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Washington Committee Sets 2023 Legislative & Regulatory Agenda

The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) released their 2023 Legislative & Regulatory Agenda, including health policy action items the neurosurgical societies plan to advance with Congress and the Biden Administration. Organized neurosurgery aims to:

  • Protect patients’ timely access to care by reforming prior authorization and repealing Medicare’s appropriate use criteria program for advanced diagnostic imaging;
  • Support quality resident training and education by increasing the number of Medicare-funded residency positions and preserving the ability of surgeons to maximize education and training opportunities within the profession’s current regulatory structures;
  • Champion fair reimbursement by improving the Medicare physician payment system — including providing an annual inflationary payment update and improving the value-based care programs — following the clear language of the No Surprises Act and implementing a fair process for resolving provider and health plan payment disputes, permanently expanding telehealth flexibilities and closing the gap in payments between Medicaid and private insurers to reduce access to care disparities;
  • Improve competition in the health care system by increasing scrutiny of hospital and other health care consolidation, removing restrictions on physician ownership of hospitals and other ancillary services, establishing network adequacy standards and broadening health insurance coverage options;
  • Fix the broken medical liability system by adopting proven reforms that are in place in California and Texas and other innovative solutions;
  • Alleviate the burdens of electronic health records (EHRs) by achieving interoperability, preventing data blocking, reducing unnecessary data entry and improving the functionality of EHR systems to enhance, not hinder, the delivery of medical care; and
  • Continue progress with medical innovation by prioritizing funding for the National Institutes of Health, pioneering medical technology and life-saving therapies by streamlining the Food and Drug Administration’s approval processes and expanding Medicare coverage of new technology.

In a press release announcing the advocacy agenda, Russell R. Lonser, MD, FAANS, chair of the AANS/CNS Washington Committee, stated, “The AANS and the CNS will continue to encourage policymakers to work together to find bipartisan solutions for our nation’s top health care issues to ensure that our patients have timely access to high-quality, equitable neurosurgical care. We look forward to working with Congress and the Biden Administration to advance sound health care policy for the betterment of our patients and profession.”

Click here for the policy agenda and here to read the AANS/CNS press release.