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Health Reform

Neurosurgery Blog Featured on Medscape’s List of Medical Blogs Physicians Love

By Health ReformNo Comments

On Feb. 16, published an article, “‘Blog MD’: Medical Blogs That Physicians Love,” including Neurosurgery Blog on their list of 10 medical blogs for physicians. The article states, “the blog authored by the AANS and CNS tackles topics beyond brain surgery. Physicians and other specialists could learn from writings about a neurosurgeon’s approach to mentorship, artificial intelligence in the treatment of stroke patients, and creating a pathway for the next generation of neurosurgeons.” Read More

Cross-Post: When Insurance Fails

By Cross Post, Health Reform, Prior AuthorizationNo 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 in , titled “When Insurance Fails.” In the op-ed, neurosurgeon Jeremy Hosein, MD, discusses the misuse of prior authorization, which delays care, prolongs suffering and adds significant administrative costs to health care. 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.

We hope you will share what you learn from our posts. We invite you to join the conversation on Twitter by following @Neurosurgery.

Cross-Post: Alabama Hospitals Need Competition

By Advocacy Agenda, 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 be of interest to our readers. Today’s post originally appeared on on March 17, titled “Guest opinion: Alabama hospitals need competition” 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 the “game of Hospital Monopoly needs to end.” Read More

Cross-Post: Death by 10,000 Clicks: The Electronic Health Record

By Health ReformNo 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. 21. In the op-ed, neurosurgeons Anthony M. DiGiorgio, DO, MHA, and Praveen V. Mummaneni, MD, MBA discuss the burden of electronic health records (EHR) at their institution, the University of California San Francisco. 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: 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 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

Permanently Funding CHIP is Essential for the Health of Our Children

By Guest Post, Health Reform, PediatricsNo Comments

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a health insurance program that provides coverage to children from low-income families. CHIP was with strong bipartisan support and is an essential state-federal partnership. As many as 15% of children lacked health insurance coverage at the time. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Medicaid and CHIP provided health insurance to in 2012, making both programs combined the nation’s largest insurer. These children and their families depend on federally subsidized state Medicaid for their health insurance. 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 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 (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 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.

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 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 , the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act, could bring transparency to the process of prior authorization in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. Read More