AAOS Concerned About Unintended Consequences of Drastic CMS Proposal

WASHINGTON, Aug. 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) President Joseph A. Bosco III, MD, FAAOS, issued the following statement in response to the newly released Calendar Year (CY) 2021 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) proposed rule. Among other policy changes, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing to eliminate the Inpatient Only List beginning with nearly 300 musculoskeletal-related services, adjust the criteria for procedures covered in the ambulatory setting, and remove certain restrictions on the expansion and development of physician-owned hospitals.

“The AAOS believes that the setting where patients receive their care is best decided by physicians and thus, we support policies which give orthopaedic surgeons and their patients greater choice. While we are cautiously optimistic about CMS’ attempt to offer these flexibilities by promoting site neutrality and lifting restrictions on high-value physician-owned hospitals, we are concerned about the potential for unintended consequences associated with eliminating the Inpatient Only List.    

“In pushing forward such a drastic change, CMS may exacerbate many of the same unresolved issues that our surgeons continue to face as a result of hip and knee arthroplasty being recently removed from the Inpatient Only List. Payers, including Medicare Advantage and commercial carriers often misinterpret the policy change to mean that these procedures must be performed exclusively in the outpatient setting. This confusion adds even more delay and paperwork to existing prior authorization requirements and, most importantly, jeopardizes patients’ safe, timely access to care.

“The AAOS believes that determining the appropriate setting of care should be done through the lens of patient safety and peer-reviewed evidence, and that physicians are best qualified for leading this individualized decision-making process with their patients. We strongly encourage CMS to carefully reassess this aspect of the proposal in light of these concerns, and we look forward to offering our formal comments on behalf of the musculoskeletal community.”

About the AAOS
The American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) Office of Government Relations promotes and advocates the viewpoint of the orthopaedic community before federal and state legislative, regulatory, and executive agencies. Based in Washington, DC, with additional staff in the Academy’s headquarters in Rosemont, Illinois, the Office of Government Relations identifies, analyzes, and directs all health policy activities and initiatives to position the AAOS as the trusted leaders in advancing musculoskeletal health.

For more information on all AAOS advocacy efforts, visit

Follow the AAOS Office of Government Relations on Twitter.

SOURCE American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Chris J. Stewart

Chris currently serves as President and CEO of Surgio Health. Chris has close to 20 years of healthcare management experience, with an infinity to improve healthcare delivery through the development and implementation of innovative solutions that result in improved efficiencies, reduction of unnecessary financial & clinical variation, and help achieve better patient outcomes. Previously, Chris was assistant vice president and business unit leader for HPG/HCA. He has presented at numerous healthcare forums on topics that include disruptive innovation, physician engagement, shifting reimbursement models, cost per clinical episode and the future of supply chain delivery.

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One Comment

  1. Surgeons should simply go NON-PAR with Medicare, otherwise CMS will just keep squeezing.

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