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NEUROSURGERY ADVOCATES FOR TRAUMA CARE

Working to improve the nation’s trauma and emergency care systems, the AANS

participated in several Congressional briefings. Geoffrey T. Manley, MD, PhD, FAANS,

past chair of the AANS/CNS Section on Neurotrauma and Critical Care, served as a

lead witness at the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee’s initial roundtable

discussion reviewing the causes, effects and treatments for concussions. The meeting

brought together experts from the medical, military, athletic and research communities

to increase collaboration and expand the body of knowledge to help improve the diagnosis

and treatments of concussions. Following this hearing, P. David Adelson, MD, FAANS,

represented the AANS and CNS in a Congressional briefing convened to highlight the

challenges facing pediatric trauma patients and the need to find bipartisan solutions to

ensure adequate trauma care for children. As a result of this hearing, several prominent

members of Congress established the Pediatric Trauma Caucus.

MEDICAL LIABILITY REFORM

As the specialty facing the highest premiums, most lawsuits and largest average

indemnity payments, the AANS recognizes the need for improving the medical liability

climate for neurosurgeons. While federal medical liability reform legislation remains

elusive, the Washington Committee continues to lead efforts to pass reform. Serving

as vice chair of the Health Coalition on Liability and Access, and in collaboration with

the trauma community and others, Washington Office staff are working to secure of

national medical liability reform. Through these efforts, organized neurosurgery’s priority

legislation, the Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-Cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act

(H.R. 4771) was reintroduced. Estimated to reduce spending by $50 billion over the next

decade, the HEALTH Act is modeled after California’s Medical Injury Compensation

Reform Act (MICRA) and includes a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages.

Additional bills have been introduced due to organized neurosurgery advocacy. The

Health Care Safety Net Enhancement Act of 2015 (H.R. 836/S. 884) would provide crucial

medical liability protections to neurosurgeons providing EMTALA-related care and the

Saving Lives, Savings Cost Act (H.R. 2603/S. 1475) would provide certain protections for

physicians following clinical practice guidelines. Finally, the Sports Medicine Licensure

Clarity Act (H.R. 921/S. 689) would provide protections for certain sports medicine

professions who provide certain medical services in a secondary state.

NEUROSURGERYPAC/GRASSROOTS

Organized neurosurgery has established a tried-and-true formula for working inside

the Washington Beltway to have an impact on health policy. In 2015, the AANS actively

engaged its members in the political process through grassroots activities, calls to action

and participation in NeurosurgeryPAC. Whether in person or through the AANS/CNS

Legislative Action Center, neurosurgeons from all across the country communicated

with members of Congress on such topics as medical liability reform, Medicare payment,

GME and trauma care. Additionally, neurosurgeons attended advocacy conferences like

the Alliance of Specialty Medicine Annual Legislative Conference. Lastly, hundreds of