President's Message

By N. Douglas Boardman III, MD
President, Virginia Orthopaedic Society

 



N. Douglas Boardman III, MD
VOS President

NPs and PAs

VOS 2009 Annual Meeting

Dear Virginia Orthopaedic Society Members,

Well, better late than never…After much contemplation and travel—most recently to the Big Easy for AAOS—I’ve finally managed to put together this message. And having spent five days in New Orleans for the Academy meeting, I’m really looking forward to our 63rd Annual VOS Meeting in Charlottesville April 30-May 2. My peripheral involvement in the planning of the meeting has allowed me an early look at the program assembled by Drs. Isaacs and Cui, and I can assure you that they have done a fantastic job, a great collaboration between VCU and UVA. Moreover, thanks to the efforts of Dr. Wil Zuelzer and Cal Whitehead, Dr. Bill Hazel—newly appointed Secretary of Health and Human Resources—will join us for a reception on Friday night April 30. Please make every effort to attend the meeting and the reception to recognize the achievement of a fellow orthopaedic surgeon.

This past year has seen the VOS doing battle in the Supreme Court and the General Assembly, and I am happy to say that our overall track record has been great. Although the State budget shortfalls have us looking at lower Medicaid reimbursements in the future, the reductions will be less than they might otherwise have been without the integrated efforts of the MSV, VOS, and other State Specialty Societies. I stood with representatives of other medical groups in February at a press conference at the Assembly at which MSV President Dr. Dan Carey outlined the implications of proposed Medicaid cuts. Doubtless the cuts, though significant, would have been worse without the coordinated efforts of our societies through the process. MSV and VOS have also partnered in successfully combating a lawsuit brought by the podiatrists before the Supreme Court, through which they attempted to overturn a State statute limiting the ability of podiatrists to testify as expert witnesses. Thanks to our partnership, we won the case as the Court upheld the current statute. In addition, VOS and MSV joined forces in the Assembly to stave off an effort to reduce our reimbursement for Workers’ Compensation cases. We will continue to work with the MSV and Hospital Association in a task force later this year which will examine the Workers’ Compensation system, but the acute threat to our payments has been greatly diminished, if not eliminated for the time being. On behalf of the VOS, I would like to extend a hearty “Thank You” to Cal Whitehead for his unwavering efforts on our behalf and for strengthening the relationship between the VOS and MSV, a relationship vital to both groups. Scott Johnson, General Counsel for MSV, also deserves our thanks for his work during our Supreme Court and General Assembly battles.

On a National level, the VOS partnered with approximately fifty State and Specialty Societies to support the AAOS in opposition of current health care reform legislation. We joined with the AAOS and those other groups in a letter in December outlining the opposition to the proposals under consideration. To see the letter, please go to http://www.vos.org/legis/Orthopaedic_Community_Ltr_to_
Senate_in_Opposition _to_HR_3590_12.1.2009.pdf
. Unfortunately, the recent House vote did not provide us with a favorable result, but we will continue to support the AAOS through the “reform” process.

Though we have been quite successful locally in both the judicial and legislative arenas, we must continue to look forward and make every effort to place ourselves in the most strategically optimal position possible for the future. We can accomplish this goal in several ways. First, we must continue to increase our membership through such mechanisms as Group Billing, and President-elect Dr. Bobby Chhabra’s Membership Committee has worked diligently on boosting our numbers. Second, we can each contribute through OrthoPAC. Let’s face it, money talks. Third, we can build upon our recent successes with the MSV to strengthen the relationship between our two groups in preparation for the inevitable battles in front of us.

Again, we have a great Annual Meeting ahead in Charlottesville. Please support your Society by attending and by giving generously to OrthoPAC! 100% of your Board have donated to the PAC, and I challenge the membership to do the same.

I look forward to seeing you in Charlottesville.

N. Douglas Boardman, III, MD
President, Virginia Orthopaedic Society

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