Summer is winding down and the cool winds of fall are beginning to make their way to my home state of Pennsylvania. This is my favorite time of year, but right now my thoughts are with the people affected by hurricane Dorian. I hope all of our members, as well as their loved ones, in affected areas are somewhere safe.
Over the past month, we’ve been busy getting ready for the upcoming Board Meeting, which will be held on Friday September 13th, just before our Fall Symposium in Boston, Massachusetts. More on the symposium in a few minutes.
If you’ve ever wondered what goes on at our Board Meetings, you can always attend one as they are open to all members. In general, we discuss the business of running a society and shaping a profession. Each Committee gives reports to update us on their projects. We discuss various topics and takes votes on proposals that will shape the direction of the ASNM. I think it is excellent experience to serve on a board, and I’d encourage everyone to run for office at some point in their career. If you’re looking for a good entry point to get some experience, I’d strongly encourage you to start by serving on one of our Standing Committees. Feel free to contact me if you’d like to get involved.
One big project we’ve been working on in August is a major update to our 2019 Industry Prospectus for 2020. You may remember from my Incoming President’s Addressthat I wanted to work more closely with our industry partners. In doing so, I created an Industry Partner Taskforceto advise us on certain topics that impact our partners. In developing our 2020 Industry Prospectus, we’ve worked closely with this Taskforce to ensure it works well for the ASNM and our partners who support our Society. The Board still needs to vote on the 2020 Prospectus, so it won’t be available for a few weeks. Stay tuned!
In the middle of August, I traveled to Kansas City to attend ASET’s Annual Meeting. The Neurodiagnostic Society celebrated its 60thyear. I had the opportunity to meet with ASET leadership to continue our close collaboration. As usual, I had a wonderful and productive conversation with ASET Immediate Past President Susan Agostini and the new ASET President, Connie Kubiac. I look forward to our continued collaboration.
In late August, neuromonitoring was again in the national spotlightand, sadly, not in a positive light. I think we are on the verge of seeing more national news stories related to out of network (OON) billing for neuromonitoring. While the OON status of many companies is mostly the fault of the insurance industry refusing to allow us to be in-network, the news stories will sensationalize this and blame the IONM profession as a whole. Those of you who are engaged in business practices of questionable ethics (you know who you are), you’re not helping matters because stories that break about you will only make the rest of us look bad.
Anyway, I’m sure you’re all aware of the NPR story about IONM that broke on June 17th. Well, a different version of this story also aired on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holton August 18th. In this segment, Ms. Cannon’s story was reported by Catie Beck in the Your Money Your Lifesegment. This particular story did not use quotes or comments from me, but it did talk about surprise bills and paint IONM in a negative light.
On a more positive note, there was also a recent story about IONM published in Neurosurgery Market Watch. Among those interviewed for the story include myself, Dr. Faisal Jahangiri (ASNM President-Elect), Dr. Jay Shils (ASNM Secretary) and Dr. Marc Nuwer (longtime ASNM member and Fellow).
Turning to the future, the ASNM Fall Symposium will be held September 13-15at the Hyatt Regency Boston. You can view the program online and register here . There will be three pre-conference workshops covering the 10-20 system, TCD and electrode safety. As usual, the main conference will feature a variety of new speakers covering a variety of new topics. If you’re one of those people who continues to think of that ASNM as presenting stale topics with the same old speakers, I’d encourage you to set aside your prejudice and check out our program. Also, if you can’t make the fall symposium, I’d strongly encourage you to plan to attend our 2020 Annual Meeting in St. Louis, MO. We’re planning a bunch of new activities that will transform your meeting experience.
So, that’s my President’s Message for September 2019. In my October President’s Message, I’ll tell you about how our Fall Symposium went, and give you important updates from our Board Meeting. I hope you’re all enjoying the closing days of summer. I’ll be back in October with another update from the front lines. Thanks for being a valued member!
Rich Vogel, PhD