Health Policy Views and Political Advocacy of Arthroplasty Surgeons: A Survey of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons Members

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The Journal of Arthroplasty


BACKGROUND: The American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons (AAHKS) is the largest specialty society for arthroplasty surgeons in the United States and is dedicated to education, research, and advocacy. The purpose of this study was to identify the health policy views of AAHKS members and better characterize their advocacy participation. METHODS: A 22 question survey was electronically distributed multiple times via email link to all 3,638 US members of AAHKS who were in practice or training in 2022. Study results were analyzed using descriptive statistics. RESULTS: There were 311 responses (9%), with 18% of respondents being within 5 years of practice and 38% having more than 20 years in practice. Respondents identified as Republicans (40%), Independents (37%), and Democrats (21%). Top policy issues included preserving physician reimbursement and equitable fee schedule representation (95%), the burden of prior authorization (53%), the impact of Center of Medicare and Medicaid Services regulations (39%), and medical liability and tort reform (39%). Members ranked maintaining appropriate physician reimbursement (44%) and advocating for patients (37%) as the top benefits to participation in advocacy. A majority of respondents (81%) stated that they spend more time on pre-surgery optimization now than 10 years ago. The most common barrier to advocacy participation was a lack of time (77%). CONCLUSION: Responding AAHKS members are well-informed, politically engaged, patient-oriented, and eager for a voice in policy decisions that affect the professional future of arthroplasty surgeons. These results can be used to help direct strategic efforts of the AAHKS Advocacy Committee to further increase advocacy efforts.