February 2002 Bulletin

AAOS approves statement, revises opinion

The AAOS Board of Directors, meeting in Chicago December 7-8, 2001, took the following actions.

Position Statement on Reprocessed Single-Use Devices approved. In response to the 2001 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory guidance, the Biomedical Engineering Committee of the AAOS Council on Research and Scientific Affairs developed, and the Board of Directors approved, a position statement on reprocessed single-use devices. The AAOS believes that the labeling of a device as "single-use" should be substantiated. If a reprocessed device meets established safety and efficacy criteria, then it may be functional for more than one use. In those instances, single-use labeling would be inappropriate. Single use labeling should be used only in those instances when it is demonstrated that a device cannot be reprocessed with its safety and efficacy assured. The AAOS strongly urges appropriate labeling for orthopaedic devices. Commonly reprocessed orthopaedic devices labeled for single use include the monoblock metallics (saw blades, reamers, knives, burrs and drill bits), surgical drills, arthroscopes, scissors, rongeurs, external fixation devices, trephines, countersinks, bone taps, staple drivers, needle holders, manual surgical instruments and carpal tunnel blades. For the full text of the statement visit the AAOS web site at http://www.aaos.org/about/papers/position.

AAOS Opinion on Ethics on the Orthopaedic Surgeon’s Relationship with Industry revised. This Opinion, which was first created in 1992 and updated in 1995 and 1997, was revised. It emphasizes the central goal of improving patient care and establishes guidelines to help orthopaedic surgeons avoid acceptance of inappropriate gifts or other financial support. The revised Opinion states that all dealings between orthopaedic surgeons and industry should benefit the patient and be able to withstand public scrutiny. For the full text of the revised Opinion visit the AAOS web site at http://www.aaos.org/about/papers/ethics.

Patient Access to Emergency Care project team appointed. Lowry Jones, Jr., MD, was appointed to lead a new Project Team that is charged with developing a comprehensive plan of strategies and resource materials to help make the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) and similar state laws less burdensome to orthopaedists, hospitals and other providers. The Patient Access to Emergency Care Project Team is also being asked to look at options for potential legislative action as well as the need for developing public education activities that will support these efforts. To read the committee charges, visit the AAOS web site at http://www3.aaos.org/ newsupdt/bodemc.htm.

Patient safety emergency alert mechanism to be developed. James Herndon, MD, was appointed to begin development of a mechanism that will quickly notify the AAOS Fellowship of urgent news regarding medical devices, biologics and drugs that could impact patient safety. The Board asked AAOS Executive Vice President William Tipton and Lawrence Rosenthal, PhD, to work with Dr. Herndon in developing this program. Dr. Herndon noted that, "The key to the success of this program will be obtaining e-mail addresses for a greater percentage of our members (presently the AAOS has e-mail addresses for just 40% of members). If you have not already done so, I urge you to provide our Member Services Department with your e-mail so that you can benefit from this very important service. You have our assurance that the Academy will not share or sell member e-mail addresses to any outside parties." Members can add their e-mail addresses to the AAOS databank by going to the web site at http://www3. aaos.org/memdir/memadd.cfm.

CPT coding service approved. A proposal from the Council on Health Policy and Practice that will give AAOS members access to a paid CPT coding assistance service was approved. This service will be accessed through a dedicated toll-free number specifically for AAOS members and their staff. Users will be able to submit questions via phone, e-mail, or fax; all questions will be answered by return phone call. Cost for using the service will be measured in consultation units (CU). More information about the service will be sent to members after the AAOS Annual Meeting.

The Position Statement and Opinion are in the "Library" section of the AAOS home page at www.aaos.org and fax-on-demand (800) 999-2939.

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