Letter from the President
Stay tuned for a letter from the New Jersey Orthopaedic Society's new President, Ronald Selby, M.D.!
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.