Neurology on the Hill is an annual event where neurologists from around the country travel to Washington D.C. to meet with congressional leaders and advocate for important neurological issues.
This is the second year that Mark Mintz, MD of CNNH has participated at Neurology on the Hill, and this year he was the only neurologist representing New Jersey.
CNNH collaborated with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA) to advocate for the FAST bill.
Here are the three main issues neurologists advocated for this year:
- The Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine (FAST) Act (HR 2799/ S 1465) – For several months, Capitol Hill Report has tracked the progress of the FAST Act, which will make suburban and urban hospitals eligible to receive reimbursements as originating sites for telestroke consultations under Medicare. AAN NOH attendees will be joined by 20 stroke patients representing key congressional districts. Their partnership on this issue should help encourage congressional leadership to advance the FAST Act to improve the lives of stroke victims and save Medicare money.
- The BRAIN Initiative (NIH Appropriations) – The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies Initiative is an NIH program aimed at revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain. In 2015, AAN NOH advocates were tremendously successful securing an $85 million funding increase for FY 2016, resulting in $150 million total for the year. NOH 2016 will focus on achieving $300 million in funding for 2017, which is the ideal amount according to the program’s strategic plan.
- Meaningful Use – The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) continues to move forward with standards for “meaningful use” (MU) of electronic health records. By all reports, MU is not meaningful at all and represents one in a long list of regulatory burdens that lead to physician burnout. MU will be the basis for AAN members to describe these burdens and how current policies do not improve patient care.
Dr. Mintz’s delegation included AHA/ASA stroke survivors: Frank Roche, a stroke survivor of 29 years, Mary Roche (his wife and caregiver), and Patty Lang, another stroke survivor.
The delegation met with Congressman Donald Norcross of NJ and with legislative staff members for NJ Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker and NJ Representatives Frank Pallone and Bonnie Watson Coleman.