News & Updates: March 2023
Do you Support CON Repeal? Let Your SC House Member Know This Week!
As detailed in the SCOA Legislative Update on March 22, SC House Members need to hear from supporters of S. 164 while they are on break in their home districts to counter the messaging from a large, well-organized hospital lobby opposing Repeal.

Please consider sending a short email or making a call to urge your House Representative to support S. 164 because it will increase access to lower cost healthcare settings for SC’s citizens thereby reducing the risk of incurring medical debt from exorbitant out-of-pocket costs. This bill also prohibits hospitals from imposing non-compete clauses in employment agreements with physicians.

Resources are linked below to help you. The video and one pager are appropriate to share with staff and patients.

Contact the SCOA Legislative Affairs Team any time if you need help reaching House Members or have questions about the issue:
Tony Denny – (803) 315-9648 / [email protected]
Le Frye – (803) 360-1489 / [email protected]
Join Your Colleagues in Kiawah Island
2023 SCOA Annual Meeting
August 3-5, 2023
Sanctuary Hotel
Kiawah Island, SC
Meet the Keynote Speakers:
Felix H. “Buddy” Savoie, III, MD
AAOS President
Chairman, Department of Orthopaedics, Tulane University School of Medicine
Director, Tulane Institute of Sports Medicine
Holly Pisarik
Senior VP of Advocacy and Policy Counsel
SC Medical Association
Previous Roles:
Chief Legal Counsel, Office of Governor Nikki Haley
Housing Information:
This year, meeting registration is required to secure housing. Upon registering for the Annual Meeting, you will receive Housing Instructions with your registration confirmation. 

Please note: The room block expires July 5, 2023, but we expect the block to sell out well before that deadline. Register today so you can secure housing early.
Deadline Extended: Call for Abstracts
The South Carolina Orthopaedic Association is currently accepting Member abstract submissions & Resident Research Competition submissions.
In order to be considered by the Program Committee, submissions must be received by 11:59 pm on Monday, April 3. 
Selected abstracts will be presented at the 2023 SCOA Annual Meeting taking place August 3-5, 2023, at The Sanctuary in Kiawah Island, to an audience of established orthopaedic professionals. Don’t miss this opportunity to present your research to seasoned specialists in a collegial and interactive setting.

We’ve posted instructions for submissions on our website. In addition to the abstract information, all submissions must be accompanied by a financial disclosure form. 
Payers in the News
UnitedHealthcare Cuts Back Prior Authorization Requirements
by Rebecca Pifer, Healthcare Dive
UnitedHealthcare, the largest private payer in the U.S., plans to eliminate almost 20% of its current prior authorizations starting this summer, the company announced Wednesday. Click here to read more.
How Cigna Saves Millions by Having Its Doctors Reject Claims Without Reading Them
by Patrick Rucker, Maya Miller and David Armstrong, ProPublica
Internal documents and former company executives reveal how Cigna doctors reject patients’ claims without opening their files. “We literally click and submit,” one former company doctor said.
Over a period of two months last year, Cigna doctors denied over 300,000 requests for payments using this method, spending an average of 1.2 seconds on each case, the documents show. Click here to continue reading.
UnitedHealth Closes $5.4B Purchase of LHC Group
by Nona Tepper, Modern Healthcare
UnitedHealth Group has closed its $5.4 billion acquisition LHC Group, the home health and hospice provider notified the Securities and Exchange Commission. To continue reading, click here.
Bright Health's Florida Crisis Portends More Trouble
by Nona Tepper, Modern Healthcare
For the past six months, Bright Health has needed an okay from Florida regulators for transactions exceeding $10,000. More states are eying its shaky finances.
Bright Health Group's financial headaches are worse than previously known, as Florida regulators revealed the company has been under supervision for six months and unable to spend money without clearance from the Sunshine State. Click here to read more.
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Upcoming Webinar
The Direct Contracting Ecosystem
Administrators who are members of SAOE should have received an invitation, but SCOA members are also invited to attend.
Thursday, April 6th
1:00-2:00 PM (ET)
Karen S. Simonton, CPA
Direct contracting with employers is top of mind for most practices, and the number of third parties promising to assist continues to grow. Few of us understand what these third parties actually do, much less how to evaluate their effectiveness.
Join Karen Simonton, CPA, former orthopaedic practice executive and current OrthoForum Strategic Alliance Director, to break down the Direct Contracting Ecosystem. She will review the basics every practice pursuing direct contracts needs to know before outlining the categories of third party players and how to evaluate your needs for the services they offer.
Missed a Webinar? Check out the Webinar Archive!
The webinar is a free educational offering for our members.
Please follow the instructions to register for the event.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email from Zoom containing information about joining the webinar. If you don't see the email within 24 hours of registering, please check your spam folder.
Articles of Interest
Cyber Security Training for Employees
Tom Murphy, Danna-Gracey, Inc
When it comes to preventing a data breach or cyber security issue at a medical practice, employers and employees should attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible to avoid making errors. This ultimately means that the practice needs a proven cyber security training program in place to make sure all employees are up to date on all security policies at all times.
The following are some cyber security tips for medical practices:
  1. Require Strong Passwords
  2. Consistently Evaluate Vulnerabilities
  3. Implement Cybersecurity Tests
  4. Keep the Lines of Communication Open
  5. Make Sure Practice Leaders Are Involved
For guidance on how to implement these tips at your practice, click here to read the full article.
Court: No Surprises Act Final Rule Favors Insurers, Must be Revamped
Content via the American Medical Association (AMA):
In a win for physicians, a federal court for the second time in less than two years has rejected the government’s attempt to implement an independent-dispute resolution process that Congress created with the 2020 “No Surprises Act.”
The Texas Medical Association (TMA) and others challenged the final rule, showing how language in it still favored insurers in payment disputes and didn’t clean up problems in the interim rule that the court had previously said didn’t do what Congress intended. Click here to read more.
Member Benefit: Discover OrthoEvidence
Our members receive complimentary access to OrthoEvidence (OE), which is the global online source for high quality and timely orthopaedic-only evidence-based summaries, pre-appraised by orthopaedic medical experts.
Thank You To Our Corporate Partner:
South Carolina Orthopaedic Association