This report highlights actions taken by the Board of Directors during its meeting in Chicago, Aug. 25-26, 1995.
by D. Eugene Thompson, MD, Academy Board of Directors Secretary
The Board approved new Position Statements on Medical Savings Accounts, the Medicare Demonstration Project for Joint Surgery, and Relationships Between Health Care Plans and Trauma Systems. A Position Statement and an Opinion on Ethics on Medical and Surgical Procedure Patents also were approved.
A developmental study report for the expansion of the Orthopaedic Learning Center was approved in concept with encouragement to move ahead on the project. The plan calls for the development of a 100-seat multipurpose room with audio-visual capabilities to provide room for didactic presentations, a library and study area equipped with individual study carrels and interactive video capability, and endowment funds sufficient to underwrite the center's basic annual operating requirements.
The Board of Directors heard a lengthy presentation on the issue of changing the Academy's current tax status, 501(c)(3) to 501(c)(6). The presentation included an analysis of current lobbying expenses; the annual costs increase incurred by a change in tax status; the legal aspects of the proposed change; and a re-discussion of the reasons for the change such as more flexibility regarding socioeconomic issues. In February, the board voted to remain a 501(c)(3) organization, but authorized the staff to be prepared to file immediately any necessary papers for a conversion, if it became necessary. The board elected to maintain the current position of the Academy, but to continue to closely monitor any and all aspects influencing the tax status of the Academy.
To stem the annual financial losses of the Summer Institute, the Board approved a plan for a task force to evaluate the 1995 Summer Institute and recommend changes in the program for the 1996 Summer Institute. A subsequent analysis of the 1996 event would determine if the Summer Institute will be held in 1998.
A comprehensive plan for new managed care and practice management products and services, presented by the Council on Health Policy and Practice and the Council on Education, was approved by the Board. The products include a national conference in the fall 1997 called "Groups, Networks, Mergers, and Affiliations for Orthopaedic Surgeons;" a managed care and practice management on-line member-to-member forum in fiscal 1996; and a book titled, "Quality Management for the Cost-Effective Orthopaedic Practice under Capitation and Other Managed Care Arrangements." Feasibility studies were authorized for a proposed journal, Orthopaedic Economics; a proposed managed care seminar bureau for state and regional orthopaedic societies; a managed care/practice management audiocassette subscription series; and practice management products relating to office systems. A feasibility study also was authorized to determine if reliable utilization (frequency) data can be collected or acquired for use in a future edition of the capitation software program that is currently being developed or sold separately.
Bernard F. Morrey, MD, immediate past president and chairman of the Task Force on Orthopaedic Work Force Issues, reported that requests for proposals will be submitted to several organizations for data on market penetration by managed care organizations, competition from other physician specialties, physician retirement rates, and demand effects of the aging population. This could lead to an ongoing database which could be used in discussion with policy makers on issues which affect the work force of orthopaedic surgeons. Dr. Morrey reported that discussions with the U.S. Department of Justice and private antitrust attorneys found that little can be done to influence the work force without risking restraint of trade litigation.
The Task Force on Shared Interest Groups'recommendation for a bylaws change to establish a new International Affiliate membership category was approved. The fellowship will vote on the bylaws change at the 1997 Annual Meeting.
The Board approved the recommendations of the Task Force on Serving the Elderly Orthopaedic Patient. The activity was seen as important to the future of orthopaedics.