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Access to Care

Cross-post: Fix the broken Medicare physician payment system that threatens patient access  

By Access to Care, Cross Post, MedicareNo Comments

From time to time on Neurosurgery Blog, you will see us cross-posting to items published elsewhere that we believe will interest our readers. Today’s post originally appeared in The Hill on Oct. 17. In the op-ed, Reps. Larry Bucshon, MD, (R-Ind.), Ami Bera, MD, (D-Calif.), Raul Ruiz, MD, (D-Calif.), and Mariannette Miller-Meeks, MD, (R-Iowa) state that the Medicare payment system fails to reimburse physicians adequately for the critical services they provide. Unlike other providers, the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) does not have an automatic inflationary update and physician payments declined by 26 percent from 2001 to 2023 when adjusted for inflation. Read More

Cross-Post: Ending the Health Insurance Monopoly Will Make Life Healthier for Alabamians

By Access to Care, Cross Post, Health ReformNo Comments

From time to time on Neurosurgery Blog, you will see us cross-posting or linking to items from other places that may interest our readers. Today’s post originally appeared on on April 21, titled “Ending the Health Insurance Monopoly Will Make Life Healthier for Alabamians.” In the op-ed, Richard P. Menger, MD, MPA, assistant professor of neurosurgery and political science at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Ala., discusses why broadening health insurance coverage options in Alabama will improve the state’s health care system.

Alabama is tied with Alaska as the least in the nation, limiting patient options, hurting hospitals and physicians and feeding the insurance industry. Lack of competition also impacts prior authorization, a system where insurance companies must approve certain surgeries before they agree to pay for them, despite the physician and patient deciding upon a personalized treatment plan. Dr. Menger states that this is an intentional delay tactic, and the cumbersome apparatus frustrates families, hurts patients and burns out physicians.

Dr. Menger argues that the arc of reform needs to bend towards the injection of competition between and within state lines — With that will come better products, lower prices, higher quality and more innovation.

to read the full op-ed by Dr. Menger.

Editor’s Note: Organized neurosurgery aims to improve competition in the health care system by broadening health insurance coverage options, increasing scrutiny of hospital and other health care consolidation, removing restrictions on physician ownership of hospitals and other ancillary services and establishing network adequacy standards.

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Cross-Post: Insurance Companies Use Stalling Tactics to Save Themselves Money

By Access to Care, Burnout, Prior AuthorizationNo Comments

From time to time on Neurosurgery Blog, you will see us cross-posting or linking to items from other places that we believe will be of interest to our readers. Today’s post originally appeared in on Jan. 3. In the op-ed, neurosurgeon Richard Menger, MD, MPA, FAANS and nurses Jessica Murfee, RN, BSN and Erin Roberts, RN, BSN, discuss health care provider burnout from the cumbersome prior authorization process required by insurance companies to perform surgery agreed upon by patient and surgeon. Read More

Neurosurgeons Putting Patients First

By Access to Care, Faces of Neurosurgery, Health Reform, MedicareNo Comments

The Medicare physician payment system is on an unsustainable path that has failed to keep up with inflation over the years, threatening patient access to care. The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) are actively engaged in preventing steep Medicare payment cuts and preserving patient access to care through the . The coalition is in year three of its campaign to stop these cuts and implement lasting changes to the physician payment and quality improvement systems. Read More

Cross-Post: Patient Advocacy in Neurosurgery

By Access to Care, Cross PostNo Comments

From time to time on Neurosurgery Blog, you will see us cross-post articles that we believe are of interest to our readers. Today’s post comes from a recent article in the , the official socioeconomic publication of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS). In the article, Sarah I. Woodrow, MD, FAANS, outlines the importance of patient advocacy in neurosurgery and lists opportunities for neurosurgeons to get involved. Read More

Cross-Post: Perverse Health-Care Incentives Endanger Spine Patients

By Access to Care, Cross Post, Spine CareNo Comments

From time to time on Neurosurgery Blog, you will see us cross-posting or linking to items from other places that we believe will be of interest to our readers. Today’s post originally appeared in on May 21. In the op-ed, neurosurgeons Richard Menger, MD, MPA and Anthony M. DiGiorgio, DO, MHA voice their support of Louisiana , a bill in the Louisiana State Legislature that would allow only spine surgeons to perform spine surgery. Read More

Neurosurgeons Launch Campaign to Protect Patient Access to Care

By Access to Care, COVID-19, Guest Post, Health Reform, MedicareNo Comments

Our health care system is under extraordinary pressure. The COVID-19 pandemic has created an uncertain financial future for health care professionals. And now, coming on the heels of this devastating pandemic, Medicare is poised to implement drastic cuts. These cuts threaten patients’ access to timely surgical care and may impact the quality of life for the people neurosurgeons care for every day. To help policymakers and the public understand how these payment cuts will hurt patients and their neurosurgical care teams, on June 18, the (AANS) and the (CNS), along with 10 other national surgical associations, officially launched the (SCC). Read More