Earlier this year the International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery created a Coding and Reimbursement Task Force. Dr. Kube was selected, along with 10 other spine professionals from around the country, to create the new task force to review and analyze medical coding changes, issues and valuation of work performed by surgeons.
The Coding & Reimbursement Task Force’s mission includes three things. First, to identify spinal surgery-related coding and reimbursement issues that may adversely impact patient access to medically indicated spine surgeries. Second, to develop advocacy action plans on the society’s behalf to address those issues, which will be approved by the board. Third, to assist in the execution of those advocacy actions plans as appropriate and necessary.
“We’re here to create policies and vet those changes so appropriate reimbursement for time and work can continue and quality medical service isn’t compromised,” said Dr. Kube.
One issue the task force tackled first is the policy that a surgeon is not reimbursed for revising another surgeon’s work or replacing an implant.
“If someone had a previous spine fusion and another level went bad, currently, if I go in and replace it or address another level, I don’t get paid,” said Dr. Kube.
The Coding & Reimbursement Task Force has come out against that policy.
“A policy like that affects a patient’s access to treatment and hence, the ability to get back to work, to function normally,” said Dr. Kube. “It is an un-necessary policy that could create an un-necessary burden for our patients.”
In addition to our ISASS members, the Task Force has created an advisory body of coding & reimbursement experts to help inform its priorities and activities.