Read monthly updates from Catherine M. Rydell, CAE, Executive Director/CEO of the AAN and AAN Institute, to learn how the Academy works to meet its mission to promote the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care and enhance member career satisfaction.
January 2018: News for Leaders of The AAN
Tools & Resources
- Website Redesign
Log in to the new AAN.com to take advantage of the new, personalized experience. The site has been re-engineered to create a mobile-optimized and member-focused experience, integrating the vast array of AAN resources with improved usability through a clear navigation and powerful search platform that spans all Academy websites. Once you log in, the new website is optimized to your member profile to display information, products, programs, and services tailored based on a member’s career stage, setting, specialty interest area, and past and current activities with the AAN.
- Solo and Small Practice Task Force
In 2016, the Solo and Small Practice Task Force made recommendations to help the Academy improve its support for members working in these environments. As an update on implementation of some of the high priority recommendations: The AAN continues to advocate for reduced administrative burdens on physicians, and was effective in achieving regulatory relief for small practices in the final 2018 Medicare Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program rules; the AAN continues to ensure that the views of members in solo and small practice are reflected in AAN regulatory review and comment letters as well as in-person meetings;the newly redesigned AAN.com includes a top navigation drop down titled “Practicing Neurologists and Administrators”; a new, regularly monitored email inbox of firstname.lastname@example.org was developed to help answer practice management related questions; and a practice ambassador program was established to visit small and solo practices to better understand their challenges, successes, and concerns.
- MIPS Reporting Help
For those who still need a method to submit their data for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the AAN has partnered with a registry vendor, Premier, that has a manual submission registry called MIPSwizard®. This product is provided at a reduced cost to AAN members and can be used to submit any or all of the three components of the MIPS program required in 2017: Quality, Advancing Care Information, and Improvement Activities. The deadline for submitting data for the 2017 reporting year through Premier is February 28. Claim the $100 discount.
- New CPT Code
A new CPT code for cognitive impairment assessment and care planning services, 99483, went into effect January 1, 2018, and is a positive step toward more widespread recognition by carriers of this important service. The AAN was one of many specialties that participated in the development of the code. A detailed list of the required elements to report 98943 is available on the Care Management Services Coding Table.
- Axon Registry
The Axon Registry now includes more than one million unique patients and more than three million encounters.
Policy & Guidelines
- Mild Cognitive Impairment Guideline
The AAN published “Practice Guideline Update: Mild Cognitive Impairment” online ahead of print in Neurology® on December 27; it will appear in the January 16, 2018, print issue. Read the guideline and access PDF summaries for clinicians and patients, and a slide presentation set. The AAN also issued a press release on the guideline, which was endorsed by the Alzheimer’s Association.
- Federal Funding
Congress passed on December 21 a third short-term continuing resolution extending current funding levels through January 19. The resolution also includes temporary funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through March 31. The AAN continues to advocate for an increase of $2 billion for NIH funding in the FY2018 budget.
- Tax Reform
Congress passed comprehensive tax reform legislation in December. Due to advocacy by organizations including the AAN, graduate tuition waivers remain tax exempt, and the student loan interest deduction is unchanged. The AAN sent a comment letter to the conference committee while the bill was being finalized voicing concerns about these provisions, and over 250 AAN members contacted their members of Congress through the AAN Advocacy Action Center.
- Child Neurology Quality Measures
The AAN has published a new quality measurement set for child neurology in partnership with the Child Neurology Society. The executive summary was published online in Neurology® on December 15 and in print on January 9, 2018.
Education & Research
- National Medical Specialty Societies and State Medical Societies Summit on MOC
The AAN continues to play a key role in the effort to engage certifying boards in dialogue with national specialty and state medical societies regarding the crisis in Maintenance of Certification and physician self-regulation. The AAN helped organize the first joint meeting of the national medical specialty societies and the state medical societies. For the summit in December, representatives were invited from the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and specialty boards, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, Federation of State Medical Boards, Council of Medical Specialty Societies, and American Medical Association. At the summit, the certifying boards agreed that they must collaborate with the societies in the development of a meaningful MOC process or risk the loss of professional self-regulation.
- ABMS Commission
The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) has launched its Continuing Board Certification: Vision for the Future Commission, which will bring together multiple partners to envision a system of continuing board certification that is meaningful, relevant, and of value, while remaining responsive to patients, hospitals, and others who expect that physicians are maintaining their knowledge and skills to provide quality care. The AAN has submitted three nominees to serve on the commission. The ABMS plans to release the final report of the commission in February 2019.
- Record RITE Registration
A record number of registrations were received for the 2018 RITE® (Residency In-service Training Exam), which will be administered February 14 through 18.
Conferences & Community
- Annual Meeting Innovations
The 2018 Annual Meeting in Los Angeles April 21–27 will offer exciting new enhancements, including: specialty tracks in six subspecialty areas; career-focused tracks with programming geared toward neurohospitalists, those starting a new practice who are interested in business basics, and advanced practice providers who are new to neurology; expanded experiential learning areas with a robust lineup of opportunities to interact, explore, and learn outside the classroom; a new e-poster set-up with 12 semi-private viewing areas featuring 12 posters each day to allow for more interactive and dynamic engagement and discussion with presenters; and expanded Spanish-language curriculum.
- Annual Meeting Publication
Check out the 2018 Annual Meeting publication, highlighting the 235 education courses, including faculty and program descriptions, along with experiential learning area schedules and much more.
- 70th Anniversary Celebration
The 2018 Annual Meeting will include a celebration of the AAN’s 70th anniversary at Universal Studios on Sunday, April 22, from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. The first 4,000 Annual Meeting registered attendees will receive a free ticket to the event. Tickets include transportation to and from the event, food and beverages all evening, access to rides, and a studio tour. Additional tickets may be purchased for $115. Learn more.
- New Neurology Format
Check your mail for the newly redesigned Neurology® journal. In addition to a new design, the journal will pilot for one year the electronic-long-paper-short (ELPS) model of publishing all research articles in the publication. Other articles, such as editorials, guidelines, Views & Reviews, and Clinical/Scientific Notes, will continue to be published full length in the print version. The journal’s online publication will accommodate longer articles with more extensive citations.
- Continuum and Continuum Audio
Circulation for Continuum® increased in 2017, with 12,673 paid subscribers at year end, an eight-percent increase over 2016. Sales for the new package subscription of Continuum and Continuum® Audio have been strong, with 5,186 subscriptions sold as of December 18. The package subscription was phased in beginning in October with new and renewing subscribers. Starting in February, all current and new subscribers will have access to both Continuum and Continuum Audio.
- Media Coverage
Hundreds of media outlets covered an AAN press release titled “Will a Salad a Day Keep Memory Problems Away?” about a Neurology® journal study, including The New York Times, ABC World News Tonight, USA Today, Forbes, Newsweek, Consumer Reports, and MedPage Today. A press release about the updated AAN guideline on mild cognitive impairment also received extensive coverage. The press release, titled “Guideline: Exercise May Improve Thinking Ability and Memory,” was covered by the Los Angeles Times, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, The Boston Globe, Medscape, and MSN, among others.