ISASS Coding and Reimbursement Task Force Chair Dr. Morgan Lorio participated in a meeting with officials from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to discuss reimbursement of minimally invasive spine surgery procedures in the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. The meeting occurred March 19, 2019, and was focused on the undervaluation of spine surgical procedures in the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.

Dr. Lorio described two clear examples of mis-valuation of minimally invasive spinal procedure in CPT code 27279, Minimally Invasive Sacroiliac Joint Fusion, and 22867, Interlaminar Spinal Stabilization. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have already identified as potentially misvalued in previous Medicare Physician Fee Schedules but have not changed the Relative Value Units (RVUs) for 27279.

OMB was represented by Gregory D’Angelo, OMB director of Health Policy; Elisabeth Daniel; Mathia Gardner; and Anna Bellantoni.

Dr. Lorio was joined by Matthew Twetten, staff liaison for ISASS Coding and Reimbursement Taskforce, and additional experts in the technology involved in minimally invasive spine surgery.

The meeting was an important opportunity for ISASS to continue to advocate for proper payment for efficacious and less invasive spine surgery options on behalf of patients suffering from spine and disc conditions and seeking a full array of treatment options that best suit their needs as patients.

OMB officials indicated a significant interest in collaborating with ISASS to improve care for Medicare beneficiaries and encouraged Dr. Lorio and others to continue to regularly interact and continue their dialogue with them and CMS in future rule-making comment letters and face-to-face meetings.

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