Advocacy News

August 30, 2016



AAOS Requests CMS Finalize 90-Day Reporting Period for Meaningful Use

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Surgeon General Writes to Physicians on Opioid Epidemic

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MDUFA Reauthorization Updates

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AAOS Thanks Ryan for 21st Century Cures Support

ICD-10 Grace Period Ending

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Orthopaedic PAC Establishes Futures Capitol Club

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AAOS Thanks Ryan for 21st Century Cures Support

On August 11, 2016, AAOS joined a number of other medical specialty societies in thanking Speaker of the House Paul Ryan for his commitment to move a compromise 21st Century Cures bill in the fall. According to the letter, the ultimate goal of both the House and the Senate bills is to accelerate innovation, boost research, streamline drug and device approvals, and enhance health information technology (HIT) interoperability.

“We believe these things individually and combined will ultimately improve patient care and improve outcomes,” the letter states. “They will also increase the quality, safety, and efficiency of health care delivery.”

Specifically, the bills include provisions focused on National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding and boosting innovation. These provisions will help the NIH and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recruit top talent, improve research focused on women and minorities, and encourage young investigators. The bill also includes a system of more rapidly approving drugs and devices by decreasing paperwork and streamlining the approval process. Additionally, provisions will help address the executive branch “Moonshot Agenda” to find a cure for cancer and advance precision medicine.  

As outlined in the letter, the other major focus of both pieces of legislation is on health information technology (HIT). The stated goals are to improve and legislate more rapid advancement in interoperability. The HIT provisions aim to reduce the documentation burden for physicians, improve access to information for patients, and improve physician access to patient medical records.

“We are particularly supportive of language included in the Senate HIT legislation that creates a definition of clinician-led clinical data registries and requires that HIT vendors share data with those registries as a condition of certification to ensure such registries have efficient and cost-effective access to clinical outcomes data,” the letter states.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee, expressed optimism that a 21st Century Cures package will gain approval by the end of the year. “You would think that if President Obama, a Republican House, and a bipartisan Senate all are for this, we could get it done,” Alexander said.