May 18, 2012

Advocacy Alert: HCSC Drafts New Policy for Lumbar Spinal Fusions

Earlier this week, HCSC, the parent corporation for Blue Cross/Blue Shield plans in Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, issued a new draft policy for Lumbar Spinal Fusions. Concerns have been raised that this new policy rules out access to lumbar fusion for patients where the sole indication is a disc herniation or neurostructure compression (initial discectomy/laminectomy), and patients with a sole indication of degenerative disc disease or facet syndrome. To review this draft policy, please Click Here ISASS is currently conducting a review of this proposed policy, and expects to issue comments to HCSC prior to the May 31st comment deadline, accompanied by our evidence-based Policy Statement on Lumbar Fusion Surgeries. However, it is very important that HCSC hear from surgeons […]
April 20, 2012

Advocacy Alert: ISASS Letter to CMS Division of Outpatient Care Regarding the Removal of Cervical Disc Arthroplasty from the Medicare “Inpatient Only” List

ISASS President Steven Garfin, MD, has written a response to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Division of Outpatient care regarding agency considering the removal of cervical disc arthroplasty from the Medicare “Inpatient Only” list. The letter is copied below and is also available in PDF format. Download PDF Version April 20, 2012 John McInnes, MD, JD1 Director, Division of Outpatient Care – C4-01-15 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 7500 Security Boulevard Baltimore, MD 21244 Dear Dr. McInnes: I am writing to you and CMS on behalf of the International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery (ISASS). ISASS is an international, scientific, and educational society organized to discuss and assess existing strategies and innovative ideas in the […]
March 9, 2012

Advocacy Alert: ISASS Comments to AHRQ – Spinal Fusion for DDD or Joint Disease

Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (AHRQ) Proposed Research Title for the Topic: Spinal Fusion for Painful Lumbar Degenerative Disc or Joint Disease Comments submitted on behalf of International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery (ISASS) Jean Charles LeHuec, MD, PhD – President 2323 Cheshire Drive, Suite 101 Aurora, IL 60502 630-995-9994 Introductory Statement ISASS is an international, scientific and educational society organized to discuss and assess existing strategies and innovative ideas in the clinical and basic sciences related to spine surgery to enhance patient care. ISASS’ membership based is comprised of orthopaedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, and and researchers dedicated to improving patient care through medically appropriate spinal surgeries. We welcome the opportunity to comment on the key questions […]
February 10, 2012

Advocacy Alert: New Jersey State Spine Society Emergency Meeting

The New Jersey State Spine Society (NJSSS) is composed of spine surgeons with the mission of protecting patient access to high quality spine care in New Jersey. Major issues have arisen from proposals by Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey and Cigna that will dramatically reduce reimbursement rates for spine procedures. Dr. Mitchell Reiter, President NJSSS, has called for an emergency meeting to be held on on February 15, 2012 at the Sheraton Tara Hotel, 199 Smith Road, in Parsippany, New Jersey (click here for map and directions) to collect input and activate spine surgeons in New Jersey to address this direct and specific attack on spine procedure reimbursement. Details for the meeting are provided in Dr. Reiter’s letter: Emergency Meeting […]