Letter from the President
I am honored to have been selected to serve as your president for 2017. I have been a member of the New Jersey Orthopaedic Society for many years, and have been privileged to represent you on the Board of Directors in a variety of leadership positions. I am very familiar with the initiatives, goals and mission of the NJOS, and am proud of our efforts to serve the orthopaedic surgeons in our State.
We have an extremely effective (and busy) advocacy program – led by stellar health care counsel, Mark Manigan, Esq., and our executive director and lobbyist, AJ Sabath – tracking and monitoring hundreds of bills in Trenton, and working with administration officials on the hottest issues facing the profession – out of network and other reimbursement issues, assignment of benefits, attacks on the state’s ambulatory surgery centers, etc. The issues continue to pop and our team continues to put out fires and advance proactive initiatives. Our state advocacy program is one of the nation’s best (and recognized by the AAOS for our aggressive nature), and our top priority as an association. We have to have good people watching our backs in the State Capitol so we can continue to practice and provide the best health care possible for our patients.
Our annual meeting and other educational programs are well recognized for their outstanding speakers and timely topics. We welcome your attendance, participation and suggestions so we can continue to meet your educational needs.
And please don’t hesitate to contact me with anything that’s on your mind. Again, I am privileged to serve you this year as your president, and welcome your input and active participation as we advance our advocacy and education agenda. Our Trenton office staff, administrated so effectively by Rachel Holland (email@example.com or 609-392-7553) can assist with your questions as well.
Ronald Selby, MD
On Monday, December 5th the Senate version of the Out-of-Network (OON) legislation, S-1285, was scheduled for a vote by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. Over the course of the past weekend the New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA) cut a last-minute deal with the OON bill sponsors. That deal would have called for amendments to the bill which would have proposed a cap on OON charges instead requiring an interim payment for OON services creating an option for binding arbitration only if the two parties could not come to an agreement. As soon as that deal was cut between the sponsors and NJHA other proponents of the bill including Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield and major public employee unions expressed their opposition to this new proposal. As a result of those sudden changes and our continued opposition, Senator Vitale asked that the bill be removed from Monday’s Senate Committee agenda until a later date. A press conference announcing the NJHA deal was postponed. However, our Access to Care Coalition went forward with our press conference featuring bi-partisan legislators, physicians, and a patient to oppose this bill. Thank you to Dr. Monaghan for representing the Society at the press conference.
While we have slowed the advancement of OON we have not stopped it. We know that the sponsors will continue working on helping their supporters understand these changes so that the bill may move forward. This could happen as soon as December 15, 2016 or early next year. Your continued advocacy as a member of our society, in your practice, and in your hospital with your colleagues is very important. We continue to work within our Access to Care Coalition to strategize about next steps and raise questions and opposition to the bill. We will be in touch with new developments.