Public Policy

December 16, 2010

SAS/ISASS Efforts Highlighted in Orthopedics This Week

SAS/ISASS thought you would be interested in two recent articles in Orthopedics This Week (OTW) advocating support for spine surgeons and patients. OTW is providing non-subscribers of the SAS with a “community pass” which allows the members unlimited access to ALL articles. The pass is renewable and allows members to download full PDFs of articles. Spine Fusion’s Line in the Sand By Walter Eisner A proposal by a North Carolina insurer to stop paying for certain types of fusion surgeries has prompted some spine surgeons to call for drawing a line in the sand before other states follow suit. Read what’s behind the politics of the spine community’s response. Dr. Slosar’s Blast Email by Robin Young A flash surgeon forum […]
December 15, 2010

Advocacy Alert: BCBS/NC Lumbar Fusion Response

December 15, 2010 Don W. Bradley, M.D. Senior Vice President, Healthcare & Chief Medical Officer Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina 5901 Chapel Hill Road Durham, NC 27707 Subject: BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina Lumbar Spine Fusion Surgery “Notification” Dear Dr. Bradley: The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), the AANS/CNS Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves, the International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery (ISASS), the North American Spine Society (NASS), the North Carolina Neurosurgical Society (NCNS), the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA) and the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) would like to thank BlueCross and BlueShield of […]
December 2, 2010

Advocacy Alert: SAS Will Engage Payers on Spine Surgery-Related Procedures

Recently, SAS alerted its members to policy changes proposed by North Carolina BC/BS for lumbar fusion procedures. This proposed policy would unfairly reduce or eliminate fusion surgery as an option for many patients who would greatly benefit from such procedures. Our membership alert has generated a significant response, and will help inform and strengthen our advocacy with North Carolina BC/BS. Indeed, we are now working with myriad other medical societies, our industry partners, and individual surgeons to strongly express our concerns about this overly restrictive policy, and to request that it be modified to ensure patient access to appropriate surgical solutions to spine-related diseases and conditions. Concurrently, we have initiated a process to develop a Position Statement on lumbar fusion […]
November 17, 2010

Advocacy Alert: Changes to Spine Fusion Insurance Reimbursement Policy

The SAS is alerting our membership regarding recent changes to a US insurance reimbursement policy covering spine fusion procedures. The revised policy may affect all SAS members, including international members, in the future. As past SAS President Chun-Kun Park, MD, PhD said: “Such changes are likely to have an impact on the reimbursement policy quite a bit even in the other countries, because as you know, ‘bad news travels fast’ in the recent information society with advanced telecommunications. So, it can lead to a grave international issue.” We want to bring your attention an issue that may adversely impact patient access to necessary spine fusion procedures: We have learned that North Carolina Blue Cross/Blue Shield Insurance (BC/BS NC) has issued […]