Pat Toomey's office

An AAHKS delegation visits the office of U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) on Friday.

On Friday, a contingent of the AAHKS Board of Directors, Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs, Health Policy Fellows, local AAHKS members, AAHKS staff and from The Hip Society met in Washington, D.C. for a day of advocacy action as part of a two-day legislative retreat focused on the care of hip and knee patients.

Congressman Roger Marshall, MD (R-KS) addressed the group just after voting in the U.S. House of Representatives on a bipartisan budget plan that included a repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board for Medicare. Bryan Shuy, Deputy Chief of Staff for Representative Andy Harris, MD, provided a Congressional update. The attendees were briefed on the latest on CMS and CMMI issues listed below before the contingent broke into small groups to meet with Congressional staff in their Capitol Hill offices.

AAHKS impressed their positions on several issues including:

  • CMS “Two-Midnight Rule” for total knee arthroplasty – Requests that Congress call on CMS to immediately clarify the criteria under which total knee arthroplasty is considered an inpatient or outpatient service.
  • Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Advanced (BPCI-A) – Urges CMMI to work with stakeholders prior to the start of BPCI to address participant and patient issues to make changes before the October 1st performance period begins.
  • Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) – Urges CMS to expand their adoption of specialty peer-reviewed quality measures so that MIPS reporting is reflective of our members’ practices, and ensure that MIPS is risk adjusted so that physicians who treat the toughest patient cases are evaluated on a level playing field.
  • Stark Law – Calls on Congress and the Administration to include physician stakeholders in the Stark Law modernization effort. AAHKS members can offer insight into reforms that will enable value-based care.

On Saturday, presentations will focus on landscapes in Congress, CMS/HHS and Commercial Payers. Discussions will center around prioritizing the AAHKS legislative agenda for 2018-2019.