Tennessee Delegation Travels to Washington, D.C. and Capitol Hill - Tennessee Orthopaedic Society
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Tennessee Delegation Travels to Washington, D.C. and Capitol Hill

Tennessee Delegation Travels to Washington, D.C. and Capitol Hill

June 27, 2016

Tennessee Orthopedic Society members David Cannon, M.D., Randy Davidson, M.D., Greg Mencio, M.D., John McGraw, M.D. Sam Murrell, M.D. and Quinn Throckmorton, M.D. were joined by TOS executive director Mike Crosby and practice administrator Glenn Sumner in their annual pilgrimage to Capitol Hill as part of the National Orthopaedic Leadership Conference (NOLC).  Each year the AAOS brings together the Board of Councilors, Board of Specialty Societies, Leadership Fellows Program, State Societies, and Council on Advocacy to address current concerns among the orthopedic fellowship, foster leadership development, and lobby Congress. This year the conference took place May 4-7 at the JW Marriott.

The first two days of the NOLC focused on advocacy efforts.  After media training sessions and Hill Visit training on day one, your Tennessee delegates made house calls to the offices of Tennessee’s Representatives in the House as well as the offices of Senator Alexander and Senator Corker.  This year the AAOS has focused on four pieces of legislation.  The Flexibility in Electronic Health Record (EHR) Reporting Act, S.2822/H.R.5001, will change the current 365-day reporting requirement for Meaningful Use to 90 days.  The Healthy Inpatient Procedures Act, H.R. 4848, will delay implementation of the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) pilot program in 67 selected Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) which went into effect April 16, 2016 until January 1, 2018. The Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act, S.689/H.R. 921, will provide legal protection for traveling sports medicine professionals to practice in secondary states while attending to team athletes.  And finally, the Protecting Access, H.R. 2513, Competition and Equity (PACE) Act for Physician-Owned Hospitals will lift current bans on expansion of physician-owned hospitals.  A summary of these bills can be found on the AAOS web site.

The final two days of the conference consisted of a symposia on a variety of topics affecting the practice of orthopaedics.  In the first symposium, discussions on alternative policy options by academicians, lobbyists, and congressional staffers were held regarding the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as orthopaedists await regulations on MACRA. Topics included changes necessary and currently underway in the US health care financing and delivery system, the benefits and disadvantages of the same from unique viewpoints, and the implications for orthopedic surgeons.  In another symposium, academy members discussed their experience in effecting change in the broader context of how state government affects orthopaedic practices.  A third symposium examined the 21st Century Cures/Senate Health Innovation Proposal, the Senates initiative to provide better, faster, safer, and more innovative approaches to treat diseases.  On the final day of the conference, one symposium explored projected orthopaedic workforce needs, the political climate and funding options for graduate medical education while the final symposium of the conference explored the value of telemedicine for orthopaedic practice.

Each year Tennessee sends a delegation to Washington, D.C. to participate in the NOLC. TOS invites any member interested and encourages them to participate and attend.  Advocacy is a guiding force for the delegation and its success is only limited by grass roots participation. For further information contact any board member or your Board of Councilors representatives, David Cannon, M.D. and Sam Murrell, M.D.