August 25, 2017

CMS Releases 2018 Proposed Quality Payment Program Rule

On June 20, 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed rule to continue implementation of the Quality Payment Program (QPP) required by the Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). MACRA was bipartisan legislation signed into law in the spring of 2015 to permanently repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), streamline quality reporting programs, and provide incentive payments for participation in advanced alternative payment models. After an initial rulemaking last year, the QPP went into effect January 1, 2017. Based on feedback from stakeholders over the last several months, CMS is proposing some changes to the QPP and its two tracks for Medicare payment in 2018 and beyond: Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) […]
August 25, 2017

CMS Releases 2018 Proposed Hospital Outpatient and ASC Rule

On July 13, 2017, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2018 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment System policy changes, quality provisions, and payment rates proposed rule. CMS is accepting comments on the proposed rule through September 11, 2017. The final rule is expected to be released by November 1, 2017. (Please note that physician payment is made under the Physician Fee Schedule; hospitals are paid for outpatient services under the OPPS and ASCs are paid under the ASC payment system, both detailed in this rulemaking.) Please see the spine code spreadsheet for a comprehensive comparison of reimbursements for spine procedures in both the Hospital Outpatient and ASC settings from […]
August 25, 2017

CMS Releases 2018 Proposed Physician Fee Schedule

On July 13, 2017, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed 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, 2018. The PFS pays for services furnished by 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. CMS will accept comments on the proposed rule until September 11, 2017, and will issue the final rule by November 1, 2017. As part of the proposed rule, CMS issues proposed values for new codes and codes deemed misvalued. Please see the spine code spreadsheet […]
June 23, 2017

ISASS Submits Letter in Response to Hayes Brief

On June 22, ISASS submitted a letter to Hayes in response to a Hayes Brief released December 29, 2016 reviewing sacroiliac joint fusion for treatment of low back pain. ISASS requested a meeting with Hayes to discuss the most current literature on the procedure as many of our members and their patients have experienced denials by insurers based on the Brief and its “C” rating.