Public Policy

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 […]
November 15, 2010

Advocacy Alert: North Carolina-based SAS Members

We wanted to bring your attention to an issue that may adversely impact patient access to necessary spine fusion procedures. We have learned that North Carolina BC/BS has issued a new, more restrictive policy for lumbar fusion procedures, effective January 2011. View the Policy Here (PDF) (Note: Policy document removed from BC/BS NC web site.) Our initial read of this policy is that it is overly restrictive; specifically, there are several common scenarios where the standard of care includes fusion; however, this more restrictive policy may make it more difficult for those patients suffering low back pain due to spondylolisthesis to receive needed surgeries. These scenarios include: Patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis who don’t have as much leg pain as back pain. […]