration intends to use in the demonstration project. The Academy is concerned about restrictions on patient-choice and access for Medicare beneficiaries, and objects to any attempt by HCFA to contract with certain hospitals for joint replacement procedures. In addition, the Academy continues to object to the term "Participating Centers of Excellence" to describe hospitals in the demonstration project because there is no conclusive evidence to show that the participating hospitals are better providers than those which do not participate. The Academy also is concerned that to accommodate HCFA's discounted price, hospitals may resort to measures which have a negative impact on the quality of care. To obtain a copy of the Position Statement, contact the Academy's communications department, (800) 346-2267, ext. 4126, or access the home page in the "What's New" section.

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