State Legislative Update
- Ohio voters will have the opportunity to vote in November on the Ohio Drug Price Relief Act, a citizen-initiated ballot measure that would require state government agencies to purchase prescription drugs at prices no higher than those paid by the US Department of Veterans affairs.
- The number of states that have adopted the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact stands at 22. 3 states currently have active legislation, which the AAN is active in supporting. The compact offers an expedited licensing process for physicians interested in practicing medicine in multiple states.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss how to improve your advocacy efforts, contact Grant Niver.
Federal Legislative Update
- The AAN joined other medical groups in releasing a statement opposing the initial Senate health care bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017. The proposed bill included provisions such as cuts to Medicaid funding that would increase the number of people without health insurance by 22 million by 2026. The Senate is currently voting on various versions of health care reform legislation, and the AAN continues to advocate for access to health insurance coverage for patients with neurologic conditions.
- The Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine (FAST) Act (H.R. 1148) now has 130 cosponsors in the House, and was featured at an Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing on July 20 entitled “Examining Bipartisan Legislation to Improve the Medicare Program.” AAN Board member Brett Kissela, MD, FAAN, MS of the University of Cincinnati testified at the hearing on the benefits of telestroke.
- The House Appropriations Committee approved the draft FY2018 Labor, HHS, and Education funding bill which includes a 3.2% increase in NIH funding for a total of $35.2 billion, including a $76 million increase in BRAIN Initiative funding.
- In June, Immediate Past President Terrence L. Cascino, MD, FAAN, visited Capitol Hill after receiving an invitation from the House Doctors Caucus to discuss physician burnout. After an extended conversation, members of Congress asked Cascino for additional resources on burnout from the AAN, and indicated they are willing to bring these issues up in search of legislative and regulatory solutions.
- The Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously approved the FY2018 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies funding bill, which includes $10 million in funding to create at least five VA Headache Centers of Excellence. If enacted, these centers will join the VA Centers of Excellence for Parkinson’s, MS, and Epilepsy.
Stay up-to-date on #AANAdvocacy by reading the Capitol Hill Report and following the AAN’s Senior Legislative Counsel Mike Amery on Twitter at @MikeAmeryDC.
Medical Economics Update
- The AAN is continuing its efforts to create awareness and educate members about MACRA and the Quality Payment Program (QPP). The AAN continues to lobby on behalf of neurology, and the MACRA proposed rule, released June 20, reflects AAN recommendations around Quality Metrics and Improvement Activities that may make reporting easier for members. The AAN will submit comments by the August 2017 deadline, and the final rule is expected in the fall.
- AAN advocacy yielded reduced regulatory burdens in the proposed 2018 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule rule, released by CMS on July 13. The rule contains several proposals to reduce regulatory burdens that were specifically advocated for by the AAN in meetings with HHS this year. CMS is soliciting further ideas to reduce regulatory hassles on physicians and potential ways to update E/M documentation processes.
- · Are you in a small or solo practice? Your views and experiences are important to us. The Academy would like to offer you the opportunity to have an AAN practice management specialist visit your office, at no cost to you, between August and October 2017. We believe it is important for the Academy to visit small and solo practices such as yours to gain a more comprehensive understanding of challenges facing our practicing members, connect these members to relevant AAN resources, and provide a feedback loop to the Academy on the value of our improvements to member resources. For more information, please contact Sochenda Nelson at email@example.com.
- · Need an answer to your practice management questions? Whether you have questions concerning CPT or ICD-10 codes, payer issues, health information technology, or other practice management topics, AAN members can get answers within one business day by emailing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- · The 2017 Neurology Compensation and Productivity report and interactive dashboard is now available! It is free to members who participated in the most recent survey and $600 for those who did not participate. Find it in the AAN Store.
For more information on AAN practice resources, visit our webpage
AAN Membership Update
- Seven out of 10 neurology residents and five of 10 neurology fellows have one or more symptoms of burnout, according to a large study by the AAN that was published online in Neurology® on July 5 and in print in the August 1, 2017, issue of the journal. Read the study.
- A new regional conference is scheduled for January 13 through 15, 2018, concurrent with the Breakthroughs in Neurology Conference in Orlando, FL. Career Essentials Conference: Foundation for Your Future is geared toward early career neurologists who are three to five years’ post-residency.
- The AAN and American Psychiatric Association released the dementia management quality measurement set update on May 1. The measures and publication are available online. Select dementia management measures are available in 2017 for use in CMS’ Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).
- The Axon Registry® has been designated a Quality Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) for reporting year 2017 by CMS. This means the registry can report neurology specific quality measures under the MIPS program. Visit our website for information on how to join the Axon Registry and what it could do for your practice.