A plea for action - Access to Headache Care Is Threatened:
By Dame on September 23, 2010
I just got an e-mail from the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy, alerting me to the below:
Access to headache care is threatened: Contact your US Representatives now
Neurologists provide specialized, coordinated, and often life-long care for patients with disabling headache disorders including migraine and chronic daily headache. Neurologists also provide comparable care for patients with other major and costly diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, stroke, ALS, epilepsy, MS, peripheral neuropathy, fibromyalgia, and traumatic brain injury (TBI).
The recent health care reform act, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), provides incentives to encourage primary care but failed to include neurologists among the eligible health care providers. This omission could worsen the shortage of headache specialist physicians.
The Alliance for Headache Disorder Advocacy believes that this issue is vital to preserving headache patient access to neurologists. We have joined 19 other national neurology patient-oriented advocacy groups in urging Congress to resolve this problem immediately.
On Tuesday, September 21, your US House member on Capitol Hill received a letter from Congressmen Michael Burgess (R-TX) and Russ Carnahan (D-MO) asking for support on including neurology in the ACA primary care incentive.
Please contact your US Representative and ask him or her to sign the Burgess/Carnahan letter! Follow the link to send an email message to your US representative as soon as possible.
If you are interested in contacting your representative, please go to the Alliance's page at http://capwiz.com/headacheadvocacy/issues/alert/?alertid=17560501 and scroll down to write your letter.
Here's what I wrote.
Speaking as a long term patient of neurologists for chronic, intractable migraine, the thought of my neurologists being excluded from this new measure alarms me. It's hard enough to find a qualified neurologist for my situation. I can't even imagine how difficult it would be should neurology not be included in the ACA.
Because neurologists treat ailments of the nerves and brain, it sometimes appears that they are treating "normal" patients, because their clientèle usually are suffering from an Invisible Disability.
It's quite frustrating to "look normal" when I have a severe disability. I urge you to remember that just because you cannot see something, doesn't mean that it's not there.
Neurologists are prepared to deal with the invisible, but they need your support in order to keep giving their patients the level of care we deserve.
Please, take a minute and fill out at least the minimal requirements needed to let your Representative know that there are people out there who care about this!