February 2004 Bulletin

Breaking News

AAOS Presidential Line meets with AMA Executive Committee
Members of the AAOS Presidential Line, including President James H. Herndon, MD; First Vice President Robert Bucholz, MD, and Second Vice President Stuart L. Weinstein, MD, along with Karen L. Hackett, FACHE, CAE, AAOS chief executive officer, recently met with the Executive Committee of the American Medical Association (AMA). During the meeting, the presidential line reviewed the Academy’s efforts in the areas of patient safety, medical liability reform and public outreach through public service announcements. The meeting was one of a series of get-togethers between the AMA and specialty societies, with a goal of opening dialogue and enhancing lines of communications. The AAOS took the opportunity to present the point of view of orthopaedists on issues of concern that would benefit from a more unified working relationship among medical societies.

Patients bring orthopaedic message to Capitol Hill during AAOS Research Lobby Day  
For more than 20 years, orthopaedic surgeons and PhD researchers have made visits to Capitol Hill to urge for increased funding for musculoskeletal research. This year for the first time, patients of orthopaedic surgeons were the focus of these Congressional meetings. More than 40 orthopaedic surgeons, researchers and patients, including children and the elderly with a full range of musculoskeletal diseases and conditions, participated in Research Lobby Day. This event was sponsored by the AAOS with support from the Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS), and the endorsement of the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF), and all the groups that are a part of the Council of Musculoskeletal Specialty Societies (COMSS).

More than 61 Congressional offices were visited on February 12th, many of whom are members serving in key leadership roles on the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, which have jurisdiction over the funding of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). William W. Tipton Jr., MD, Director of Medical Affairs for the AAOS, and Joshua J. Jacobs, MD, Chairman of the Council on Research and Scientific Affairs, had a very productive meeting with Ralph Regula (R-OH), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Labor-Health and Human Services-Education of the House Appropriations Committee, which has jurisdiction over NIH funding.

The evening prior to visiting legislators, Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Labor-Health and Human Services-Education of the Senate Appropriations Committee, addressed AAOS Research Lobby Day participants regarding the fiscal year 2005 budget request. Chairman Specter stressed his personal commitment to the furthering of advances in musculoskeletal research. The next morning the group heard a talk by Claire Coleman, Chief of Staff in the Office of Representative Nita Lowey (D-NY), on how to conduct an effective congressional visit. Through the sharing of patients’ personal stories relating to how research has benefited patient care and the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions, the orthopaedic community urged members of Congress to support a 10 percent increase in funding for the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). The President’s budget request for FY 2005 was for just a 2.6 percent increase over last year’s budget.

Two ways to make your views heard
AAOS members have two opportunities to make a difference on matters of importance. First, complete the 2004 Member Census. A 100 percent response will give the AAOS significant information on the needs and problems facing orthopaedists today. To access the census online simply click on the “2004 Orthopaedic Census” button on the AAOS Home page at: http://www.aaos.org. Then, plan to attend the AAOS Town Hall Meeting, Thursday, March 11, at 11:45 a.m. The meeting will be held during the Annual Meeting in the Gateway Ballroom of The Moscone Convention Center, immediately following keynote speaker Catherine Crier. Members of the Presidential Line will be leading the discussion, with William W. Tipton Jr., MD, AAOS Director of Medical Affairs, serving as moderator. No registration is required to attend the meeting; AAOS members are urged to share their opinions and ideas about Medicare reimbursements, medical liability reform, maintenance of certification, advocacy and other issues of interest. 

Abstract applications now being accepted for AAOS 2005 Annual Meeting
AAOS members can now submit their important research for presentation as Podium/Poster Presentations and Scientific Exhibits at the 2005 Annual Meeting, February 23-27, 2005, in Washington DC. The deadline for abstract submission is May 3, 2004, but don’t wait until the last minute; submit your abstract now! The online abstract submission form can be found on the AAOS Web site.

FDA director expected to move to CMS
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Mark McClellan may be named as the new administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) according to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal. McClellan, a physician with a doctorate in economics, is “widely viewed as the leading candidate” to replace former administrator Tom Scully, who resigned last month. According to the Journal, McClellan supports “relying on the private sector to improve health care quality.” A final decision is expected shortly.

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