Updates in the Works for NeuroTracker

October 11, 2012

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Catherine M. Rydell

AAN Leadership Update

Catherine M. Rydell, Executive Director & CEO
October 2012


Education

  • Several upgrades are in the works for NeuroTracker, the AAN’s tool to help members keep track of their MOC requirements and professional development. The upgrades will allow members to give their permission for the AAN to share their self–assessment, CME, and Performance in Practice information with the ABPN—so members won’t have to re–enter the information. Members also will have the ability to download their information into a Word document for including in a CV or other purposes. Other new features include sample CV templates and the ability to view NeuroTracker information by MOC stages or in chronological order.
  • Registration numbers are tracking well for the 2012 Fall Conference. The early registration deadline has passed. The new, free Physician–led Advocacy: Creating Change program on Saturday, October 27, will address today’s ever–changing practice landscape and introduce participants to new skills to take advantage of the opportunities that will accompany reform.
  • Dementia is the latest module to join the suite of NeuroPI™ performance improvement products designed to address both the Performance in Practice (PIP) and Continuing Medical Education (CME) components of Maintenance of Certification (MOC). NeuroPI is the AAN’s convenient, guided online program that guides participants step–by–step through a performance improvement project of their choice.

Medical Economics

  • A paper about new payment and delivery models was published in the September issue of Neurology®: Clinical Practice. The objective is to prepare neurologists for the changing landscape in medical practice, as well as encourage leadership in innovative payment and care delivery. AAN members also can learn more about innovative payment and delivery models from a new AAN practice resource.
  • Connolly Inc., the Recovery Audit Contractor for region C, received approval from CMS to begin conducting audits of coding for E/M services, including CPT® code 99215, in physician offices. The Academy believes that CMS should rescind its approval of RAC review of E/M codes due to the variability and complexity of E/M coding and will communicate these concerns and opposition of the audits to CMS. The AAN is actively monitoring the issue and has informed members in the affected states of the impending audits.
  • Members and interested external parties can read the new AAN CPT Process Manual to understand the AAN's role in the CPT code revision and development process. The document clearly articulates the criteria upon which the AAN coordinates its coding advocacy efforts.

Advocacy

  • The AAN approved the Arizona Neurological Society Annual Meeting for 9.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s). The meeting was held September 28–30 in Sedona and attracted neurologists from across the Southwest. This is the second pilot program of AAN–approved CME for state neurosocieties based on recommendations from the State Society Task Force.
  • In 2008, the AAN led an effort to create Epilepsy Centers of Excellence (ECoE) in the Veterans Administration. The centers are providing improved care for veterans and saving money by moving the care within the VA from outside providers. The AAN learned that the VA leadership does not intend to request funding for the ECoE for FY 2014. The AAN has initiated a letter through Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D–CO), who authored the original bill to create ECoE. The letter, which will be signed by many members of Congress, will encourage the VA Secretary to include funding for these highly successful centers in the VA’s budget request.
  • Academy grassroots efforts are being stepped up with the launch of the AAN Grassroots Alliance. Piloted in 10 states, the alliance aims to help neurologists take a stronger role in the advocacy process by developing relationships with policymakers at the state and national level and educating them about key neurology issues. The program will expand beyond the pilot states by the end of this year.

Clinical Practice

  • Evidence–based guideline: Diagnostic accuracy of CSF 14–3–3 protein in sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease” was published electronically ahead of print on September 19, and in print on October 2. A clinician summary, patient summary, press release, slide set, and clinical case example were developed.
  • Evidence–based guideline update: Steroids and antivirals for Bell’s palsy” will be published online ahead of print on November 7 and in print on November 27. A press release will be issued, and a clinician summary, patient summary, slide set, and clinical case example will be produced. The AAN is contacting several professional medical societies and volunteer health associations for participation in dissemination.

 

Publications

  • The October issue of Continuum® on Neuro–otology, guest edited by Kevin Kerber, MD, MS, is the first issue to incorporate instructional videos into the iPad® edition.
  • The October Neurology Now®issue features comedian Josh Blue talking about life with cerebral palsy, as well as an article on the importance of brain donation and an overview of the AAN's new patient book, Navigating Life with a Brain Tumor.
  • Two new titles in the AAN's Neurology Now™ book series will publish October 31: Navigating Life with a Brain Tumor by Lynne Taylor, MD, FAAN, and Alyx Porter–Umphrey, MD, with Diane Richard; and Navigating Life with Parkinson Disease by Soririos Parashos, MD, and Rose Wichmann, PT, with Todd Melby. Published with Oxford University Press, the books will be available from The AAN Store® or from Oxford University Press and all major booksellers.

Annual Meeting

  • The 2013 Annual Meeting online registration and housing site is now live. Based on user feedback and Annual Meeting evaluations, the site has been updated and simplified, and the search options have been updated to better reflect those on the AAN website. The registration site includes an itinerary builder that allows registrants to customize their itineraries with their courses and sessions they plan to attend, as well as personal events they wish to add.  
  • A new joint education and science program called Section Controversies will take place at the Annual Meeting. The Committee on Sections selected these topics for the program: Behavioral Neurology, Headache, Neuromuscular, and Stroke.
  • Marketing efforts continue to inform members and nonmembers that the 2013 Annual Meeting is in March rather than April. The 2013 Annual Meeting Registration and Advance Program will be available near the end of this month.

Science

  • The Frontiers in Translational Neuroscience Plenary Session speakers for the 2013 Annual Meeting are: Samuel F. Berkovic, MD, FACP, “Epilepsy Genetics: Impact at the Clinic 2013”; Roger Y. Tsien, PhD, “Building Molecules to Image Neuroinflammatory Disease Processes”; Merit Cudkowicz, MD, MSc, “ALS Pathways to Treatments”; and Laura Fratiglioni, MD, PhD, “Alzheimer’s Disease in an Aging World.”
  • The Science Committee and the Committee on Sections will collaborate on the new Neurology Year in Review Plenary Session on Friday, March 22, at the 2013 Annual Meeting. This plenary session will feature four to six speakers, each focusing on the latest developments of interest to the clinician that have occurred within the last year in a specific subspecialty topic.

Membership

  • Resident membership applications are coming in strong at this time. Program directors and coordinators are responding well to the requests for new resident information. Invoices for 2013 dues were sent to the program directors the first week of September.
  • More than 200 members participated in Neurology Career Week September 24–28.  Events included an Online Job Fair, daily webinars, and CV Reviews. 

Public Outreach

  • The New York Times has published AAN President Bruce Sigsbee's letter to the editor on the importance of adults wearing bike helmets.
  • Actor John O’Hurley has agreed to be the celebrity host on the Academy’s next patient education video, which will focus on epilepsy and is scheduled to launch at the Annual Meeting in San Diego. Among his many credits, O’Hurley was J. Peterman on “Seinfeld” and host of “Family Feud.” His sister died of epilepsy at age 17.  He has worked on behalf of The Epilepsy Foundation. 

Dates and Deadlines

Deadline: Annual Meeting Abstracts and Scientific Awards
October 15

Webinar: ICD–10: Are You Prepared?
October 16

Evidence–based Medicine Toolkit Training
October 19–20

AAN Fall Conference
October 26–28

Application Deadline: 2013 Viste Patient Advocate of the Year Award
November 2

Webinar: Coding Accurately for Stroke and Critical Care
November 6

Application Deadlines:

Patient Safety Award
H. Richard Tyler Award
AAN Award for Creative Expression of Human Values in Neurology
December 1