Kara Cronan

June 12, 2020

Position Statement on Cervical and Lumbar Disc Replacements (2019)

Position Statement on Cervical and Lumbar Disc Replacements (2019) Authors:  Gregory D. Schroeder MD, Alexander R. Vaccaro MD, PhD, MBA, Srikanth N. Divi, MD, Ariana A. Reyes, BS, Dhruv K.C. Goyal, BA, Frank M Phillips MD, Jack Zigler MD Introduction: Cervical and lumbar degenerative disc disease are well known causes of neck and back pain in spine patients. The estimated 1-year incidence rate of neck pain and any episode of lower back pain is 10.4% to 21.3%1,2 and 1.5% to 36%3, respectively. Previous reports demonstrate significant socioeconomic effects of these common complaints.4,5 Currently, initial conservative treatment and ultimately fusion procedures are potential extremes of options for treatment of recalcitrant cervical and lumbar degenerative disc disease. Despite past reports of improved […]
June 10, 2020

CMS Provides Retrospective Payment for Telephone Evaluation and Management Visits During COVID-19 Emergency

The March 30 Interim Final Rule with Comment Period added coverage during the Public Health Emergency for audio-only telephone evaluation and management visits (CPT codes 99441, 99442, and 99443) retroactive to March 1. On April 30, a new Physician Fee Schedule was implemented, increasing the payment rate for these codes. Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) will reprocess claims for those services that they previously denied and/or paid at the lower rate. There are also a number of add-on services (CPT codes 90785, 90833, 90836, 90838, 96160, 96161, 99354, 99355, and G0506) that Medicare may have denied during this Public Health Emergency. MACs will reprocess those claims for dates of service on or after March 1. You do not need to do anything to […]
June 10, 2020

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Provides an Update on the Provider Emergency Relief Fund

On May 15, 2020, HHS posted revised FAQs on the Provider Relief Fund General Distribution Portal in response to many questions from physicians and medical societies related to the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund. Certain formulas that were previously on the HHS were used by physicians to calculate what they thought HHS intended for them to receive from the fund. Based on their calculations, many physicians though they received too much and that those funds would later be recouped by HHS. To allay these concerns, HHS removed the formula and overpayments language from the portal last week. Unfortunately, in some cases, the appearing and disappearing of the formulas from the website heightened rather than allayed concerns. Currently, HHS has asked […]
June 10, 2020

HHS Extends Deadline for Attestation, Acceptance of Terms and Conditions for Provider Relief Fund Payments to 45 Days

The HHS has extended the deadline for healthcare providers to attest to receipt of payments from the Provider Relief Fund and accept the Terms and Conditions. Providers will now have 45 days, increased from 30 days, from the date they receive a payment to attest and accept the Terms and Conditions or return the funds. As an example, the initial 30-day deadline for providers who received payment on April 10, 2020, is extended to May 24 from May 9, 2020. With the extension, not returning the payment within 45 days of receipt of payment will be viewed as acceptance of the Terms and Conditions. President Trump is providing support to healthcare providers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic through the bipartisan CARES Act and Paycheck Protection Program […]