AANEM News Express

AANEM News Express

Washington Update for January

Before adjourning for 2015, Congress took action on an omnibus spending package that included the 12 annual appropriations bills. Consistent with the medical research and patient care community’s requests, the measure provided meaningful funding increases for many federal public health agencies. Most notably, the Fiscal year (FY) 2016 omnibus appropriations bill secured a $2 billion funding increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), bringing the agency’s total funding up to $32 billion annually. The spending measure also reinforced earlier congressional recommendations that NIH bolster clinical research programs and promote training and career development for young investigators. Congress also expressed an ongoing interest in advancing activities focused on improving the lives of individuals impacted by ALS, muscular dystrophies, neuropathies, and other conditions. 
The budget deal enacted earlier last year that raised the budget caps and ultimately facilitated the $2 billion funding increase for NIH covers both FY 2016 and FY 2017. Entering the second year of the budget deal, advocates remain hopeful that Congress will follow through with providing another meaningful funding increase for NIH and other medical research and patient care programs during the upcoming FY 2017 appropriations cycle. 
As Congress convenes for the 2016 session, AANEM continues to work with legislators and the patient and professional community to promote optimal patient care in electrodiagnostic (EDX) medicine. Moving into the session, congressional leadership has repeatedly stated their interest in restoring regular order to the process and ensuring any meritorious issue will be considered and advanced appropriately. This focus on responding to constituent concerns, coupled with the continued interest of legislators to focus on healthcare costs, quality, and outcomes, bodes well for our community efforts to reduce fraud and abuse in EDX medicine while protecting patient access to quality services. 
If you would like to join the effort to educate your Senators and House Representative about the harm caused by recent reductions in reimbursement for nerve conduction studies and needle electromyography, and enlist their support in community efforts to promote optimal patient care in EDX medicine, please contact Millie Suk at msuk@aanem.org

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