Capitol Hill Report: AAN Briefs the White House

October 19, 2012


By Mike Amery, Legislative Counsel, Federal Affairs, (202) 506–7468,

AAN Briefs the White House

Earlier this month, AAN Executive Director and CEO Catherine M. Rydell, CAE, was among a select group of health care leaders invited to attend a White House briefing on Physician Specialists and Delivery System Transformation with several key health policy advisors from the Obama administration.

Rydell discussed delivery system transformation efforts that the Academy is engaged in as well as how neurologists are interacting with initiatives such as ACOs, bundled payment, and primary care transformation. 

The event gave the AAN an excellent opportunity to highlight the challenges neurologists have encountered with new models of delivery and payment including the lack of opportunities for specialist participation and the impact of efforts to improve the practice climate for primary care providers. As Capitol Hill Report has discussed for several years, the AAN understands that primary care physicians are a key player in reducing the costs of health care, but current policies that improve primary care but exclude neurologists negatively impact specialists who are the most appropriate care providers for some patients. 

Rydell suggested that demonstrations should include more specialists and provide resources for specialists to help them better understand their role in the new payment and delivery models.

Read more information on New Payment and Delivery Models.

Free AAN Webinar to Discuss Election Results

On the first Tuesday in November, Americans will elect 435 members to the House, 33 to the Senate, and a president. It doesn’t look like a wave election at this time, but it is certain that substantial changes are on the horizon, particularly with regard to health care.

To help AAN members understand how this year’s election results will affect neurology, I’m hosting a free webinar taking place on Wednesday, November 14, from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET. I will be joined by Anna D. Hohler, MD, FAAN, chair of the BrainPAC Executive Committee, and Elaine C. Jones, MD, FAAN, chair of the Government Relations Committee.

I hope you will join me for this exciting FREE opportunity by registering now. Our presentation will be recorded and posted online if you cannot join us for the live event.

Rep. Perlmutter’s Epilepsy Centers Letter Generates 43 Signers

As I reported in the last Capitol Hill Report, at the request of the AAN and the Epilepsy Foundation, Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) initiated a letter asking the VA to include funding for their highly successful Epilepsy Centers of Excellence in their FY 2014 budget request.

The centers will “sunset” on October 1, 2013, without internal VA funding or congressional action.

Hundreds of AAN members sent messages to their House member, which generated 43 signers of the letter. Thanks to all AAN members who sent a message and thanks to the following members of Congress who signed:

Rep. Jason Altmire (D-PA) Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT)
Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-HI)
Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV) Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD)
Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY) Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH)
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI)
Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-IA) Rep. John Lewis (D-GA)
Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA) Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN)
Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA)
Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) Rep. David McKinley (R-WV)
Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN)
Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-MO) Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ)
Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) Rep. Todd Platts (R-PA)
Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO)
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY)
Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD)
Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY) Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA)
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ)
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA)
Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA) Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA)
Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA)
Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT)

Last Chance for Fall Conference Opportunities

If you are attending the Fall Conference in Las Vegas this week be sure come see me to talk some politics and policy and take advantage of some of the great opportunities.

For the first time, the AAN will offer a free CME course on advocacy. “Physician-led Advocacy: Creating Change” will be directed by AAN Government Relations Committee Chair Elaine C. Jones, MD, FAAN, of Rhode Island. The program is Saturday, October 27, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and offers 3.5 hours of CME. Learn more.

Following the advocacy CME course on Saturday, the AAN federal political action committee, BrainPAC, will host a reception. Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV) will be attending and we are hopeful that Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV), who is a candidate for the US Senate, also will stop by.