2015 ANNUAL REPORT
Faced with an ever-growing morass of regulations with
which neurosurgeons must comply, the AANS, through the
Washington Committee and Washington Office, has been
working with Congress and regulators to reduce the burdens
associated with practicing medicine. To this end, the
passage of MACRA was a meaningful step forward in the
consolidation of Medicare’s quality improvement programs.
MACRA replaces the SGR with a new streamlined value-
based incentive payment system, the Merit-based Incentive
Payment System. Known as MIPS, the new program
consolidates the three existing Medicare incentive programs
and allows physicians to opt-out of the fee-for-service
system in favor of participating in alternative payment
models (APMs), such as accountable care organizations,
payment bundles and other similar arrangements.
Until such times as the new MIPS program is implemented,
the AANS continues to press Congress and CMS
to minimize the burdens from Medicare’s quality-
related programs, particularly the EHR meaningful use
requirements. On that front, due in part to AANS advocacy
efforts, Congress is considering several bills. The “Flexibility
in Health IT Reporting (Flex-IT) Act” (H.R. 270) would
permit the use of a three-month quarter EHR reporting
period to demonstrate meaningful use without regard to
the payment year or the stage of meaningful use criteria
involved. Another bill, the “Further Flexibility in HIT
Reporting and Advancing Interoperability (Flex-IT 2)
Act,” (H.R. 3309) would delay implementation of stage 3 of
meaningful use until at least 2017, harmonize the reporting
requirements across Medicare’s quality programs and would
institute a 90-day, rather than one year, reporting period.
Similar efforts are underway in the Senate.
Top to Bottom:
Daniel M. Sciubba, MD, FAANS, meets with Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) during the Alliance of Specialty
Medicine’s 2015 Legislative Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C.
AANS/CNS Washington Committee chair, John A. Wilson, MD, FAANS, (pictured on the left) leads of group
of physicians at a meeting on Capitol Hill with Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.).
AANS/CNS Washington Office staff member, Cynthia M. Spriggs, mans the NeurosurgeryPAC booth during
the 83rd AANS Annual Scientific Meeting held in Washington, D.C.