Bill Would Add Neurology to Medicare "Bump"

May 15, 2013

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Catherine M. Rydell

AAN Leadership Update

Catherine M. Rydell, Executive Director & CEO
May 2013

Advocacy

  • At the request of the AAN, Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D–MN) and Susan Collins (R–ME) introduced the Enhanced Access to Medicaid Services Act, S. 755, which would add neurology, psychiatry, and obstetrics/gynecology to the list of specialties eligible for the Medicaid bump provision (e.g., paying Medicare rates for primary care services provided to Medicaid patients) of the Affordable Care Act. A companion bill in the House, H.R. 1838, sponsored by Reps. Steve Stivers (R–OH) and Jim Moran (D–VA), has been introduced.
  • A record number of office visits were held during the 11th Neurology on the Hill. Nearly 140 AAN members visited over 250 congressional offices to educate members of Congress and their staff about the importance of recognizing cognitive specialties in payment reforms to replace the Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula and to get cosponsors for the Enhanced Access to Medicaid Services Act.
  • The AAN recently attended the Council of Subspecialty Societies (CSS) meeting of the American College of Physicians (ACP). As a member of CSS, the AAN is able to use this forum as a platform to advise ACP on matters affecting neurology and to continue developing relationships with other member societies, including cognitive specialties.

Medical Economics

  • AAN leadership recently met with Mandy Cohen, MD, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) senior advisor to the administrator, to discuss the role of neurology in the changing health care landscape. AAN leaders mentioned that the AAN is looking for innovative ways to allow neurologists to adapt to and participate in value–based payment models such as accountable care organizations and patient–centered medical homes.
  • Access new AAN practice management tools: estimate the financial impact of your practice for participation in incentive programs with our Financial Impact Calculator, prepare your practice for reimbursement changes with AAN coding and reimbursement resources, and mark your calendar for important dates in 2013–2015.
  • The AAN is working with a vendor to finalize a new annual online benchmarking platform that will help members compare personal and practice data on defined business metrics such as compensation and productivity with their peers who have similar practice profiles and geographic location. Members are encouraged to work with their practice manager to complete the Neurology Compensation and Productivity Surveywhen it becomes available online starting May 28. Once data is collected, individual interactive comparison charts and reports will be available at no charge to survey participants.
  • The AAN has worked with AmericanEHR Partners to launch a survey to ensure AAN members contribute to the growing body of peer–rated EHR information already available on the AmericanEHR website. Support your colleagues by sharing your experiences, even if you are not currently using an EHR in your practice. Your feedback provides essential data in support of selection, adoption, and future development of EHRs used by neurologists and other physicians who care for neurology–related disorders.

Clinical Practice

  • “Evidence–based Guideline: Treatment of Parenchymal Neurocysticercosis” was published in print on April 9. A clinician summary, patient summary, press release, slide set, and clinical case example were developed. Spanish–language versions of the clinician and patient summaries will be available on AAN.com shortly.
  • Update on AAN quality strategy implementation: The AAN Outcomes Measurement Work Group has finished an addendum to its measure development process on Developing Outcomes Measures. The Cost of Care Measurement Work Group is conducting a member survey on how cost measurement is impacting practice. Several quality–related educational efforts are being planned and will be launched in late 2013.

Membership

  • Membership will be exhibiting at the American Academy of Physician Assistants annual conference in Washington, DC, May 25 to 29. The goal is to bring awareness of the benefits of Academy membership to mid–level providers and to gather information on what they need to assist them in their careers.
  • A new special interest group—similar to an AAN section—has been established to bridge education, training, practice, and research gaps for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities such as intractable epilepsy with impulse disorders and early–onset dementia with depression.
  • The recent AAN Workforce study concluded that, in the absence of efforts to increase the number of neurology professionals and retain the existing workforce, current national and geographic shortfalls of neurologists are likely to worsen, exacerbating long wait times and reducing access to care for Medicaid beneficiaries. Current geographic differences in adequacy of supply likely will persist into the future. The summary of the results of the study was published in Neurology® on April 17, 2013, shared with Congress at Neurology on the Hill, and with the media and public through a press release. The article will be free until mid–July and then a Neurology subscription will be required to read it.

Education

  • The RITE® again reached record registration numbers in 2013, with 2,592 registered, which was up from 2,545 in 2012. The Residency In–service Training Exam took place February 28 to March 3.
  • The 2013 Fall Conference will take place October 25 to 27 in Las Vegas at the Encore at Wynn Las Vegas. The program directors for the Neurology Update programs are J. Clay Goodman, MD, FAAN, and Joseph E. Safdieh, MD. The Neurology Update programs will cover topics including neuroinfectious disease, neurology and pregnancy, epilepsy, dementia, movement disorders, stroke, multiple sclerosis, neuro–ophthalmology, and headache. The registration site will go live this month.

Annual Meeting

  • The education course proposal deadline for the 2014 Annual Meeting was May 5. All proposals are being reviewed Topic Work Groups. Their recommendations will be considered by the Education Committee at its June meeting.  
  • AAN staff will conduct a site visit to Philadelphia in May to begin planning the 2014 Annual Meeting, which is April 26 to May 3.
  • The Annual Meeting was named one of the fastest–growing trade shows of 2012 by Trade Show Executive. The AAN Annual Meeting was among the top 50 fastest–growing trade shows in each of three criteria: attendance, number of exhibitors, and net square feet.

Science

  • The AAN evaluated the value of, approved, and launched a new offering, the Conference Reporter, consisting of news emails covering up to 20 neurology–related conferences each year sent to Academy members. During each day of a targeted conference, AAN members will receive a Conference Reporter email with articles on the most newsworthy topics presented at the meeting that day. 

Publications

  • Continuum: Lifelong Learning in Neurology® launched a new website at www.ContinuumJournal.comin April. The site features enhancements such as advanced search functionality, video and image galleries, “favorites” folders, and reference linking. Subscribers have full–text access to the entire archive of issues. All current member subscribers were pre–activated on the site with user names consistent with their AAN–registered email addresses.

Public Outreach

  • Major media coverage has resulted from AAN press releases on Neurology® journal articles, AAN publications, and general AAN mentions, including Wall Street Journal, TIME, USA Today, New York Times, MSN Healthy Living, Boston Globe, The Weather Channel, NBC News, CBS News, FOX News, Los Angeles Times, NPR, CNN and more.
  • AAN social media channels grew 20 percent from January 1 to March 31, with a total of more than 68,000 followers.  
  • In April, the AAN participated in a Twitter chat in collaboration with Mayo Clinic and TIME magazine as part of Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month. Janis Miyasaki, MD, FAAN, represented the AAN on the chat, which drew nearly 180 participants and reached more than 770,000 people.

American Brain Foundation

  • A new patient education video and guidebook on epilepsy with celebrity John O’Hurley from the AAN and the American Brain Foundation launches this week with airings in several television markets across the country. A limited supply of free copies of the video and guidebook are available for members and the public by calling AAN Member Services at (800) 879–1960.

Dates and Deadlines

Webinar: Coding Accurately for Epilepsy
June 5

Webinar: E/M: Minimize Mistakes, Maximize Reimbursement
June 25