AAN Puts Pressure on CMS to Revisit EMG/NCS Cuts

December 14, 2012


Catherine M. Rydell

AAN Leadership Update

Catherine M. Rydell, Executive Director & CEO
December 2012

Medical Economics

  • Ongoing efforts to fight the payment cuts to nerve conduction studies and EMG include:
    • The AAN met with CMS on November 28
    • More than 130 members have sent comment letters to CMS
    • AAN staff are meeting with congressional offices
    • Due to our strong advocacy efforts, Reps. Roskam (R–IL) and Ruppersberger (D–MD) are circulating a Dear Colleague letter to their peers in effort to gain signatories for a letter to CMS opposing the short notice given to affected physicians
    • More than 700 members have contacted Congress in support for a letter for Congress to send to CMS
    • Patient groups are offering support
    • The AAN is collaborating with the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine and the American Academy of Physician Medicine and Rehabilitation on many of these efforts
    • Dozens of organizations, including the AAN, have signed on to a letter to Congress detailing the impact of these cuts on patients with neurologic disease
    • Several articles have appeared in the news media, including the Boston Globe
    • A December 4 webinar explaining the new coding structure and how members can advocate attracted more than 800 participants; listen to the webinar recording.
  • The AAN is reaching out to CMS and private insurers to work on a solution to address problems surrounding new intraoperative monitoring codes. CMS announced in November that it would not reimburse for monitoring more than one case simultaneously.   
  • The 2013 Practice Management Webinar series will kick off on January 8 with a free webinar, “Decoding the 2013 Medicare Fee Schedule: Changes that Impact Neurology.” This is the first of 14 webinars that will cover changes in the health care landscape including ICD–10 and CMS incentive programs, maximizing efficiency in your practice, proper coding for sleep testing and epilepsy, and more. Each webinar in the series offers 1.5 CME credits and provides access to the webinar recording and slides. 


  • A record numberof people—2,570—have registered for the 2013 RITE® exam. The Residency In–service Training Exam will take place February 28–March 3.
  • The new NeuroSAE® Annual Meeting Edition will launch in mid–December. The AAN’s latest online self–assessment examination offers personalized recommendations on the best courses of study from which to build your ideal Annual Meeting learning plan and experience along with the opportunity to earn 10 free self–assessment CME credits toward ABPN–mandated maintenance of certification requirements.

Executive Administration

  • The 2013–2015 Nominations Committee will meet on December 20 at the AAN Headquarters and interview president elect candidates and complete the selection for all open Board positions. The slate will be announced prior to the Annual Meeting. All members are encouraged to attend the Business Meeting on Monday, March 18, 2013, at 8:00 a.m. to vote on the slate. 


  • A total of 87 percent of BrainPAC–supported candidates running for Congress in 2012 won, including several first–time candidates. This success rate exceeds that of several similar physician political action committees. In addition, BrainPAC has raised $275,000 in 2012, more than last year’s fundraising total. BrainPAC is the AAN’s political action committee dedicated to representing the interests of AAN members in Washington, DC.
  • About 70 AAN membersparticipated in an online webinar discussing the results of the 2012 elections and their impact on neurology. The presentation was hosted by the AAN Government Relations and BrainPAC executive committees. Access a recording of the presentation.

Clinical Practice

  • “Evidence–based guideline update: Steroids and antivirals for Bell palsy” was published electronically ahead of print on November 7, and in print on November 27. A clinician summary, patient summary, slide set, and clinical case example were developed, and a press release was issued. The AAN is reaching out to several professional medical societies and volunteer health associations for participation in dissemination.

Annual Meeting

  • The Annual Meeting mobile application will be available for meeting attendees, non–attendees, exhibitors, and press beginning in January 2013 on iOS (iPhone®/iPad®) and Android platforms in addition to a mobile website version. The application will allow attendees access to program materials, including syllabi and presentation slides, searchable abstract listing, including access to full abstract content, and much more.
  • New for the 2013 Annual Meeting, all program syllabi slides will be available online only. All Education program slides, previously available to attendees as in–room handouts, will now be available online only. The syllabi and slides will be available for download one to two weeks before the meeting.
  • The Academy continues to inform members and nonmembers that the 2013 Annual Meeting is in March rather than April. The early registration deadline is February 20. The Scientific Abstract Listing and Annual Meeting Information will be available near the end of January.


  • The Science Committee will meet December 12–13 to finalize the scientific program for the Annual Meeting, including selecting the rest of the plenary session speakers, platform sessions, and poster sessions. Abstract presenters and award recipients will be notified in mid–January whether they were selected.


  • Neurology Now® won the bronze award for “Best App” for the April/May 2012 issue in the business–to–business category at the FOLIO awards. The FOLIO awards are the largest competition in magazine publishing and one of the most prestigious. This year, more than 2,000 entries were submitted.
  • On December 8, the AAN hosted a Meet the Authors event at the Academy to promote the new Neurology Now™ Books series book, Navigating Life with Parkinson Disease. Authors Sotirios Parashos, MD, PhD, and Rose Wichmann, PT, discussed the book, answered questions from patients, families, and caregivers, and signed copies of the book.
  • The December issue of Neurology® Clinical Practice will be released on the app for the iPad® and mailed to US members with the December 11 issue of Neurology® (international members will be able to access the journal online at www.neurology.org/cp). This month’s issue introduces two new recurring sections, Practice Across Borders and Statistics in Clinical Practice, designed to facilitate a greater understanding of the issues facing US and international neurologists in practice.

American Brain Foundation

  • The American Brain Foundation received 60 applications for the 2013 Clinical Research Training Fellowships. Applicants will be notified in January whether they have been selected.

Dates and Deadlines

Webinar: Decoding the 2013 Physician Fee Schedule: Changes that Impact Neurology
January 8

Application Deadline: 2013 Neurology on the Hill
January 21

Application Deadline: 2014 A.B. Baker Award for Lifetime Achievement in Neurologic Education
January 31