At its spring meeting in early May, the AANEM Board of Directors approved the hiring of the Health and Medicine Counsel of Washington (HMCW). Current AANEM President, Vince Tranchitella, MD, explained, “AANEM leaders felt that hiring a medical lobbying firm to help us navigate the political landscape will ensure that we have input in future healthcare changes.” HMCW will be working closely with the AANEM Policy Department on a variety of health care issues, ranging from broad topics such as increased NIH funding for neuromuscular disorders, to specific issues related to reimbursement in electrodiagnostic medicine.
One of the major areas HMCW will be working on is ensuring that neuromuscular patients receive quality care, particularly in the area of electrodiagnostic medicine, by working on setting quality standards with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Congress. As healthcare in the United States is steadily moving away from fee-for-service, toward alternative payment models, it is critical that the physicians affected by these changes are involved in the conversation. Dr. Tranchitella noted, “As physicians, we are best suited to determine what constitutes quality, cost-effective medicine for our patients.”
HMCW has hit the ground running, having already met with Congressman Paulsen’s (D-MN) office this past week to introduce them to the issue and establish a base of support. HMCW, along with AANEM policy staff, are hoping to have an initial meeting set-up with a representative at CMS within the next few weeks to begin a formal discussion on establishing quality standards. In addition to meeting with members of Congress and CMS, HMCW and AANEM staff are also reaching out to several neuromuscular patient advocacy groups and related professional medical societies to obtain their support. If you have personal contacts with any potentially relevant groups, please contact the policy department at: firstname.lastname@example.org
AANEM policy staff will continue to update the membership on the progress of our efforts to best represent your interests on the national level.