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Faces of Neurosurgery: An Interview with Volker K. H. Sonntag, MD, FAANS (L)

By Career, Faces of NeurosurgeryNo Comments

In Episode 4 of Neurosurgery Blog’s Faces of Neurosurgery interview series, we spoke with Volker K. H. Sonntag, MD, FAANS (L) about his proudest achievements, his favorite surgery to perform and one surgical instrument he couldn’t live without. Dr. Sonntag is an emeritus professor of neurosurgery at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Ariz. Read More

Cross-Post: A Way Forward For The Imaging Appropriate Use Criteria Program: Aligning Quality Metrics

By Cross Post, Health Reform, MedicareNo Comments

From time to time on Neurosurgery Blog, you will see us cross-posting or linking to items from other places when we believe they hit the mark on an issue. Today’s post originally appeared in Health Affairs on Aug. 26, 2021. The article, “A Way Forward For The Imaging Appropriate Use Criteria Program: Aligning Quality Metrics,” discusses proposed changes to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) calendar year 2022 proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) Rule and implementation of the Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) program. Mandated by the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA), the AUC program requires physicians ordering advanced diagnostic imaging to consult with AUC using an approved clinical decision support mechanism before the radiologist can provide the scan.

As the Health Affairs piece points out, following the release of the  PFS, the House Appropriations Health Subcommittee included in its report a provision for CMS to inform Congress about the implementation of the AUC program, including any challenges and successes. The AANS and the CNS have urged Congress to repeal the AUC program, given the additional burdens on physicians and potential delays in imaging services. At the very least, the neurosurgical societies have recommended that Congress adopt legislation that directs CMS to incorporate AUC for diagnostic imaging into the existing Quality Payment Program.

Click here to read the full article in Health Affairs.

Editor’s Note: We encourage everyone to join the conversation online by following @Neurosurgery and using the hashtags #Neurosurgery and #Medicare.

Cross-Post: Bipartisan Bill Would Improve Medicare Patients’ Access to Care

By Cross Post, Health Reform, Prior Authorization, Regulatory ReliefNo Comments

From time to time on Neurosurgery Blog, you will see us cross-posting or linking to items from other places when we believe they hit the mark on an issue. Today’s post originally appeared in The American Spectator on July 21, 2021. In the op-ed, Richard Menger, MD, MPA, assistant professor of neurosurgery and political science at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Ala. discusses how H.R. 3173, the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act, could bring transparency to the process of prior authorization in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. Read More

Faces of Neurosurgery: An Interview with Kim J. Burchiel, MD, FAANS, FACS

By Career, Faces of NeurosurgeryNo Comments

In Episode 3 of Neurosurgery Blog’s Faces of Neurosurgery interview series, we spoke with Kim J. Burchiel, MD, FAANS, FACS, about his passions, his early mentors and what has driven him throughout his career. Dr. Burchiel is currently John Raaf Professor and Chairman Emeritus of the Department of Neurological Surgery at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). Read More

Faces of Neurosurgery: An Interview with R. Michael Scott, MD, FAANS (L)

By Career, Faces of NeurosurgeryNo Comments

In Episode 2 of Neurosurgery Blog’s Faces of Neurosurgery interview series, we spoke with R. Michael Scott, MD, FAANS (L), about his early mentors, proudest achievements, and musical hobbies. Dr. Scott is currently Neurosurgeon-in-Chief-emeritus at Boston Children’s Hospital and Christopher K. Fellows Family Chair in Pediatric Neurosurgery. Read More

Faces of Neurosurgery: Dr. Franklin Lin Keeps His Family Safe During COVID-19 Pandemic

By COVID-19, Cross Post, Faces of NeurosurgeryNo Comments

From time to time on Neurosurgery Blog, you will see us cross-posting or linking to items from other places when we believe they are relevant to our readership. Today’s post originally appeared on FOX 5 Atlanta on May 26, 2021. In the video segment, Franklin Lin, MD, FAANS, a neurosurgeon at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital in Atlanta, Ga., and his wife decided it would be safest for him to move out of his home and into a hotel at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More

Motherhood and Neurosurgery: How to Make it Work

By Career, Women in NeurosurgeryNo Comments

The challenge of being a mother and a neurosurgeon is a topic that is rarely discussed, even in today’s society. It often feels like a taboo subject for women neurosurgeons and trainees, as if motherhood would somehow make one seem like a lesser neurosurgeon. With the extensive time dedicated to neurosurgical education, training and lifelong learning, it can be challenging to determine how motherhood fits into this life. Read More