Phoenix neurology has an excellent case for cutting off Medicare reimbursements for brain surgery.
The Republic reports that Phoenix neurologists and neurosurgeons are urging lawmakers to cut off reimbursements under Medicare for brain surgeries.
According to a statement from Dr. Paul Fagan, the neurosurgeon who helped lead the Arizona Department of Neurology’s brain surgery program from 2013 to 2015, cutting off reimbursement payments to Phoenix neurologies would help the region.
“Cutting off reimburseement payments to neurosurgery centers in Phoenix would help keep patients in Phoenix as the region’s primary care providers,” Fagan wrote.
Fagan told the Republic that cutting off reimbursement payments would be particularly useful for neurosurgeries that require multiple procedures, including brain surgery, but he pointed out that the reimbursements also fund other services that aren’t part of the neurosurgical program.
In March, the Phoenix Neurologists and Surgeons Association said it would take a hit in Medicare payments, which are set to expire at the end of September.
If Phoenix neurologians and neurosurgists want to keep operating in Phoenix, they will have to stop performing the surgeries, said John Fagan III, the association’s president.
But if they stop performing them, the region would lose $20 million a year in reimbursements, Fagan said.
So far, Phoenix has not cut off reimbursement for brain operations, Fagen said.
“We have been able to provide a high-quality neurosolar surgery service and we have an outstanding reputation for patient care,” he said.
“We know that cutting reimbursement would hurt our ability to provide our patient care.
We feel that our patients deserve better than that.”
Fagans statement comes a day after the Association for Neurological Surgeons sent a letter to Congress urging lawmakers not to cut reimbursement payments to brain surgery centers.
Neurosurgeons and neuroscientists are concerned about the impact of cutting off payments to their hospitals, Fagans stated.
As for the region, the Association’s statement reads: “The Arizona Department for Health Services should provide meaningful support to the region by eliminating Medicare reimbursement for the costs of neurososcopies and spinal fusion surgery, and by providing meaningful support for the Phoenix region’s neurosophies, neurosurgers and neuropathologists through funding of critical research and clinical education programs.
We are encouraged by the recent announcement that the National Institutes of Health has provided $7.8 million to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to further its efforts to improve neurosoulurgical outcomes for the state of Arizona.”
Read more at The Arizona Republic.