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AANS and CNS Join Surgical Coalition in Requesting Additional COVID-19 Relief

On April 21, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) joined the Surgical Coalition in requesting additional COVID-19-related relief. The letter, which was sent to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex M. Azar and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma, MPH, discusses the following topics:

  • Telehealth and Other Non-Face-to-Face Services;
  • Accelerated and Advance Payments Program;
  • Prior Authorization;
  • Global Surgery Data Collection;
  • Preoperative History and Physical Requirements;
  • Personal Protective Equipment/Essential Medical Equipment Distribution and Access; and
  • Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund.

The AANS and the CNS also joined the Alliance of Specialty Medicine in sending a letter to CMS regarding telemedicine. The Alliance urged the agency to waive the video capability requirement for evaluation and management services and to increase payments for audio-only telehealth visits.

In response to efforts by organized medicine, CMS increased payments for audio-only telephone visits between Medicare beneficiaries and their physicians to match payments for similar office and outpatient visits. This policy change will increase payments from approximately $14-$41 to about $46-$110 and is retroactive to March 1.

Click here to read the Surgical Coalition letter and here for the Alliance letter.