Health Care Reform: Academy Adopts Goals

Patient Groups Support Neurology

September 30, 2009

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The Academy Board of Directors has approved a set of principles the AAN Professional Association will follow as Congress continues to debate health care reform. The principles are as follows:

  • Portable and continuous health care coverage for all Americans regardless of pre-existing conditions

  • Enhanced reimbursement for face-to-face, patient-centered care while removing the perverse incentives favoring procedures over spending time with patients

  • Replacement of the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate formula with a system that reflects the real cost of treating Medicare beneficiaries

  • Medical liability reforms to reduce the cost of premiums and defensive medicine

  • Preservation of the physician patient relationship including independent medical decision making  and patient access to needed treatments

  • Quality programs that are evidenced based, contribute to improved patient care, relatively easy to implement and not administratively burdensome or complicated

  • Incentives to assist large and small or solo neurology practices in the implementation of e-technology

  • Well-designed comparative effectiveness research (CER) that promotes high quality evidenced care

In the meantime, a number of patient groups have come forward to support neurology on Capitol Hill. The Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy, ALS Association, Alzheimer's Foundation, Brain Injury Association of America, Epilepsy Foundation, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and Parkinson's Action Network have all co-signed a letter asking key players in both the House and Senate to support add neurology to the list of Internal Medicine specialties eligible forbonuses.

"Neurologists provide specialized coordinated care for some of the most costly diseases to society such as Alzheimer's Disease and stroke. Many other prevalent neurological diseases such as Parkinson's Disease, ALS, TBI, headache and epilepsy, especially in children, are best cared for by trained neurologists," states the letter. "These diseases require coordination of care that is routinely provided in the form of principal care by neurologists after primary care physicians refer these patients."

Read the letter.

For questions or comments, contact Mike Amery at mamery@aan.com.