From time to time on the Neurosurgery Blog, you will see us cross-posting or linking to items from other places when we believe they may interest our readers. Today, we wanted to bring attention to a recent publication in JAMA Surgery. The article — “Gender Differences in Medicare Practice and Payments to Neurosurgeons” by Temitope O. Oshinowo, AB, et al. compares practice metrics and earning potential between female and male neurosurgeons and examines gender disparity in Medicare reimbursement. Read More
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
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 Surgical Care Coalition. 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
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 AL.com on Nov. 1, titled “Why is it hard for grandma to see her doctor?” 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 steep Medicare physician payment cuts scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023, are not a good prescription for a healthy physician workforce. Read More
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
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.
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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 American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), along with 10 other national surgical associations, officially launched the Surgical Care Coalition (SCC). Read More
With the U.S. House of Representatives switching to Democratic control for the first time since 2010, and the Republicans gaining seats in the Senate, the voters in the 2018 midterm…