Today's News

Thursday, March 16, 2000

Board of Councilors maps plans for NOLC

The AAOS Board of Councilors (BOC) discussed Wednesday how the orthopaedic community might respond to lawmakers' rising concerns about medical errors. The issue arose as a result of an Institute of Medicine (IOM) study that became public in November 1999.

The councilors began formulating plans for the National Orthopaedic Leadership Conference (NOLC), which will be held in Washington, D.C., in early May. NOLC participants will make federal policymakers aware of orthopaedists' concerns during their visits to Capitol Hill.

A major focus of this year's NOLC will be any legislation and/or regulations that are proposed in the wake of the IOM medical errors study. NOLC participants will talk to lawmakers about the AAOS "Sign Your Site" campaign and other AAOS efforts to address this issue. They also will seek to ensure that any proposed federal initiatives on this issue complement these efforts and are in the best interests of patients.

Another focus of the "Hill visits" may be proposed legislation that would allow physicians to collectively negotiate with health plans. This legislation was originally proposed last year by Rep. Tom Campbell (R-Calif.), who will be speaking at the AAOS Annual Meeting Friday.

At yesterday's BOC meeting, participants looked ahead to the new year. They, along with other AAOS leaders, discussed initiatives in education, health policy, research and communications. Of particular interest were the activities of the new AAOS orthopaedic PAC and the recently launched public relations campaign for orthopaedists.

John R. Tongue, MD, Oregon, became chair of the BOC, succeeding Edward Toriello, MD, New York. David Halsey, MD, Vermont, became chair-elect; and Lowry Jones, MD, Missouri, was elected secretary.

Dr. Tongue said his goal as BOC chair is to make fellows more aware of their councilor's role as their advocate and their direct link to the AAOS leadership and organization. Toward that end, he committed his leadership year to further improving the channels of communication between AAOS members and their BOC representatives.

The BOC is the AAOS's largest deliberative body. Its 92 members are elected by their state orthopaedic societies and represent the AAOS fellows in their states. The BOC also includes a representative from Puerto Rico, the military and Canada.

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Last modified 16/March/2000 by IS