Academy Responds to Senate Finance Committee Paper

May 18, 2009


On May 15, the AAN Professional Association submitted a letter to the Senate Finance Committee in response to a paper titled, "Transforming the Health Care Delivery System: Proposals to Improve Patient Care and Reduce Health Care Costs," which contained ideas on how to revise payment systems and policies in the Medicare program.

With help from several Academy Committees and the Health Reform Task Force, the Academy addressed several proposals, including improving the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI), bonus payments for providing E/M services, and testing new payment innovations for chronically ill patients. First, the Academy acknowledged that any reform options must address the following issues before other program changes can have an impact:

  • Put the patient first
  • Address current inequities in the payment system
  • Implement bonus payments, or other innovated payment systems that encourage physicians to provide cognitive care services
  • Fix the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula

The Academy continues to support opportunities to improve patient outcomes through appropriate reimbursement of time spent managing complex chronic conditions, the use of health information technology, streamlining appropriate access to specialty care, improvements in coordination of care, and adherence to meaningful, evidence-based clinical guidelines and performance measures.

For questions or comments regarding either of these documents, please contact Rod Larson, Chief Health Policy Officer at, or Mike Amery, Academy Legislative Counsel at