Record Number of Neurologists on Capitol Hill to Demand Fair Reimbursement

March 1, 2011

A record number of neurologists from 43 states are meeting with lawmakers from 241 Congressional offices today.

What: A record number of neurologists from 43 states meet with lawmakers from 241 Congressional offices on March 1, 2011, for “Neurology on the Hill,” an event by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) to educate Congress on the dire need for fair reimbursement of neurologists who see Medicare patients.

Who: More than 135 neurologists, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Congressional MS Caucus Co-Chair Russ Carnahan (D-MO), who will address the group at a meeting ahead of the Congressional visits.

Where: Congressional offices, Washington, DC. Neurologists are available for advance interviews.

When: March 1, 2011

Key Issue: Fair Medicare reimbursement for face-to-face care of neurology patients remains a top priority for the AAN since the cognitive care crisis could lead to a shortage of neurologists at a time when a growing number of baby boomers will need care for Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and other brain disorders.

“We must ensure patients have access to neurologists,” said Griggs. “Cognitive care, or face-to-face consultations, is not valued by the current Medicare payment system, but is essential in treating people with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and hundreds of other disorders neurologists treat. With the recent elimination of consultation codes and the exclusion of neurology from the primary care bonus, neurologists are now receiving at least 10 percent less for seeing patients than are primary care physicians who do not have specialized training in neurologic disease as neurologists do.”

To address this issue, the AAN is advocating for neurology to be included in the primary care bonus, that the Medicare sustainable growth rate formula be replaced with a formula based on actual practice costs, and for funding for the Health Care Workforce Loan Repayment Program, which would provide assistance for pediatric neurologists.

Since 2003, more than 400 members of the AAN have participated in “Neurology on the Hill.”

View a list of AAN neurologists participating in “Neurology on the Hill.”

Source: AAN