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Neurosurgeons Ask Lawmakers to Cut Red Tape in the Medicare Program

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Neurosurgeons Ask Lawmakers to Cut Red Tape in the Medicare Program
Groups Seek Legislation to Consolidate Quality Reporting Programs

Washington, DC—Today, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) joined 26 other national medical organizations in sending a letter to lawmakers on Capitol Hill seeking regulatory relief from a burdensome program that will require clinicians who order advanced diagnostic imaging to consult with appropriate use criteria (AUC) each time they order a test. The letter was sent to the leaders of the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce Committees, and was signed by physician organizations representing primary, specialty and surgical care.

Required by the Patient Access to Medicare Act (PAMA) of 2014, the Medicare Appropriate Use Criteria Program for advanced diagnostic imaging is a complex and duplicative reporting program that is scheduled to take effect in 2020. Because AUC consultation is inherent within the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and alternative payment models (APMs) — both of which hold clinicians accountable for resource use — the letter asks lawmakers to modify PAMA in such a way that health care professionals who meet the requirements of the Medicare Quality Payment Program (QPP) will be deemed compliant with the AUC Program.

“Imaging is an integral part of neurosurgical practice, and our national organizations support the development of evidence-based appropriate use criteria to enhance value-based care. However, the burdens of this new duplicative and costly reporting program will be of little value to Medicare and will most certainly lead to unnecessary confusion and delays in care” said Ann R. Stroink, MD, FAANS, a practicing neurosurgeon from Bloomington, Illinois, and chair of the AANS/CNS Washington Committee.

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Benefits of Membership

“The AANS/CNS Spine Section brings together neurosurgeons, orthopedic spine surgeons, spine surgery fellows, as well as residents and advanced practice providers focused on spinal surgery. The Spine Section advances our interests, represents us in national advocacy, and disseminates science. Becoming a member means joining this exceptional community and helping it grow.” ...Read More >