President's Message

By A. Bobby Chhabra, MD
President, Virginia Orthopaedic Society

 



A. Bobby Chhabra, MD
VOS President

NPs and PAs

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Dear Virginia Orthopaedic Society Members,

Despite the cold temperature and snow, your Virginia Orthopaedic Society has continued to work at a fiery pace to protect the health care environment for our patients and practitioners in the State of Virginia.

The VOS Board had its second meeting in early January to discuss several of the topics that make headline news. We continue to focus on political advocacy efforts, increasing our membership numbers, improving overall membership benefits, and structuring an annual meeting educational curriculum that is one of the best we have ever had.

Already in the first month of 2011 healthcare reform, Medicare cuts, and our medical malpractice cap are in the news on a daily basis. The VOS continues to work diligently with our advisors for the best interest of our patients and the Orthopaedic surgeons in the state.

We recently came to an agreement with the Virginia Podiatric Medical Association to limit their scope of practice. We also successfully had podiatric advertisements withdrawn from several newspapers around the state because of concerns for false representation.

I have heard input from many of you about the dissatisfaction with the current agreement made by the MSV with the trial lawyers regarding the new medical malpractice cap legislation. Several members of the VOS Board and I had a lengthy discussion with the MSV regarding this agreement and provided this information to our members. A recent compromise was made regarding the peer-review discoverability legislation which should be very beneficial to our physicians. The medical malpractice cap and the peer review deal appear to be moving forward at the legislative level. While many of us are wary of an increase in the malpractice cap, at this point it appears that it will provide at least some stability in our medical malpractice environment.

We continue to deliberate with the players involved in the workers compensation arena and appear to be making progress. Once again, our success is a result of  the efforts of Cal Whitehead, our government relations representative in Richmond, who works tirelessly helping us navigate these politically charged issues. We cannot thank him enough for his dedication to our society.

I am happy to report that membership in the VOS has reached an all time high. Our membership committee led by President-Elect Derek Ochiai, continues to work to reach a goal of 450 members before our next meetings. We will be rolling out several benefits to our VOS members over the next few months. Information on these benefits will be available at the annual meeting. Once again, I urge our membership to reach out to our colleagues who are not members of VOS and get them involved. Without numbers and a unified voice we will not be able to adequately fight against many of the healthcare issues that will negatively impact our ability to provide care.

Our annual meeting program curriculum is now complete thanks to the tireless effort of Drs.Greg Domson and Mark Romness, our program chairs, who have been assisted by Dr. Trey Cui and Sara Rynders, PAC. Our upcoming meeting will be at The Homestead on April 29-May 1, 2011. You will be receiving the final program very shortly and I assure you that you will be impressed by the scope of interesting topics that will be discussed as well as the keynote lectures to be given by Dr. Darren Johnson, Chair of Orthopaedics at the University of Kentucky and Dr. Thomas Sculco, Surgeon and Chief at the Hospital for Special Surgery. Dr. Bill Hazel, Secretary for Health and Human Resources will return for a talk and a question/answer session that will update our members on major healthcare reform issues. For the first time, we will have a concurrent physicians assistants educational program that has been designed by Sara Rynders. We hope to provide an outstanding educational venue for our increasing number of Orthopaedic PA’s within the state. As always, this is a great opportunity to obtain the required CME credits for recertification. I urge you to mark your calendar and spread the word. We have been able to negotiate some great bargains at The Homestead Resortand this will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience this wonderful resort.

With the major changes in the recent federal congressional race, it is evident that legislators that are supportive of physicians and are patient advocates would not have won their respective races without the support of physician members throughout the country. At the state level, we would not be able to be as effective as a specialty without contributions to the Ortho-PAC. All 140 members of the Virginia General Assembly will be up for election this year.  Many new faces will enter the candidate field because of retirement and the re-drawing of district lines. This has already been a very challenging year for all healthcare providers and the future still looks ominous. Without a substantial increase in contributions to our state Ortho-PAC, we will not be able to earn visibility for issues that protect our patients and our fellow surgeons. We will not have a voice in the changes that are coming, so please contribute generously.

The staff at the VOS headquarters and our Board Members continue to work tirelessly with me on issues. I thank all of them for their availability and their willingness to drop everything to answer my phone calls and emails on a daily basis. I have learned more and had more fun than I could have ever imagined serving in this role for the Virginia Orthopaedic Society.

I hope to meet all of you at The Homestead Resort. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any ideas or suggestions.

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