VOS Newsletter
THE OFFICIAL NEWS PUBLICATION OF THE VIRGINIA ORTHOPAEDIC SOCIETY

CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE
Fall 2018 Issue

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Legislative News

By Lauren Schmitt
Commonwealth Strategy Group

Certificate of Public Need (COPN)
COPN reform continues to be a top priority for VOS. House Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee Chairman Bobby Orrock (R-Thornburg) has convened a study committee after several individual COPN exemption and reform bills failed to pass the General Assembly. The committee is reviewing potential legislation this Fall and will make their policy recommendations. With Medicaid expansion, Virginia’s next logical step is to expand the workforce through COPN deregulation to develop more options for patients who have higher out of pocket expenses. Insurance companies and Medicaid will also benefit from less costly providers. We are reaching out to Governor Northam to advocate for COPN reform as a critical next step post Medicaid expansion. Check out the Coalition website for updates.

Surprise Billing and Out of Network Coverage
Virginia’s physicians are working with legislators to protect patients from unexpected medical bills that are the result of insurance coverage gaps and insurance plans that do not build adequate provider networks. We want to ensure that doctors retain the ability to freely contract and that Virginia avoids statutory rate setting. We anticipate there will be several bills next year dealing with this issue. The Health Insurance Reform Commission is studying the issue right now and has convened a stakeholders’ group with us, other physician specialty groups, the Medical Society of Virginia, the health plans and patient advocacy groups. We are working to find a compromise that protects both patients and a physicians’ ability to practice in Virginia.

Workers Comp
Virginia implemented a fee schedule this year for the unique workers’ compensation patient population. The schedule is supposed to control cost inflation but also maintain fair, fast payment to providers. Policymakers will closely monitor the workers’ compensation system and fee schedule to make sure injured workers and the providers who care for them are protected from any harmful insurer practices. To access fee schedules, guidance documents, and submit inquiries, visit the Commission’s site.

The VWC will host its annual educational conference for providers, employers, and insurers on October 17-18 in Richmond. There will be at least two sessions specifically about the medical fee schedule implementation.  For more information visit this site.

ORTHO-PAC
Have you contributed to the ORTHO-PAC yet this year? ORTHO-PAC is our VOS’s political action committee.  It is our political marketing machine that allows us to support legislators who are pro-physician and pro-patients. A fully funded PAC provides us opportunities to engage directly with policy leaders in Virginia. Our contributions allow us to compete in a crowded political environment by giving us access to legislators so we can advocate our positions on Certificate of Public Need reform, worker’s compensation, scope of practice, balance billing, reimbursement matters and other critical policies that directly affect orthopaedic surgeons. Make an online contribution today.

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VOS 72nd
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VOS 72nd Annual Meeting

May 3-5, 2019

The Intercontinental
at the Wharf
Washington, DC