Orthopaedic Surgeons Slam Obama For "Blurring Reality" & "Wild Misrepresentations"

Dear Leader ticked off US surgeons during a recent town hall.
This week they responded to the president’s “wild misrepresentations.”
The American Thinker posted the letter from the Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons responding to Obama’s exaggerated claims:

Statement from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Regarding Comments from President Obama

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) is profoundly disappointed with President Obama’s recent comments regarding the value of surgery and blurring the realities of physician reimbursements. The AAOS represents over 17,000 US board-certified orthopaedic surgeons who provide essential services to patients every day. As President Obama has said, “Where we do disagree, let’s disagree over things that are real, not these wild misrepresentations that bear no resemblance to anything that’s actually been proposed.” In that spirit, we would like to bring some clarity to his comments and underscore the value that orthopaedic surgeons bring to Americans every day of every year.

First, surgeons are neither reimbursed by Medicare, nor any provider for that matter, for foot amputations at rates anywhere close to $50,000, $40,000 or even $30,000. Medicare reimbursements to physicians for foot amputations range from approximately $700 to $1200 which includes the follow up care the surgeon provides to the patient up to 90 days after the operation. Moreover, orthopaedic surgeons are actively involved in the preventive care he mentions. We are a specialty that focuses on limb preservation whenever possible and when it is in the best interests of the patient. Our approach to amputation follows the same careful, thoughtful approach, always with the patients best interest as the primary focus.

It is also a mischaracterization to suggest that physicians are reimbursed “immediately.” The AAOS itself, along with numerous other organizations, has testified in Congressional hearings investigating the delays in reimbursement by Medicare and other payers that create additional administrative burdens making it more difficult to provide access to care for patients.

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