Dr. Philip Meyers, Professor of Radiology and Neurological Surgery at Columbia University and Co-Director of Neuroendovascular Services at New York Presbyterian Hospital, recently co-wrote a paper for the Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery that looks at Accountable Care Organizations and what they may mean to neurointerventionalists.
Did your eyes glaze over reading that last word? A neurointerventionalist is a doctor who uses radiological modalities (such as X-ray or ultrasound) to treat problems of the brain, neck and spine. The use of these techniques means these surgeons can treat patients without having to make large surgical incisions. This kind of surgery is more comfortable for the patient with less risk of infection than with traditional surgery.
Five years ago President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, with the goal of making healthcare available and affordable to all Americans. Since then healthcare providers have worked to meet this goal by cutting unnecessary costs while still providing excellent care.
One way providers have done this is by forming Accountable Care Organizations. These are groups of doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers who work together to find ways to provide excellent care to patients while keeping healthcare costs as affordable as possible.
What do neurointerventionalists and Accountable Care Organizations have to do with each other?
Nothing, yet. In this paper neurointerventionalist Dr. Meyers and his co-authors explain that these organizations do not yet include many specialty areas such as neurointerventionalist surgery, but they expect them to in the near future.
The authors see this as both a challenge and an opportunity. They urge neurointerventional surgeons to take the opportunity to get involved with Accountable Care Organizations now. This way the surgeons can have a hand in shaping the way their specialty will fit in with the new healthcare reforms.
You can learn more about Accountable Care Organizations in Dr. Meyers’ JNS article here.
Photo Credit: © dizain/Dollar Photo Club
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