December 2000 Bulletin

In the News

OSHA issues broad rules on ergonomics

OSHA’s new regulations on ergonomics go into effect Jan. 16, 2001, with business coming into compliance by October 2001. The regulation is broader than the one OSHA proposed last year, which drew complaints from business and support from labor unions. The new regulations apply to all employers except for those in the construction, maritime, agricultural and railroad industries. The proposed regulations the agency issued last year applied only to manufacturing and manual handling jobs and jobs in which an employee reported an actual ergonomic injury. Other major changes to the new regulations include:

New rules to speed claims decisions by employers’ plans

Self-insured employers’ health plans will be required to make claims and appeals decisions more quickly under new Labor Department regulations issued last month. Plans will have 30 days to respond to initial claims for services; 72 hours in the case of urgent care. If a patient needs an insurer’s approval before receiving medical care, the insurer has 15 days to rule on the claim. Patients will have 180 days to file appeals rather than the current 60 days. In deciding on an appeal, a health plan must "consult with a health professional who has appropriate training and experience." The new rules go into effect Jan. 1, 2002.

Clinton to issue medical records privacy rules

President Clinton is expected to issue new rules to protect the privacy of medical records before the end of the year, but the rules won’t give patients a new right to sue and recover damages for the improper disclosure of confidential information. The new Congress could alter the rules, but it would have difficulty getting a consensus. Legislation to set federal privacy standards died this year because of disagreements between consumer advocates and the health care industry. The new rules will give consumers a federal right to inspect and copy information in their medical records; allow consumers to request correction of information they consider inaccurate or incomplete; and limit the use of data by insurance companies, HMOs and other health care providers.

Orthopaedics Update informs media about treatments procedures

Twenty-five editors and writers for journals, newspapers, magazines, wire services and newsletters heard the latest information on orthopaedic topics at the AAOS’s 10th annual Orthopaedics Update meeting with the media on Oct. 17, 2000. John Purvis, MD, chairman of the AAOS Public and Media Relations Committee, which staged the media event in the Waldorf Astoria hotel, New York City, moderated the presentations, ranging from managing and treating arthritis and repairing injury to joint cartilage to advances in trauma treatment.

Thomas A. Einhorn,MD, provides media with look into the future of orthopaedic treatments

AAOS elects 2001 nominating committee members

The AAOS fellowship has elected the following members of the 2001 Nominating Committee: Michael W. Chapman, MD; Alvin Crawford, MD; Jesse B. Jupiter, MD; Augusto Sarmiento, MD; Marc F. Swiontkowski, MD; and Stuart L. Weinstein, MD. The alternate member is David G. Murray, MD. The Board of Directors appointed Kenneth E. DeHaven, MD, to serve as chairman. An independent balloting service, used by the AAOS, said 5,483 ballots were cast, of which 5,301 were valid. Recommendations for open positions should be forwarded to the 2001 Nominating Committee, along with the curriculum vitae (if possible) to the attention of the AAOS Office of General Counsel.

Place these meetings on your schedule for the Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting Resolutions Committee will hold an Open Hearing on resolutions at 1 p.m. on Feb. 28. The Bylaws Committee will hold an Open Hearing to receive comments on proposed amendments at 8 a.m. March 1. Both meetings are in the Argent Hotel, San Francisco. The Annual Business Meetings will be in Moscone Center on March 2. A Ceremonial Meeting will begin at 8 a.m. At 9:15 a.m. there will be a business meeting for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the 501(c)(3) organization, immediately followed by the business meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the 501(c)(6) organization.

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