June 3, 2021

CMS Announces Revisions to Quality Payment Program

CMS Announces Revisions to Quality Payment Program On May 20, 2021, CMS announced that the 2020 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) Cost Performance Category under the Medicare Quality Payment Program (QPP) incentive program will be reweighted to 0% of the final score even if eligible physicians or groups submitted 2020 data in other MIPS categories in light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more than a year, ISASS and other stakeholders, including the American Medical Association (AMA), have been recommending that CMS zero out this category during the pandemic for several reasons, including concerns that decreases in patient visits and increases in the costs of caring for patients with COVID-19 could unfairly penalize physicians. With this action, CMS […]
April 30, 2021

ISASS Comments on Payer Coverage Policy on Intraoperative Monitoring

ISASS Comments on Payer Coverage Policy on Intraoperative Monitoring ISASS submitted comments to Cigna on a draft coverage policy and literature review regarding intraoperative monitoring (IONM). The letter was a joint letter with other spine surgery societies, the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. In the comment letter, the groups advocated for surgeon decision-making control over the use of intraoperative monitoring and asked Cigna to revise their policy which called for only a specific set of conditions to be allowed for coverage of interoperative neuromonitoring. The letter recommended that the decision to approve the use of IONM be designated to the treating surgeon and that if and when the surgeon asks for the use […]
April 30, 2021

CMS Releases 2022 Inpatient Prospective Payment System Proposed Rule

CMS Releases 2022 Inpatient Prospective Payment System Proposed Rule On April 27, 2021, CMS issued a proposed rule (CMS-1752-P) for inpatient and long-term care hospitals that builds on the Biden Administration’s key priorities to close health care equity gaps and provide greater accessibility to care. Major provisions in the proposed rule would fund medical residency positions in hospitals in rural and underserved communities to address workforce shortages and require hospitals to report COVID-19 vaccination rates among their workers to contain the spread of the virus. In accordance with the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, CMS is proposing to distribute 1,000 additional physician residency slots to qualifying hospitals, phasing in 200 slots per year over 5 years. CMS estimates that the additional […]
April 30, 2021

ISASS Provides Comments to CMS on Medicare Prior Authorization Policies

ISASS Provides Comments to CMS on Medicare Prior Authorization Policies ISASS jointed a broad coalition, included the Medical Device Manufacturing Association, in submitting a letter on April 7, 2021, to CMS on growing concerns over the expansion of “prior authorization” requirements in Medicare. This letter echoed concerns conveyed in a bipartisan letter sent to CMS late last year. More than 40 organizations signed the letter representing a large segment of patient and physician organizations, including the American Medical Association, the Federation of American Hospitals, and the American College of Surgeons. The letter from a broad coalition of health care stakeholders highlights the ongoing concern about how the growing use of prior authorization by Medicare and other payers is imposing unnecessary burdens on patients and delaying […]