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 […]
December 16, 2010

Advocacy Alert: Dr. Thomas Errico Responds to WSJ Article

SAS/ISASS would like to alert you to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal covering Congressman Darrell Issa’s (incoming chairman of the House’s chief investigative committee) goal of “cutting the overuse of expensive medical procedures…. …data came in a report suggesting that expensive cardiovascular and orthopedic implants are overused by doctors, sometimes after aggressive promotion by device makers.” The Wall Street Journal article can be viewed at the following link: Republican Targets Use of Costly Medical Devices SAS/ISASS President Dr. Thomas Errico’s response to the Wall Street Journal article (pending publication): December 9, 2010 The Editor The Wall Street Journal 1211 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY, 10036 To the Editor, Cong. Darrell Issa’s assertions (“Republican Targets Use […]