Public Policy

September 25, 2011

ISASS Seeks Members’ Participation on New Coding & Reimbursement Task Force

In order to advocate properly for spine surgeons, ISASS seeks members who have an interest in coding, valuation and reimbursement issues, and who might lend their expertise to our nascent efforts through participation in a newly formed Coding & Reimbursement Task Force. As you may know, ISASS is halfway through the 3-year process of gaining admittance to the AMA House of Delegates, which affords us official participation in the AMA/CPT process as well as the Relative Values Update Committee (the “RUC”). Spine patients and their surgeons are experiencing an unprecedented wave of surgery denials and reduced reimbursements, and it is imperative that the spine surgery community has adequate representation at the table when coding and valuation decisions are made. Additionally, […]
July 15, 2011

ISASS Policy Statement – Lumbar Spinal Fusion

ISASS Policy Statement – Lumbar Spinal Fusion Download this Document in PDF Format Contents Introduction Scope Definitions Conditions for which Lumbar Fusion is Medically indicated Conditions for which Lumbar Fusion is Indicated on a Case-by-Case Basis Conditions for which Lumbar Fusion is Not Medically Appropriate Scientific Background Conclusion References Introduction Pain and other symptoms of the lower back are some of the most prevalent health problems experienced by the populations of developed nations. They cause prolonged suffering and diminished quality-of-life to the patients, resulting in enormous losses of productivity and substantial costs for ongoing medical care. Many patients can (and should) be treated adequately by medical management, but a small portion of patients will not respond sufficiently, and some spinal […]
January 26, 2011

Advocacy Alert: BCBS-NC Changes Lumbar Fusion Policy

January 26, 2010 On January 20th, SAS President Tom Errico and leaders from eight other professional spine societies met with the medical leadership of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBS-NC) to discuss the spine community’s concerns with a newly published BCBS-NC policy on lumbar fusions. The posting of the policy by BCBS-NC last fall prompted an outpouring of concern that its restrictive nature would limit or deny surgeries for patients in need, and that several conditions and diagnoses previously necessitating surgery would not be covered under the new policy. In late December 2010 the spine community came together to draft a letter to BCBS-NC, specifically offering suggested modifications and asking for an opportunity to meet to collaboratively […]
December 16, 2010

Advocacy Alert: House Passes by Voice Vote 30 Day “Doc Fix”

SAS/ISASS would like to alert you to the US House of Representatives passage of the Physician Payment and Therapy Relief Act of 2010 related to Medicare and Tricare payments: A few moments ago, the House of Representatives passed by voice vote legislation that would prevent the December 1st 23 percent cut to Medicare and Tricare payments. The Senate passed this measure on November 18th before the Thanksgiving recess. This legislation, the Physician Payment and Therapy Relief Act of 2010 will continue the 2.2 percent update for an additional month through December 31, 2010. This legislation cost $1 billion, and in order to pay for this measure, outpatient providers who perform multiple services on the same day will see a reduction […]