Public Policy

November 22, 2016

CMS Releases 2017 Final Physician Fee Schedule

On November 2, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule that updates payment policies, payment rates and quality provisions for services furnished under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) on or after January 1, 2017. The PFS pays for services furnished by surgeons, physicians, and other practitioners in all sites of service. These services include but are not limited to visits, surgical procedures, diagnostic tests, therapy services, and specified preventive services. As part of the final rule, CMS assigned final values to the following new surgical spine codes set to take effect January 1, 2017: Code Descriptor 22853 Insertion of interbody biomechanical device(s) (eg, synthetic cage, mesh) with integral anterior instrumentation for device anchoring […]
November 10, 2016

ISASS Policy Statement – Decompression with Interlaminar Stabilization

ISASS Recommendations/Coverage Criteria for Decompression with Interlaminar Stabilization – Coverage Indications, Limitations, and/or Medical Necessity Authors: Richard Guyer, MD; Michael Musacchio, MD; Frank P. Cammisa, Jr., MD; and Morgan P. Lorio, MD, FACS   This paper was originally published here. A PDF version of this Policy Statement can be accessed here.   Introduction Broadly defined, lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) is the progressive narrowing of the spinal canal and neural foramen resulting in pressure upon the nerve(s) leading to pain and/or numbness in the extremities, muscle weakness, bowel and bladder issues, and/or other pain related issues. However, the difficulty arises in that spinal stenosis is a heterogeneous condition with multiple etiologies which may present with disc height loss, facet hypertrophy, spondylolisthesis, retrolisthesis, coronal […]
October 31, 2016

ISASS Policy & Advocacy News – October 2016

News and noteworthy information for October 2016: CMS Releases MACRA Final Rule Preparing Your Practice for MACRA CPT Editorial Panel – Summary of Panel Actions Palmetto Draft LCD: Noncovered Services Understanding the RUC Survey Instrument CMS Announces New Initiative to Improve Physician Experience with Medicare Deadline for Seeking Review of Potential Payment Penalties   CMS Releases MACRA Final Rule On October 14, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the final rule implementing the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). MACRA was bipartisan legislation signed into law in April 2015 to permanently repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), streamline physician quality reporting programs, and provide incentive payments for physician participation in alternative payment models. MACRA sunsets […]
September 30, 2016

ISASS Policy & Advocacy News – September 2016

ISASS Policy & Advocacy News – September 2016   News and noteworthy information for September 2016: MACRA Update: Pick Your Pace Novitas Draft LCD: Percutaneous Vertebroplasty and Vertebral Augmentation FDA Announces Voluntary Payer Participants for Device Pre-Submission Meetings PQRS Negative Payment Adjustment Notification Physicians Spend Nearly Twice as Much Time on EHR/Desk Work as Patients   MACRA Update: Pick Your Pace On September 8, 2016, Acting CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt announced the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) plans to allow flexibilities in participation in the Quality Payment Program for the first performance period that begins January 1, 2017. Slavitt acknowledged that the agency heard concerns expressed by physician organizations about the proposed start date for performance reporting by physicians under […]