A New Standard of Care: Making Telehealth Work for You

As hospitals and healthcare systems rapidly move into telemedicine, understanding how to use, bill for and apply telemedicine can be a challenge. John K. Ratliff, MD, FAANS, Clemens M. Schirmer, MD, PhD, FAANS, and Michael Y. Wang, MD, FAANS, will address how and when to bill for telehealth, how to conduct a telehealth visit, and how to provide care in this modern setting.


AANS Member$19


The AANS designates this activity for a maximum of 1  AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this activity participants should be able to:

  • Recognize the new role of telemedicine
  • Apply correct billing practices
  • Apply telehealth best practices and etiquette

John K. Ratliff, MD, FAANS

Co-director, AANS Managing Coding Program

Dr. John Ratliff is Professor and Vice Chair of Neurosurgery, Departmental Quality Officer, and Co-Director of the Spine and Peripheral Nerve Surgery Division. As a spine surgeon, he treats a diverse array of degenerative spinal conditions. He has a specific research emphasis on quality improvement, decreasing complications in spine surgery, and improving surgical treatment of intramedullary spinal cord tumors.

Dr. Ratliff has served on the Executive Committee of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the Joint Section of Disorders of Spine and Peripheral Nerves, is Treasurer for the Council of State Neurosurgical Societies, and is on the Board of Directors of Neuropoint Alliance. He is immediate past-chairman of the joint AANS/CNS Neurosurgery Quality Council.

Clemens M. Schirmer, MD, PhD, FAANS


Dr. Schirmer earned his medical degree and a doctorate in medical research from Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany and at Harvard Medical School under the auspices of the Harvard Munich Alliance for Medical Education. He then completed his residency in neurosurgery and fellowship in interventional neuroradiology at the Tufts Medical Center program in Boston. ABNS board certified in neurological surgery and holding CAST certificates both in neuroendovascular surgery and neurocritical care, he currently serves as vice chair in the department of neurosurgery and is professor of neurosurgery and neuroscience in the unmodified research track at the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. Dr. Schirmer also serves as the system director of the Geisinger Comprehensive Stroke Centers and System Director of Cerebrovascular and Endovascular Neurosurgery, specializing in the treatment of stroke and related vascular disorders of the brain and spine using surgery, endovascular and radiation modalities. He is the program director of the Geisinger Neurosurgery residency training program and the CAST Neuroendovascular Fellowship program.

His research interests focus on the quality metrics, variation of care, shared decision making and patient centered outcomes, genomics and biomarkers of stroke, machine learning and data analytics. He serves as principal investigator of several clinical trials in the stroke arena aiming to bringing novel and innovative therapies to the market and creating premier Geisinger initiatives.

He serves as chair-elect of the AANS/CNS Cerebrovascular Section and the executive committee of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons where he is co-chair of the International Division and on the board of the CNS foundation, chair of the public relations and communications subcommittee of the AANS/CNS Washington Committee and Advisor to the AMA RBRVS RUC Committee. He has been appointed to MEDCAC and appointed to the Premier Group Purchasing Organization Member Cardiovascular Advisory Committee and multiple CMS/Acumen Cost- and Medicare Spending per Beneficiary- Measure Development Panels.

Michael Wang, MD, FAANS


Dr. Wang specializes in the treatment of complex spinal disorders. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University with an undergraduate degree in Microbiology and Immunology and then received his medical degree from the Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Wang completed his residency training in Neurological Surgery at the University of Southern California, and following his residency, he served as a fellow in spinal cord and spinal column surgery at the University of Miami Center for Complex Spine Surgery. Dr. Wang has been a prolific researcher and has published over one hundred peer reviewed papers, book chapters, abstracts, and oral presentations. He has received both the distinguished Sanford Larson and Frank Mayfield Research Awards from the Joint Spine Section of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and Congress of Neurological Surgeons. His research areas include the use of robotics in spinal surgery, resorbable spinal implants, the treatment of cervical myelopathy, and the development of new osteobiologic agents to promote spinal fusion. He has innovated minimally invasive spine surgery techniques and, in particular, has been involved in the investigation and development of outcomes assessments in spinal surgery. Dr. Wang is Board Certified in Neurological Surgery and his specialty interests include minimally invasive spine surgery, spinal cord tumors, total disc replacement, spinal reconstruction, syringomyelia, spinal cord injury, and surgery for neuropathic pain.


The opinions expressed in this educational activity are those of the faculty and do not necessarily represent the views of the AANS. This educational activity does not endorse one particular type of instrumentation, nor is it intended to dictate an exclusive course of management. It presents one of numerous recognized methods of clinical practice for consideration by physicians for incorporation into their practices. Variations of practice taking into account the needs of the individual patient, resources, and limitations unique to the institution or type of practice may be appropriate. Disclosure about patient confidentiality, standards of care, or course of management does not imply endorsement or disapproval of products.

Please note: It is recognized that the use of non-FDA approved devices is described in some of the published material, but these techniques are often the standard of care and may be of value to the patients we serve.

Principal Faculty:

Clemens M. Schirmer, MD, PhD, FAANS

Michael Y. Wang, MD, FAANS


John K. Ratliff, MD, FAANS


Disclosure Information

As a provider accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the AANS must ensure balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor in all of its sponsored educational activities. In accordance with the ACCME’s Standards for Commercial Support, the AANS is required to disclose to the activity audience the relevant financial relationships of the planners, faculty and any other individual in a position to control content of this activity.

Please find the relevant financial relationships disclosed below for all individuals in control of content. All conflicts of interest have been resolved in accordance with ACCME Standards for Commercial Support.

NameRelationship - Organization
John K. Ratliff, MD, FAANSConsultant Fees - Stryker Spine, Nuvasive, Medtronic
Grants/Research Support - OREF, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Clemens M. Schirmer, MD, PhD, FAANSHonorarium - AANS
Grants/Research Support - NIH NINDS
Stock Shareholder (purchased direct) - NTI
Michael Y. Wang, MD, FAANSConsultant Fees - Depuy Spine, K2M, Spineology, Stryker
Other Financial Support - Depuy Spine, Neuro Consulting, LLC, Quality Medical Publishing
Stock Shareholder (purchased direct) - ISD, Neuro Consulting, LLC, Medical Device Partners
Board, Trustee, Officer, Leadership position that could affect an entities' finances - Vallum

Planners, faculty and any other individuals in control of content not listed have indicated that they have no relevant financial relationships to disclose for this activity.


Accreditation Designation

The AANS is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The AANS designates this internet enduring material for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.

Physicians should claim only credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

This activity was published in 4/13/2020. Credit may be obtained until 4/13/2023.

Upon successful completion of the CME test, credit will automatically be reflected in your member record. Non-members must print a certificate and retain a copy for your CME records. 

Copyright © 2020 American Association of Neurological Surgeons


A New Standard of Care: Making Telehealth Work for You (Archive)
Open to view video.
Open to view video.
10 Questions  |  2 attempts  |  7/10 points to pass
10 Questions  |  2 attempts  |  7/10 points to pass
10 Questions
CME Certificate
1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM credit  |  Certificate available
1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM credit  |  Certificate available