Letter from the Chair: Opportunity to Join Work Groups

January 5, 2013


Dear Colleagues,

Over the years, as the membership of the American Academy of Neurology has grown and the practice of neurology has become more specialized, the AAN has turned to the sections to provide input related to their expertise. These have included matters of reimbursement, practice guidelines, and input on the educational and scientific offerings at the annual meeting.

Now the AAN has asked the sections to take a more active role in the Academy and to serve as conduits to subspecialty societies. To do so, we need section members to become involved.

There are many ways to get involved in the work of the section. Some of these include recurring tasks, in which volunteers may be called on once a year, others are one-time tasks, and there are projects that require effort over one or two years.

Please read the following work group opportunities and select the ones that interest you. When you select the "Join" button, an email will be sent to AAN staff and we will keep your name on file and contact you when we set up groups in the near future.

Education Work Group Opportunities

1. Serve on Topic Work Groups

Each fall the AAN asks the CNP section to nominate members for two topic work groups: the Epilepsy/EEG TWG and the Neuromuscular/EMG. If the nominees are chosen by the TWG chair, their input is used to determine educational courses for the annual meeting.

In December, topic work group members review course offerings and select courses to audit at the annual meeting. After the meeting, in spring and early summer they review the evaluations and feedback from courses, review new course proposals, identify gaps, and participate in a conference call to develop recommendations for the following year.

Those recommendations are forwarded to the education committee, which meets in the early summer. Most of the time commitment occurs in the spring. The CNP section has submitted its nominations for the 2013 meeting, but is looking for members willing to be nominated next fall.

Join Topic Work Group

2. Develop Course Proposals

Every year, proposals for new courses are due a few weeks after the annual meeting. The deadline for submitting courses for the 2014 annual meeting is May 3, 2013. Proposals for courses and skills workshops are typically submitted by individuals, but courses can also be submitted by a section when a specific need has been identified.

If you have a proposal for a new course and you would like the CNP section’s endorsement, please submit it to Meg by February, so that it can be put on the agenda for discussion at the general section meeting.

The CNP section is also interested in developing a proposal for a “Subspecialty in Focus” day for the 2014 meeting. The “SIF” is to be developed as a collaboration between an AAN section and a subspecialty society.

SIFs consist of a half-day educational course and a half-day of scientific posters and platform talks (essentially a half-day course plus an Integrated Neuroscience Session).

The section is open to ideas for a SIF, particularly from members active in subspecialty societies, such as ACNS or AANEM. Please volunteer if you are interested in helping to develop a SIF proposal.

Join Course Proposals Work Group

3. Update Fellowship Core Curriculum

Every section has a fellowship core curriculum posted on the AAN website. The AAN suggests that the curriculum be reviewed and updated every five years. The CNP section’s curriculum is due for a review.

Volunteers are needed; particularly those who are familiar with any similar efforts in subspecialty societies, and are program directors. There isn’t a specific deadline for this review, but it should happen over the coming year.

Join Fellowship Core Curriculum Work Group

Scientific Work Group Opportunities

4. Review Abstracts

Every year, in early summer, the AAN asks for nominations for reviewers of the abstracts submitted in the fall for scientific programs at the AAN meeting. The reviewers are then chosen by the clinical neurophysiology topic chair. Reviewers have a short window in the fall to review and rate assigned abstracts.

This year’s reviewers have been chosen, but volunteers are needed for reviewing abstracts in the fall of 2013.

Join Abstracts Work Group

5. Develop Proposals for Scientific Sessions

Volunteers are needed for developing proposals for scientific sessions such as the “Controversies” session and the “Neurology Year in Review” plenary. These proposals should be submitted to the section chair in the early summer, for discussion at the late summer COS meeting.

As noted above, the CNP section would like to submit a Subspecialty in Focus proposal for the 2014 meeting. One half-day consists of an integrated neuroscience session, generally a combination of scientific talks and posters.

Join Proposals Group

Practice Work Group Opportunities

6. Propose Practice Guidelines and Updates

The AAN has asked each section to forward a suggestion for one practice guideline update or a new guideline for development each year. A group of volunteers is needed to review the existing practice guidelines in clinical neurophysiology to identify those needing updates, and to propose reviewers. The work to review guidelines will take time over the course of a year.

Join Practice Guidelines Work Group

7. Develop Quality Measures

Beginning in 2012, the Affordable Care Act required the development of Health quality measures for Medicaid. For health care delivery, quality measures are supported by evidence that they indicate better or worse care.

The AAN plans to submit proposed quality measures for neurological disorders, which are reviewed by the National Quality Forum and forwarded to CMS and AHRQ.

The AAN has asked sections to nominate topics for quality measures and serve on workgroups to develop them. Volunteers are needed to propose topics and help to develop quality measures for clinical neurophysiology.

Join Quality Measures Work Group

8. Review Payer Policies

Volunteers are needed who can be called upon periodically to review and comment on policy documents sent by insurers to the Medical Economics and Management Committee. Generally, these requests come a few times each year, and comments are needed in a week or so.

Join Payer Policies Work Group

9. Practice Trends Work Group

The practice trends work group formed last year to identify problems facing practicing clinical neurophysiologists and work on solutions. They selected the shortage of trained technologists as one of the first areas, and initiated discussions with ABRET, which certifies technologists. The group is open to anyone wishing to join.

Join Practice Trends Work Group