Robert E. Shapiro, MD, PhD: Response to AHS Special Article Pleas


The professor of neurology at the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine discussed the response from payers and physicians to the special article he and colleagues published in the journal Headache.

“The post-mortem for how we’ve done collectively for this will probably be written in 6 to 12 months, but overall, the feedback I’ve gotten from my colleagues has been that they’re able to manage.”

Recently, a group of headache specialists working with the American Headache Society’s practice management committee came together to publish a special article in Headache to touch on a number of issues faced by physicians in their ability to conduct their medical practices in the midst of COVID-19.

That group, including Robert E. Shapiro, MD, PhD, professor of neurology, University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine, and founding president, Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy, offered a number of clinical strategies for the treatment of migraine that can be done without in‐person visits to the clinic or the emergency department, and described methods for health insurance companies to undertake to remove the barriers to quality care for migraine. Additionally, they made pleas to insurers about loosening restrictions for patients to get access to medicines in this time.

To find out more about the reception he and colleagues have received from both payers and physicians, NeurologyLive inquired with Shapiro about the paper. He expanded on the migraine community’s transition to telemedicine and the additional outreach they’ve done to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

The article can be viewed in full here.


Szperka CL, Ailani J, Barmherzig R, et al. Migraine Care in the Era of COVID‐19: Clinical Pearls and Plea to Insurers. Headache. Published March 30, 2020. doi: 10.1111/head.13810

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