Cognitive Care Specialties Form New Coalition to Save Cognitive Care

January 15, 2016

Contact: Aaron Lohr
Chief Communications Officer
Phone: 202.971.3654
alohr@endocrine.org
Contact: Jenni Glenn Gingery
Associate Director, Communications and Media Relations
Phone: 202.971.3655
jgingery@endocrine.org

Washington, DC - As the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is poised to transition physician payment from a system that pays by volume to one that pays for value, they continue to ignore the flawed building blocks of physician reimbursement. All new payment models must properly value cognitive services. These are performed by the physicians who are skilled in the thinking art of medicine, as opposed to those physicians who are skilled in specific procedures.

A new Cognitive Care Alliance has been created by the Endocrine Society and other specialty societies who treat patients many with multiple, concurrent, complex acute and chronic conditions that require complicated diagnostic strategies and non-procedural treatments, such as chemotherapy and lifelong medications.

The Alliance has united physicians who practice primary care, rheumatology, gastroenterology, neurology and endocrinology. They are all concerned that the relative pricing for the complex and ongoing purely cognitive services they provide do not accurately capture the intensity of the work and the value provided to the health care system.

“It is essential that the physician workforce represents the thinking as well as the doing traditions of medicine. We have lost an alarming number of those physicians able to deal with the cognitive complexities of modern medical practice due to relative underpayment. We can no longer afford to be complacent and have joined together to become a united voice advocating for a national, independent survey of physician cognitive work and the creation of a revised payment structure that ensures a robust and balanced physician workforce in the future.” Dr. John Goodson, Chair of the Cognitive Care Alliance.

The Alliance was formed to ensure that patients have access to the cognitive services needed to remain healthy and to ensure that all acute and chronic conditions are thoughtfully and effectively managed. Its members believe that CMS must ensure that cognitive services are properly defined and appropriately valued with respect to surgical procedures and other interventions.

The Resource Based Relative Value Scale (RBRVS) used by Medicare and all other insurance payers to value physician services in relation to one another must be revised to reflect the intensity of current cognitive care. The Alliance believes this must be done based on the collection of data by a nationally representative survey that is funded from existing federal resources. With this knowledge, the RBRVS can be modified to reflect the complexities of purely cognitive services.

A list of the Alliance’s members is below.
American Academy of Neurology
American College of Rheumatology
American Gastroenterological Association
Coalition of State Rheumatology Organizations
The Endocrine Society
Society of General Internal Medicine

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