Kimon Bekelis, MD (right)
Cerebrovascular/Endovascular Neurosurgery Fellow, Thomas Jefferson University
Instructor, The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice
During the 2016 CSNS Annual Meeting in San Diego, Ann R. Stroink, MD, FAANS, Chair of the Council of State Neurosurgical Societies (CSNS), gave a rousing welcome to all the delegates attending the meeting, before conducting a vibrant and productive assembly. The work included spirited debate on 11 resolutions, vital officer reports, awards and important reports on a wide-spectrum of socioeconomic importance to all neurosurgeons and their patients.
Most notable of the officer reports, Dr. Stroink, delivered a message demonstrating the strides the CSNS has made as an organization in achieving our core mission focused on education, policy and advocacy. The CSNS has had a tremendous impact on the lives of all neurosurgeons nationwide.
The meeting’s epicenter was spirited debate on 11 resolutions. Each resolution generated interest and discourse among all attendees, spanning topics from patient and provider safety to patient satisfaction, and from resident education, to collaboration between neurosurgeons and medical centers.
The following four resolutions were approved:
- Develop a web forum for retired neurosurgeons to share experiences and provide assistance/information for practicing neurosurgeons;
- Study the impact of workplace violence towards practitioners in neurosurgery along with the development of strategies to decrease and mitigate such events;
- Study what barriers to patient access may arise as a result of implementation by insurers of “narrow” networks; and
- Conduct a survey of neurosurgeons by the CSNS to assess the prevalence of restricted vendor contracting and physician involvement in the vendor selection process.
Dr. Stroink also highlighted the impact of the CSNS educational programming during the 2016 Congress of Neurological Surgeons Annual Meeting. There were multiple abstract and paper submissions as well as speaker contributions from CSNS members. Notable contributions included:
- E-neurosurgery: a new course that broke tradition in both content and educational approach;
- MIPS: vital information for all neurosurgeons; and
- CPT coding/ICD 10: crucial updates.
Silky Chotai, MD, won the 2016 Julius Goodman Resident Award and Kimon Bekelis, MD, won the 2016 Samuel Hassenbusch Young Neurosurgeon Award for their winning abstracts focused on socioeconomic topics.
Always a highlight, particular with the then looming election, the Washington Committee update was given by Shelly D. Timmons, MD, PhD, FAANS, chair of the Washington Committee. She highlighted the importance of the Washington Committee as the center point where all facets of organized neurosurgery come together. Furthermore, she gave an update on the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). The Washington Committee is currently working on developing a MACRA resource page, CME programs and compliance tools. Important highlights included:
- The MACRA Quality Payment Program (QPP) provides incentive payments;
- Providers will be in one of two possible paths, either Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) or Alternative Payment Models (APM);
- The MIPS composite score (0-100) is based on four weighted factors (quality, resource use, clinical practice improvement, and meaningful use of certified EHR technology); and
- Adjustments will be budget neutral.
Dr. Robert Hertzka, the former president of the California Medical Association and a health care reform expert was the luncheon speaker. He gave a lively and informative talk on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and fielded many questions from an engaged audience after his talk.
The CSNS meets biannually during the CNS and AANS meetings and it provide a national forum for organized neurosurgery to discuss, consider, and propose action regarding socioeconomic issues concern to neurological surgery. The next CSNS meeting will be held on April 21-22, 2017 in Los Angeles.