VOS Newsletter
THE OFFICIAL NEWS PUBLICATION OF THE VIRGINIA ORTHOPAEDIC SOCIETY

CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE
Fall 2017 Issue

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Legislative News

 

Policy Issues Affecting Orthopaedics

By Lauren B. Schmitt
Senior Manager of Government Affairs
Commonwealth Strategy Group

Elections
It’s election year in Virginia, with the entire House of Delegates and the statewide offices up for election. For Governor, current Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam is the Democratic nominee and Ed Gillespie, the former Chairman of the Republican National Committee is the Republican nominee. Justin Fairfax, an attorney from Northern Virginia, is the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor and Senator Jill Vogel is the Republican nominee. For Attorney General, Republican John Adams is challenging the Democratic incumbent, Mark Herring. The whole country will be looking to see how Virginia’s elections go, so it will promise to be an interesting election season!

ORTHO-PAC
Have you joined the ORTHO-PAC 250 campaign yet? Route 250 leads you right to Virginia’s Capitol, where every year we fight for position to beat the competition. Currently, our ORTHO-PAC tank is painfully low compared to our peers. The PACS for our teammates and opponents are leaving us in the dust. If every VOS member donated just $250, our ORTHO-PAC would be at the front of the pack. A strong PAC helps us compete in a crowded political field. Please contribute today by clicking here.

Workers Comp
Virginia physicians and other providers should be aware and prepare for implementation of the statutory medical fee schedules (MFS) that will dictate reimbursements beginning January 1, 2018. Virginia will join the vast majority of other states that use fee schedule for workers' compensation care. 

The fee schedules were created pursuant to Virginia law adopted in 2016 requiring the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission (VWC) to create schedules for the reimbursement of medical services to injured workers subject to the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act. The schedules will have maximum fees, in absence of a contract, for the reimbursement of categories of health care providers in six regions of the Commonwealth. The schedules were designed by an actuarial team and stakeholder advisory panel using actual Virginia workers’ compensation paid reimbursement data collected from insurers, third-party administrators and providers. The law instructs VWC to create a unique Virginia-based fee schedule that reflects actual average historical reimbursements from 2014-15 as the baseline. To access the fee schedules for your region, the implementation timeline, background about the process, and other information please visit here.

The VWC will host its Annual Educational Conference for providers, employers, and insurers on October 24-25 in Richmond. There will be at least two sessions specifically about the medical fee schedule implementation.  For more information visit this site today.

Please contact VOS government relations consultant Cal Whitehead with questions or for assistance in accessing the information.

COPN
VOS received a grant from the AAOS last December to fund an 18-month campaign around COPN reform. VOS formed the Virginia Coalition to Reform COPN, which is comprised of 22 organizations that all support significant reform. Our website can be viewed here. We have built a grassroots action network that now has over 600 supporters signed up.

For the 2018 Virginia General Assembly session, we will be pursuing individual project exemption bills, as well as statewide reform. The Chair of the House Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee, Delegate Bobby Orrock, has advised stakeholders to move forward with this strategy. The Virginia Coalition to Reform COPN is coordinating our legislative efforts on this. If you are interested in pursuing legislation, please visit here.

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