Public Policy

June 25, 2019

ISASS Coding and Reimbursement Task Force Develops Policy Statements on New Spine Technologies

ISASS’ Coding and Reimbursement Task Force is undertaking drafts of policy statements on two new spine technologies, the Intercept procedure for Basivertebral nerve treatment, and the Barricaid implant for annular closure. These technologies are among the newest and most promising treatments for vertebral conditions and likely to increase in dissemination and use by practitioners.  The policy statements will be evidence-based evaluations of literature and clinical data for each procedure and will help practitioners and payers assess the merits of coverage for the services. The final drafts will be forwarded to the ISASS board for review and final publication on the ISASS website as well as in the International Journal of Spine Surgery, ISASS’ journal. ISASS is grateful for the leadership […]
June 25, 2019

U.S. Senate to Take Up Legislation Aimed at Addressing “Surprise Billing”

On June 18, a key Senate committee held hearings and says it is ready to start marking up a bill next week designed to contain healthcare costs. The wide-ranging legislative package on curbing healthcare costs is sponsored by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the chairman and ranking member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. Given the committee’s influence, and because this legislation has bipartisan support in the Senate where not many bills are moving, industry observers are taking the HELP panel’s proposal very seriously. The bill lays out three options for paying surprise medical bills but does not specify which path the final legislation should take. Advocates for each of the choices were among […]
June 25, 2019

CMS Issues a Proposed Rule to Update E-prescribing Standards To Reduce Provider Burden and Expedite Patient Access To Needed Medications

On June 17, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule that would improve patients’ access to necessary medications by updating the prior authorization process for Medicare Part D, the program that provides coverage for prescription drugs that beneficiaries pick up at a pharmacy counter. The prior authorization process requires that providers supply additional clinical information to verify that the medication can be covered under the Medicare Part D benefit. The process is intended to promote better clinical decision-making and help ensure that patients receive medically necessary prescription drugs. The proposed rule would update the Part D e-prescribing program by adopting standards that ensure secure transmissions and expedite prior authorizations. Under the proposed changes, clinicians would […]
June 25, 2019

CMS Seeks Public Input on Patients over Paperwork Initiative to Further Reduce Administrative, Regulatory Burden to Lower Healthcare Costs

On June 6, CMS issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking new ideas from the public on how to continue the progress of the Patients over Paperwork initiative. Since launching in fall 2017, Patients over Paperwork has streamlined regulations to significantly cut the “red tape” that weighs down our healthcare system and takes clinicians away from their primary mission—caring for patients. CMS estimates that since January 2019, the healthcare system will save an estimated 40 million hours and $5.7 billion through 2021 from reduced administrative burdens. These estimated savings come from both final and proposed rules. This RFI provides an opportunity for stakeholders to share new ideas not conveyed during the first Patients over Paperwork RFI in 2017 and continue […]