April 2001 Bulletin

In the News

Congress to review HCFA; seek ways to reform agency

The Health Care Financing Administration will be under intense scrutiny this year by congressional committees seeking remake the agency. The House Energy and Commerce Committee, House Ways and Means Committee, Senate Finance Committee are calling for reform in how the agency meets the needs of patients and the burden it places on providers. In a letter to Tommy Thompson, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, W. J. Tausin, (R-La.), House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman, said, "governed by an estimated 130,000 pages of laws and regulations, many Medicare providers are spending as much time navigating their way through HCFA’s complicated regulatory process as they are on patient care."

Orthopaedics Overseas seeks candidates for traveling fellowship

The Orthopaedics Research and Education Foundation has awarded Orthopaedics Overseas a grant to fund senior resident rotations to active Orthopaedics Overseas sites. Senior residents interested in applying for the Orthopaedic Overseas-OREF Traveling Fellowship should send a CV with a cover letter outlining the reasons for their interest and a letter of recommendation from the director of their residency program. These application materials should be sent to Nancy Kelly, MHS, executive director, Orthopaedics Overseas, P.O. Box 65157, Washington, D.C. 20035. Admissions are on a rolling basis. Fellows will receive round trip airfare to the site, housing and a stipend. Assignments are four weeks in length, although longer rotations are possible if appropriate.

Committee names three exhibits ‘Best of Meeting’

The Committee on Exhibits evaluated all scientific exhibits at the AAOS 2001 Annual Meeting and presented "Best of Meeting" awards to three exhibits. The awards went to the following. In Vitro and In Vivo Models of Cartilage Mechanical Injury, Cell Death and Chondroprotection. The researchers were Clifford Colwell Jr., MD; Darryl D. D’Lima, MD; Sanshiro Hashimoto, MD; Peter Chen, PhD; and Martin Lotz, MD. e-KNEE: The Evolution of the Electronic Knee Prosthesis: Telemetry Technology Development. The researchers were Beverly A. Morris, RN; Darryl D. D’Lima, MD; and Clifford W. Colwell Jr., MD. 3-D Morphology of the Distal Femur Viewed in Virtual Reality. The researchers were Donald G. Eckhoff, MD; Thomas F. Dwyer, MD; Joel M. Bach, PhD; Victor M. Spitzer, PhD; and Karl Reinig, PhD

AAOS modifies Code of Ethics

The AAOS Board of Directors, meeting Feb. 26-27, 2001, approved modifications to the Code of Ethics. The modifications follow. (New language is underlined; deleted language is struck through)

I. The Physician-Patient Relationship. "The orthopaedic profession exists for the primary purpose of caring for the patient. The physician-patient relationship is the central focus of all ethical concerns."

III. Conflicts of Interest. "III.C. When an orthopaedic surgeon receives anything of significant value from a manufacturer a potential conflict exists which should be disclosed to the patient. When an orthopaedic surgeon receives inventor royalties from industry, the orthopaedic surgeon should disclose this fact to the patient if such royalties relate to the patient’s treatment. It is unethical for an orthopaedic surgeon to receive compensation of any kind from industry for using a particular device or medication. Reimbursement for reasonable administrative costs in conducting or participating in a scientifically sound research clinical trial is acceptable."

IV. Maintenance of Competence. "IV.A. The orthopaedic surgeon continually should strive to maintain and improve medical knowledge and skill and should make available to patients and colleagues the benefits of his or her profession attainments. Each orthopaedic surgeon should participate in continuing medical educational activities."

AAOS approves text book for medical students

The AAOS Board of Directors, meeting March 2, 2001, approved the development of a publication on the musculoskeletal system for first- and second-year medical students. The book would describe normal anatomic structures and functional anatomy, and explain basic processes such as infection, inflammation and bone healing. Discussions of disease states and trauma will focus on definition and pathogenesis rather than on treatment and rehabilitation. The text will be developed in cooperation with the initiative by Douglas W. Jackson, MD, working with the Academy and six other medical organizations to determine the adequacy of musculoskeletal education in medical school.

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