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Cross-Post: If Our Politicians Could See What We See: A Pediatric Neurosurgeon on Gun Violence

By Cross Post, PediatricsNo 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 impactful for our readers. Today’s post originally appeared in Time on June 23. Pediatric neurosurgeon John “Jay” Wellons, III, MD, FAANS, recounts his experience treating a patient hit in the skull by a bullet fired into a crowded playground. “As surgeons, we find ourselves left trying to fix the ghastly results of so much of this gun violence that seems endemic in our country,” Dr. Wellons states. 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 AANS Neurosurgeon, 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: Prior Authorization Is Hurting Our Patients

By Cross Post, 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 MedPage Today on June 25. In the op-ed, neurosurgeon and chair of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons Washington Committee John K. Ratliff, MD, FAANS, discusses how prior authorization is hurting patients and how bipartisan legislation in Congress can help address these problems in Medicare Advantage. Read More

Cross-Post: ‘I’m a Neurosurgeon Who Can’t Move. Now What?’

By 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 MedPage Today on June 15. In the op-ed, David J. Langer, MD, FAANS, recounts a life-changing accident during a ski trip that resulted in a spinal cord injury and a feeling of powerlessness for the practicing neurosurgeon and star on the Netflix series Lenox Hill. 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 The American Spectator on May 21. In the op-ed, neurosurgeons Richard Menger, MD, MPA and Anthony M. DiGiorgio, DO, MHA voice their support of Louisiana HB 941, a bill in the Louisiana State Legislature that would allow only spine surgeons to perform spine surgery. Read More

Cross-Post: Physician Pay Cuts Are Another Threat to Independent Practices

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 The Hill on Nov. 13, 2021. In the op-ed titled “Physician pay cuts are another threat to independent practices,” Richard Menger, MD, MPA, assistant professor of neurosurgery and political science at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Ala., discusses how the 9% Medicare physician pay cuts for medical services starting Jan. 1, 2022, will have enormous consequences for the entire health care system. 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: 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

Cross-Post: Medicare for All, Surgery for Some

By Cross Post, Prior AuthorizationNo 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 April 29, 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 the recent Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announcement to begin prior authorization for specific procedures, including spine surgery, starting July 1. Insurance companies currently use prior authorization to limit the services they provide for their customers. Read More