**The details provided on this page are not final. Session and speaker information may change prior to the 2020 Annual Meeting.


Tim Roberts Annual Keynote Address Patient Satisfaction

Gerald Hickson, MD – Sr. VP Vanderbilt University Medical School, Vanderbilt Center for Professional Center for Patient Advocacy

In an increasingly competitive and metric driven health environment, how do leaders of medical groups identify and address faulty systems of care and unreasonable variation in clinicians’ performance? Using a case study and audience electronic polling, attendees will be introduced to the Vanderbilt approach (people, process and systems) to the pursuit of professionalism and high reliability that drive safety, right outcomes of care and patient satisfaction.

  1. Identify behaviors that impact an organization’s pursuit of professionalism and a culture of safety, respect and high reliability....
  2. Recognize the relationships between Disrespectful/unprofessional behaviors and adverse outcomes of care.
  3. Recognize that patients/families and fellow team members are uniquely positioned to observe your dysfunctional systems and poorly performing clinicians.
  4. Describe the essential elements (people, processes, and systems) needed to sustain a reliable approach to supporting pursuit of professional accountability.
  5. Understand how to use the Vanderbilt professional accountability pyramid as a model for promoting professionalism and a culture of safety and respect.

Sponsored By:

The Growing Demand for AI in Clinical Medicine, William Gordon, MD

Healthcare delivery in the United States is at an important juncture. On the one hand, research into human biology is rapidly discovering novel disease pathways, unlocking new diagnostic and therapeutic potential. Yet health outcomes, particularly in the US, are not keeping up: life expectancy is actually decreasing. Additionally, care in the US is comparatively expensive—we are paying more for less. Artificial intelligence—broadly defined as the development of intelligent machines (computer systems) that perform functions such as thinking and problem-solving that normally require human intelligence—holds tremendous promise for improving healthcare delivery. Yet there is a gap between what is possible and what has been realized.

In this presentation, I will focus on applications of artificial intelligence and machine learning in the health care delivery setting, i.e. for clinicians and provider organizations. AI offers compelling opportunities to improve efficiency, reduce errors, and incorporate increased evidence-based decision support. However, challenges abound in areas such as data security, patient privacy, legal liability, and the challenges of applying AI tools in new contexts. Despite the abundance of challenges in this space, the application of secure, well-validated AI systems holds great potential for improving healthcare delivery, both now and into the future.

Sponsored By:

NERVES Survey Results

Mike Heaton, CPA, Katz, Sapper & Miller

Join us to hear Mike Heaton with Katz Sapper & Miller’s annual review of the 2019 NERVES survey results (reporting 2018 data). Heaton will present this year’s benchmarking standards for the neurosurgery industry and update attendees on salary and benefit trends.

Washington Update

Katie Orrico, AANS

Presentation will provide attendees with an overview of the health policy and advocacy activities of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and Congress of Neurological Surgeons.


At the conclusion of this activity, participants will be able to:

  1. Be aware of the public policy priorities of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, and the status of advocacy efforts, including a recap of 2019 and preview of 2020.
  2. Be familiar with the results of the AANS/CNS prior authorization and AMA surveys and efforts to improve PA processes.
  3. Understand the scope of efforts to address surprise medical bills

100 Breakouts

101- Robotics in Neurosurgery


102- Incident To Billinge

Teri Romano, Karen Zupko & Associates

103 - Inspiring Leadership During Ambiguity & Disruption in Healthcare

Allison Holzer, M.A.T., M.F.A. & P.C.C. - Co-CEO + Chief Innovation Officer, InspireCorps

The only constants in today’s healthcare system are change and ambiguity. Transformative technologies are entering the workplace, healthcare organizations are operating on an increasingly uncertain global landscape, and leaders need to navigate these murky waters with vision and clarity. As traditional business practices are being uprooted, inspirational leadership becomes a most critical resource for healthcare organizations. In this session, Allison Holzer, co-author of the new book Dare to Inspire: Sustain the Fire of Inspiration in Work and Life and co-founder of InspireCorps, a people strategy firm that partners with organizations to drive business growth and innovation, will unlock how healthcare executives and leaders can inspire their employees through turbulence. She will draw on research and insights from her book and her experience as an executive coach, offering a framework for how leaders can practice, scale, and sustain inspiration to achieve extraordinary business results.


  • Understand why inspiration is the resource healthcare organizations need to invest in during times of change and complexity
  • Explore a framework for leaders to spark inspiration within themselves and scale it across their teams and organizations
  • Learn from success cases where inspiration was used to enable organizational growth and productivity

200 Breakouts

201 - Every Practice Has a Story to Tell – Make Sure it’s a Great One!

James Benson, President & Founder – QM2 Solutions

Patients’ perception of “quality” drive physician selection, treatment adherence, and decisions to pursue additional care. The average patient is seeking information and is making decisions on physician selection and evaluating physician quality based on what they learn on-line and experience in your office. Skeptical? Unimpressed? Consider the following:

  • 77% of patients search online for physicians as their first step of physician selection
  • 88% of patients trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
  • 48% of patients will pay more and travel farther to see an out-network-physician they believe is of higher quality.

“Make It A Great One” will:

  • Reveal the building blocks of patient experience in your practice. Providing real life examples how an experience programs have positive impacted the culture and operations of specialty medical practices;
  • Demonstrate how to measure experience in a way that will benefit your practice through the leveraging of data through relationships with key stakeholders;
  • Demonstrate how internal experience data can be leveraged for reputation management that increases business, decreases risk, and improves the morale of physicians and staff.
  • Outline of tips and tricks to improve experience of patients while outlining a plan to improve reputation.

202 A Vision of Health Care, the problems and how to correct them.

Mark E. Litow, Milliman, Inc.

203 - Inspiring Leadership During Ambiguity & Disruption in Healthcare

Allison Holzer, M.A.T., M.F.A. & P.C.C. - Co-CEO + Chief Innovation Officer, InspireCorps


20/20 Vision of Neurosurgery, Dr. Dawn Tartaglione, Bayhealth

Dr. Tartaglione will review common neurosurgery terms and conditions and provide information on new technologies and procedures that will affect neurosurgery office staff and management. She will explain how to successfully onboard and orient neurosurgeons to the office environment and provide support for their development into successful clinicians.

5 Keys to Leading in Today’s Multigenerational Workplace, David Delong

The challenges of managing a multigenerational workforce in healthcare present intractable, problems that aren’t going away in the near future. Leaders today can’t just focus on recruiting and retaining Millennials and Gen-Zs. They also must develop and retain Gen-Xers, while maximizing the contributions of older Boomers, as well.

This session, customized for NERVES conference participants, will provide highly practical steps for improving the performance of your organization’s multigenerational staff. Based on interviews in dozens of healthcare settings, I'll share:

  • Steps to prioritize your most critical talent risks
  • Practical tools for accelerating knowledge transfer across generations
  • Cultural practices to enhance collaboration and communication that will improve your organization’s performance

Sponsored By:

Coding Updates & Hot Topics, Teri Romano, Karen Zupko & Associates