North American Neuromodulation Society

Newsroom


August 21, 2020

The FDA has approved the change in Medtronic's supplier’s manufacturing process for the SynchroMed™ II refill port and Catheter Access Port (CAP) septa. Medtronic has now fully satisfied biocompatibility testing requirements for these septa components. Read the letter here.

June 2, 2020

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Lisa Stearns following a tragic accident at her home in Mexico. Dr. Stearns was a leader and internationally recognized authority in neuromodulation and cancer pain treatment. She brought her commitment and expertise not only to the dedicated treatment of her patients but also to those she taught and mentored. Her unwavering can-do attitude was infectious, even in the face of adversity when treating those suffering from the most severe cancer-related pain. She was the embodiment of the values we hold dear at NANS, including compassion and commitment to excellent care for her patients,  dedication and selfless service to the education and training of others, and a consummate advocate for access to advanced neuromodulation therapies for those who suffered from severe cancer pain.
 
Dr. Stearns founded and grew the Center for Pain and Supportive Care to provide not only the largest cancer pain treatment center in the region but also as a training site for physicians from around the world seeking to learn from her wealth of knowledge and experience. She was also a founding member of the Cancer Pain and Research Consortium, and a founding member of the NANS Women in Neuromodulation committee. While these are just a few of her professional accomplishments, she touched so many of us in a much deeper personal way as a warm and profoundly spiritual person, which informed her superhuman compassion and self-sacrifice.
 
Her example will serve to light the path for all those who follow in her footsteps and impact the care of future cancer patients and the training of physicians for generations to come. She will be missed by all, including the NANS community. The NANS Board of Directors offer our greatest condolences to her family and plan to honor her life at our Annual Meeting.

Work by the Advocacy and Policy Committee

The APC organized a response to the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) Medial Directors for providing information and transparency to the Committee (CAC) Meeting Regarding Facet Joint and Medial Nerve Branch Procedures.
 
NANS offered input to help provide greater background and understanding of facet procedures and its literature to help the workgroup in their assessment. NANS believes facet procedures are of the most important tools pain physicians use to control chronic neck and back pain, and it's critical that the MACs ensure proper coverage guidelines.
 
Please read the Advocacy and Policy's response here.

 

Recently, NANS partnered with 11 other medical specialty societies to send letters to both Novitas and First Coast containing comments on their proposed Local Coverage Determinations for Percutaneous Vertebral Augmentation for Vertebral Compression Fractures, DL35130 and DL34976, respectively.

Click here to view a copy of the Multisociety Comment Letter on Proposed LCD DL35130 to Novitas.

Click here to view the Multisociety Comment Letter on Proposed LCD DL34976 to First Coast.

NANS, along with nine other medical specialty societies, convened to review and comment on the Oregon Health Authority's Public Health Division's proposed regulations that would expand opportunities for advanced practice providers to supervise procedures performed under fluoroscopic guidance. 

To see a copy of the submitted Position Statement on Prerequisite Training for the Performance of Spine Interventions as well as the AMA's Pain Management Practice Parameter (H-410.950), click HERE.

The NANS Advocacy and Policy Committee, on behalf of the membership, recently submitted comments to the CMS focusing on the CMS Physician Fee Schedule and ASC/HOPD Fee Schedule Proposals for 2020. NANS applauds the efforts of CMS to incentivize non-opioid treatment options in order to reduce the scale of the opioid crisis facing this company. For this reason, NANS strongly encouraged CMS to facilitate chronic pain patient access to opioid alternative treatments. NANS’ comments also emphasized that assigning inappropriately low work and practice expense relative value units (RVUs) to non-opioid options, such as injections, ablations, pain reservoir analysis and refills would contradict this effort. All these pain services are clinically efficacious alternative to opioids for pain management.

NANS believes it is critical that CMS adopt revised global period RVUs if they move forward with implementing increases to office visit Evaluation and Management codes in CY 2021. NANS’ comments also include a request for CMS to revoke the proposal to remove Medicare billing privileges without adding greater transparency and appeal processes for physicians having their privileges reviewed. Lastly, NANS requests that CMS maintain the current assignment of interspinous spacer devices to its current, CY 2019, APC assignment of 5116 rather than reassigning to APC 5115 as proposed for CY 2020.

To see a copy of "Comments to CMS on Proposed Physician Fee Schedule for 2020," click HERE

To see a copy of "Comments to CMS on Proposed ASC/HOPD Fee Schedule for 2020," click HERE.

The RUC Survey Process

The NANS Advocacy and Policy Committee has prepared a memo to all members with an overview and understanding of how the RUC survey process works and why it is important for NANS members to participate. NANS has formal seats on the RUC and CPT boards, and this is one of the activities we are able to participate in.

Articles of Interest

 

Newsroom Archives

NANS at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2019

NANS was excited to partner with the CES at the start of 2019. View our panel, moderated by NANS Secretary Steven Falowski, MD, at the Digital Health Summit. The panel discussion focused on neuromodulation and the advancements in medical technology.

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