AAN Launches "Learning Across Your Lifetime"

September 14, 2011


Catherine M. Rydell

AAN Leadership Update

Catherine M. Rydell, Executive Director & CEO
September 2011


  • The AAN will launch two components of the "Learning Across Your Lifetime" experience this month. Learning Across Your Lifetime is designed to offer members the tools and services they need based on their individual interests and career stages. NeuroTracker will launch later this month and allow members to track their CME, self-assessment, performance in practice, and other activities (e.g. serving as faculty for a CME program, etc.). A customer-centric engine element, which is comparable to the Amazon.com product suggestion model, also will launch this month. The product suggestion engine will recommend AAN CME, self-assessment, and performance-in-practice resources to members upon log-in based on data stored in their membership record (e.g., demographic, specialty, past product purchases, MOC cycle, etc.).
  • The AAN received 12 applications for the 2012 Education Research Grant program, designed to promote research in neurology education. The Education Research Subcommittee will select two to four recipients. Awards will range from $5,000 to $10,000, based on the proposal and merits of the project. Projects receiving grants are expected to help improve the neurologic education of AAN members — including neurology residents and fellows, medical students, and non-neurologists — and promote the career development of neurology educators.
  • Based on recommendations from the State Society Task Force that have been approved by the AAN Board of Directors, the AAN is piloting a program to review and approve state neurosociety meeting CME. CME accreditation for neurosociety meetings has become more difficult and expensive to obtain in recent years, prompting states to request AAN support. CME approval from the AAN may allow neurosocieties a viable option to continue holding educational meetings.

Medical Economics

  • The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has finalized hardship exemptions for the Medicare Electronic Prescribing (eRx) incentive program that could save eligible physicians from a 1-percent payment reduction in 2012. The Academy is pleased with the final rule as many members are anticipated to report on one or more exemptions to avoid the 2012 penalty. The deadline to report any of the exemptions though CMS's web-based reporting tool is November 1, 2011.
  • The AAN submitted a letter to the AMA's Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC) citing opposition to recent American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) requests for restructuring the RUC. The AAN would support a restructuring of the RUC to reflect more closely the distribution of physicians among primary and specialty care, however the particular proposal from AAFP unfairly favors one medical specialty and does not address methods to value cognitive care provided by specialists.
  • The Medical Economics and Management Committee and its subcommittees (Coding, Payment Policy, and Practice Management & Technology) met August 26-27. Among other topics, the groups brainstormed future collaboration with private insurers beyond current review and input on medical coverage policies, engaged in strategic planning on raising member awareness about the Medicare Electronic Prescribing (eRx) and Electronic Health Record (EHR) incentive programs as they become more demanding in 2012, and planned the 2012 practice management webinar series offerings.


  • The AAN's collective work to improve reimbursement for cognitive care services has been assembled in a single comprehensive document. These activities include past regulatory and legislative efforts and now serve as the foundation for the Academy's ongoing work with the Cognitive Specialty Coalition, which is working on a payment reform proposal to bring to Congress before the end of the year.
  • The 2010-2011 Kenneth M. Viste, Jr., MD, Neurology Public Policy Fellow, Larry Charleston, IV, MD, recently completed his term working for Congressman Wally Herger (R-CA). His experience is outlined in the September edition of AANnews. An informational webinar for members interested in applying for the 2012-2013 position will be September 19 at noon ET; applications are due October 15.
  • September 2011 is the second annual "BrainPAC Month." During this time the AAN hopes to raise $40,000 for its political action committee, which will be dedicated to educating policy makers in Washington, DC.


  • At the request of the State Society Task Force, a pilot project is being implemented this fall where AAN members from specific states will have the option to pay state societies dues in conjunction with the online AAN dues process. The state dues will be optional and range from $100 to $150 for members. Success metrics are in place and will be reviewed for continuation of this process.
  • Neurology Career Week will be held October 10-14 and will feature many activities for job seekers, especially spring 2012 graduating resident and fellow members. This new, online-only event will feature an Online Job Fair, CV reviews by experienced AAN leaders, Skype interviews with professional coaches, daily webinars on topics of interest (liability insurance, employment contracts, etc.), daily specials at The AAN Store®, prizes, and more.

Clinical Practice

  • The Multiple Sclerosis Emerging Therapies Collaborative will release clinician and patient information sheets on the drug botulinum toxin (Botox) in September.
  • The evidence report "Genetic and Metabolic Testing of Children with Global Developmental Delay" will be published in the Neurology® journal online on September 28 and in the October 25 print edition. A clinician summary, patient summary, clinical case example, and slide presentation will be posted at www.aan.com/guidelines on September 28. The FRAXA Research Foundation has endorsed the evidence report, and collaboration will be requested of several clinician and patient organizations.
  • The guideline "Update: Treatment of Essential Tremor" was approved by the AAN Board of Directors and will be published in the Neurology® journal online on October 19 and in the November 8 print edition.

Annual Meeting

  • The abstract submission site for the 2012 Annual Meeting in New Orleans is open. Submissions are due October 24, 2011. The 2012 Call for Abstracts publication is available online.
  • The AAN is accepting applications for 2012 scientific and non-scientific awards. The deadline to apply for scientific awards is November 1, 2011. The deadlines for non-scientific awards vary.
  • A total of 95 percent of faculty directors for the 2012 Education Program have been confirmed.


  • The Editorial Search Committee for Continuum: Lifelong Learning in Neurology® is requesting that AAN members submit the names of eligible candidates for Editor-in-Chief of the Academy's premier self-study continuing medical education program. The application deadline is November 30, 2011.
  • More than 13,500 people (about 7,300 international) have downloaded the new Neurology® journal app for iPad this summer. The app can be downloaded directly from the App Store or by following the link from the journal website. The app provides complete full-text issues; articles can be shared via email or social media and link to multimedia videos, images, and supplements.
  • The August/September issue of Neurology Now® features a cover story on world-renowned painter Chuck Close, who attributes the neurologic disorders he lives with—dyslexia, paralysis, and face blindness—to adding greater depth and richness to his art. Is Neurology Now in your waiting room? Contact Member Services to adjust the number of copies you receive as part of your AAN membership.

Public Outreach

  • In time for the youth and high school football season, the Academy launched a campaign to raise awareness about the signs of concussion and what to do if a player receives one. The campaign includes the promotion of two free online safety courses created by the University of Michigan Neurosport program and endorsed by the American Academy of Neurology to help high school and youth coaches recognize the signs of concussion. Public service announcements are being sent to 1,000 radio stations this fall for airing encouraging coaches, players and parents to learn the signs of concussion, and the Academy's website also has free downloadable Coaches Cards.
  • The AAN Foundation is calling on neurology patients and caregivers to submit a short video to its 2012 Neuro Film Festival telling their story about why more research is needed into finding cures for brain disorders. Winners could receive up to $1,000 and a trip to New Orleans. The deadline to enter is January 31, 2012.


  • Total 2011 Development production as of July 31 from 1,765 grants/gifts/dues from individuals and Annual Meeting sponsorships totaled $2,762,703. This also includes future planned gifts.
  • A donor recently funded a charitable gift annuity with $66,000. The MS Research Endowment Fund will benefit after the donor's lifetime.