Resolutions Committee meets today in open hearing
The AAOS Resolutions Committee will conduct an open hearing regarding the proposed resolutions of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (Academy) and the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (Association) at 1:30 p.m. today in Room S402B of McCormick Place. All fellows are encouraged to participate.
Each of the eight proposed resolutions up for vote is being considered as part of the required five-year review. The three Academy resolutions deal with recertification, the residency review committee and Federal Drug Administration (FDA) regulation of orthopaedic devices, biological and combination products and pharmaceuticals.
The five Association resolutions deal with health care financing and the tax code, billing codes for evaluation and management of physician services, prompt payment and uniform claims, physician practice in a managed care environment and Medicare reimbursement.
Copies of all resolutions and the recommendations of the Board of Councilors (BOC) and the AAOS Board of Directors (Board) were included in the Official Meeting Notice sent to each fellow in January.
The Resolutions Committee encourages all fellows to attend the open hearing and express their opinions before the committee makes its recommendations on the resolutions. All fellows will have the opportunity to vote on the committee’s recommendations on each of the proposed resolutions shortly after the 2006 Annual Meeting.
• Resolution #1—Recertification: The Board recommends that this resolution be rescinded. However, the BOC recommends that it be modified and retained as AAOS policy. If retained and modified as recommended by the BOC, this resolution would provide that “the Board of Directors of the Academy shall communicate with the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) its serious concerns about the current recertification process.”
• Resolution #2—Residency Review Committee: If retained as recommended and modified by the Board and the BOC, this resolution would provide “the Academy shall continue to strongly support the Residency Review Committee on Orthopaedic Surgery in its role of accrediting residency and fellowship programs in an efficient and effective manner.”
• Resolution #3—FDA; Regulation of Orthopaedic Devices, Biological and Combination Products and Pharmaceuticals: The Board and the BOC both recommend that this resolution be modified and retained. If adopted as modified, it would provide “the Academy shall encourage the timely and efficient development, introduction and ongoing surveillance of orthopaedic devices, biological and combination products, and pharmaceuticals in order to facilitate the safety, monitoring and widespread availability of those products.”
• Resolution #4—Health Care Financing and the Tax Code: If modified as recommended by the Board and the BOC, this resolution would provide “the Association shall support federal tax-free treatment for all purchases of legitimate health insurance packages.”
• Resolution #5—Billing Codes for Evaluation and Management of Physician Services: The AAOS Board of Directors recommends that this resolution be rescinded. The BOC, however, recommends that it be modified and retained as AAOS policy. If it is retained and modified as recommended by the BOC, this resolution would provide that the Association should oppose the misuse of the Evaluation and Management (E&M) codes by the government, private payers and others and would support the modification of the codes to make them less onerous.
• Resolution #6—Prompt Payment and Uniform Claims: Both the Board and the BOC recommend that this resolution be retained along with the adoption of a new provision. If adopted as recommended, it would provide that the Association support legislation and policies that mandate the prompt payment of physician claims at the federal, state and private insurer levels. In addition, the Association should support legislation that would require insurance companies to provide all fee schedules and edits upon request to prospective or existing contracted physicians.
• Resolution # 7—Physician Practices in the Managed Care Environment: Both the Board and the BOC recommend that this resolution be retained. If it is retained as recommended, the Association would support and endorse legislation that prohibits the dismissal of physicians who are members of managed care organizations without due process, financial incentives by a managed care organization that would deny or interfere with appropriate medical care and any policies, loyalty oaths or gag clauses that would impede or interfere with the physician-patient relationship.
• Resolution #8—Medicare Reimbursement; Advocacy; Friend of the Court Briefs: The Board and the BOC both recommend retaining this resolution. If it is retained as recommended, the Association would challenge reductions in Medicare reimbursements for orthopaedic procedures and demonstrate that continued reductions will ultimately jeopardize the availability of physicians to provide services. The Association would also submit “friend of the court” briefs or otherwise participate in litigation affecting orthopaedic surgeons and their patients.