September 10, 2020

CMS Publishes Final Rule for Inpatient Prospective Payment System

CMS Publishes Final Rule for Inpatient Prospective Payment System On September 2, 2020, CMS issued the fiscal year (FY) 2021 Medicare Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and Long-Term Acute Care Hospital (LTCH) final rule, which includes important provisions designed to ensure access to potentially life-saving diagnostics and therapies for hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries. The changes will affect approximately 3,200 acute care hospitals and approximately 360 Long-Term Care Hospitals (LTCHs). CMS estimates that total Medicare spending on acute care inpatient hospital services will increase by about $3.5 billion in FY 2021, or 2.7%. In the final rule, CMS approved a record number of 24 new technology add-on payments (NTAP), which is an additional payment to hospitals for cases involving eligible new […]
September 10, 2020

CMS Issues Proposed Rule for 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule: Specific Impact to Spine Procedures

CMS Issues Proposed Rule for 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule: Specific Impact to Spine Procedures PHYSICIAN PAYMENT PROVISIONS The 2021 Proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Rule updated several policies and payment rates of relevance to ISASS members. Notably, budget neutrality adjustments have reduced the Conversion Factor associated with all CPT codes, from $36 per relative value unit (RVU) to $32 per RVU. This reduction, along with other code-specific adjustments, has impacted spine procedures by decreasing Medicare payments between 5% and 12%, compared with calendar year (CY) 2020 final rates. Public comments are being accepted by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) between now and 5pm Eastern on October 5. Comments may be submitted electronically via this link. ISASS encourages its […]
September 10, 2020

ISASS Comments on Independence Blue Cross Spinal Fusion Policy

ISASS Comments on Independence Blue Cross Spinal Fusion Policy On August 25, 2020, ISASS sent a comment letter to Independent Blue Cross (IBC), the Blue Cross affiliate for the Greater Philadelphia area, regarding their recent Spinal Fusion Policy. The IBC policy calls for attestation of failure of conservative treatment by a physiatrist.  The letter from Dr. Frank Phillips, ISASS president, stated “ISASS believes that this intrusion has already been shown to create significant barriers to efficient care. ISASS questions the Level of Evidence supporting an additional consultation with a physiatrist to document that a patient has exhausted nonsurgical options. ISASS further maintains that the spine surgeon, rather than the physiatrist, is solely capable of the surgical decision making required to […]
August 26, 2020

IBC Policy 11.14.27d-Spinal Fusion

IBC Policy 11.14.27d-Spinal Fusion Read the full letter here.