AAN Publishes Position Statement on Stroke Medical Director Reimbursement

September 21, 2012


The Academy has published a new Stroke Medical Director Reimbursement Statement developed by the AAN Stroke Section and approved by the AAN Board of Directors. The statement addresses concerns about the status and experience of some professionals who take on the role of stroke medical director and the need for proper compensation for this responsibility.

“In our Stroke Section strategic plan,” said section member and project lead Helmi L. Lutsep, MD, FAAN, “we identified the significant need to develop systems of stroke care with neurologists as lead physicians, and to improve reimbursement for stroke medical directors who provide service above and beyond usual care. This position statement will be essential for advocacy efforts to achieve our desired outcomes—for institutions to place neurologists in stroke medical director positions when possible and to provide separate funding for stroke medical directors and for acute stroke call coverage.”

The statement includes references to studies that show that neurologists may decrease length of stay and reduce the mortality rates of stroke patients compared to other specialists. “The Stroke Section Executive Committee was concerned that instances exist in which institutions have placed non–neurologists and even non–physician administrators in the role of the stroke medical director,” said Lutsep. “While this is unavoidable at some institutions, other centers could potentially serve their stroke patients better.”

Fair reimbursement is an issue since a medical directorship takes time away from other revenue–generating activities. “Reimbursement makes it more likely that neurologists could participate in such leadership positions and ultimately maximize stroke care,” said Lutsep. “It improves professional satisfaction.”

To read the position statement, visit www.aan.com/go/about/position.