Welcome to the Washington State Orthopaedic Association!

We are a membership-driven organization which represents the interests of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the patients with musculoskeletal problems whom we treat here in Washington. We are your advocates in Olympia both in the legislature and, sometimes more importantly, in the regulatory arena. We also serve as the “Boots on the Ground” representatives of the AAOS leadership so that the Academy is kept abreast of important issues here in Washington, and that information about important issues that come up in other states or in Washington, DC is passed on to Orthopaedic surgeons here at home.

Key issues that we anticipate working on in 2019 include “Out of network surprise balance billing.” This has been a multi-year effort on the part of a broad coalition of multiple specialty societies and the Washington State Medical Association to block a simple ban on Balance Billing, and to be sure that whatever legislation is passed is fair and balanced. For more information on this issue, please consult the WSOA or WSMA website.

Another key issue is Opiate prescribing. As you can imagine, there has been great pressure applied to the medical community to “do something” about the opiate crisis. As has occurred in the last several legislative sessions, it seems likely we will see a variety of attempts to solve this crisis by legislation during the 2019 legislative session. Our job, along with the rest of the House of Medicine, is to be sure that legislative solutions have a positive impact on the problem without unduly burdening physician’s practices.

Washington has two representatives to the Academy Board of Councilors, Dr. Alan Greenwald and Dr. Nick Rajacich. The BOC is “sort of” the House of Representatives of the AAOS. It is an organization of mostly non-academic orthopedists who represent the interests of practicing orthopaedic surgeons in the U.S. Many key initiatives at the AAOS (for example, professional compliance or reform of the ABOS) have come from the BOC. If you have concerns about some issue that you think the AAOS needs to know about, please contact one of your councilors

If you are a WSOA member, thank you for joining and helping support or efforts. If you are not a member, please consider joining WSOA today so that we can continue work to protect orthopaedic practice in Washington and to protect the patients we care for.

And please consider a donation to the Washington State Orthopaedic Foundation to help fund its important work!

Nick Rajacich, MD
WSOA president

President’s Message – November 2018
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