Nikki Golden

March 28, 2019

ISASS Meets with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Officials Regarding Reimbursement of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

ISASS Coding and Reimbursement Task Force Chair Dr. Morgan Lorio participated in a meeting with officials from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to discuss reimbursement of minimally invasive spine surgery procedures in the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. The meeting occurred March 19, 2019, and was focused on the undervaluation of spine surgical procedures in the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. Dr. Lorio described two clear examples of mis-valuation of minimally invasive spinal procedure in CPT code 27279, Minimally Invasive Sacroiliac Joint Fusion, and 22867, Interlaminar Spinal Stabilization. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have already identified as potentially misvalued in previous Medicare Physician Fee Schedules but have not changed the Relative Value Units (RVUs) for 27279. OMB […]
March 28, 2019

ISASS policy statements highlight evolving evidence and literature in recently published bone graft substitute and vertebral augmentation statements

The International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery released two new statements: one focused on bone graft substitutes and the other examining vertebral augmentation. The bone graft substitute statement outlines historical use and U.S. regulatory pathways for bone grafts, including nonstructural allografts, demineralized bone grafts, cellular-based allografts, synthetic bone grafts, autologous cellular grafts and Class III drug-device combination products. “Bone grafting is an essential part of spinal surgery and ever-evolving science,” concluded the recommendation authors. “With each new advance, one needs to understand the characteristics of material, its mechanism of action, the regulatory pathway by which it came to market and the preclinical and human clinical evidence available on which to base a clinical use decision.” The authors found: Nonstructural cancellous allograft […]
February 26, 2019

AMA CPT Editorial Panel Issues Draft Updated Evaluation and Management (E/M) Codes

The AMA CPT Editorial Panel approved draft changes to a series of Evaluation and Management (E/M) service CPT codes at its February 2019 CPT Editorial Panel meeting attended by ISASS representatives.  The changes had been developed by a Joint Workgroup of AMA CPT and AMA RUC members, which held multiple stakeholder calls and meetings across a series of months.  These calls and meetings were attended by ISASS CPT Advisor Dr. James Yue and ISASS Alternate CPT Advisor Dr. Morgan Lorio.  The code change proposals are intended to make it easier to document patient visits and reduce regulatory burden on physician and physician staff. In the next few weeks, medical societies will be conducting AMA/Specialty Society RVS (Relative Value Scale) Update […]
February 26, 2019

ISASS Publishes Policy Statements on Bone Graft Procedures and Vertebral Augmentation

ISASS has published a new policy statement on Bone Grafting procedures and an updated policy on Vertebral Augmentation. These policies are based on review by clinical experts and reviewed and published in the International Journal of Spine Surgery, the official ISASS journal, in February 2019. Links to the policy statements can be found on the ISASS website. Bone Graft Policy Updated Vertebral Augmentation Policy