Action Alert: Help Neurologists Provide Quality Migraine Care

Teri Robert @trobert Health Guide
  • Trying to help everyone with Migraines and other headache disorders includes doing many things, including participating in advocacy efforts. Some of you may know that I'm one of four founding members of the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy (ADHA). When there are opportunities for us to make a difference through lobbying efforts, I let you know.

    This is one of those times when each and every one of us can make a difference. This is one of those times when I'm asking you for ten minutes of your time; ten minutes that can make a tremendous difference in the lives of everyone who needs medical care for Migraine disease and / or other headache disorders.

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    The following is a copy of an action alert we sent to registered AHDA supporters and advocates yesterday. Please take a few minutes to read it, then follow the link at the bottom to contact your Senators? I appreciate each and every one of you who have participated in these alerts before and hope many of you will give me that ten minutes today. Thanks!

    The AHDA is dedicated to improving the welfare of individuals suffering from headache disorders. Our near-term goals have focused on increasing National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for Migraine disease and other headache disorders to lead to improved therapies. However, the health care reform bill currently being debated in Congress has forced us to take action in a slightly different direction to protect access to quality medical care for patients with headache disorders.

    The Senate Health Care Reform Bill contains a particular provision to provide bonus Medicare payments to doctors from certain primary care specialties. This is a very good idea. It is intended to incentivize and encourage doctors to enter and stay in primary care practice.

    Physicians who specialize in headache medicine provide primary or principal care for patients with headache disorders, and more than 90% of them are neurologists. Unfortunately, neurologists have been unaccountably left out of eligibility for these bonuses. If the Health Reform Bill passes with the incentive program as it is written, it will significantly undermine the ability to recruit and retain doctors to the field of headache medicine. Headache doctors are already very scarce, and it will become that much harder to find one.

    What can we do? Fortunately, Senator Klobuchar of Minnesota, along with Senator Collins of Maine and Senator Brown of Ohio, have offered a bipartisan amendment to the Senate Health Care Reform Bill that would add neurologists to the Medicare incentive program. We at the AHDA have added our voice of support for this amendment to those of other national groups with interests in patients with neurological diseases, including the American Academy of Neurology, the ALS Association, the Parkinson's Action Network, the Epilepsy Foundation, the Brain Injury Association of America, the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

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    We are asking you to contact your two Senators right now through our website to urge them to co-sponsor the Klobuchar amendment. Doing this is as easy as just a few mouse clicks. Please do it as soon as possible. Also, please forward this email and ask everyone that you know that cares about someone with a neurological disorder to do so now too. The Klobuchar amendment will be voted upon by the Senate any day now.

    To email your Senators, click HERE.

    It's easy and should take you 10 minutes or less.

    Thank you very much!

    Best regards,
    Bob Shapiro

    Bill Young

    Brad Klein

    Teri Robert

Published On: December 10, 2009