Articles Posted in Anesthesia

Earlier this month, Transmittals to the State Operations Manual for ASCs (Appendix L) implemented certain clarifications/changes to the anesthetic risk assessment, H&P and pre-surgical evaluation Conditions of Participation at ASCs, effective 5.13.11. The new standards from the Transmittal are set forth below, followed by the provisions in which these new standards of Appendix L have […]

May 10, 2011, the Miami Lakes, Florida council passed a zoning ordinance requiring pain clinics in its town to obtain a special permit. A pain clinic’s grand opening advertisement featuring the words “pain” and “opiates” put a Miami Lakes councilman in fear of potential pill-mill activity coming to town and prompted the council’s efforts to […]

In an effort to better educate the anesthesia community with regard to the impact of Accountable Care Organizations (“ACOs”) on the specialty, the ASA Ad Hoc Task Force on ACOs has been carefully analyzing the March 31, 2011 ACO proposed regulations. As a preliminary step, at the end of April 2011, the ASA released 21 […]

South Florida has been called the “national epicenter” for the illegal dispensing of prescription drugs. Law enforcement officials have targeted South Florida for quite some time, with February 23 being no exception. On February 23, law enforcement officials and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agents raided six pain clinics accused of illegally dispensing prescription drugs, arresting […]

The recovery audit contractor (“RAC”) for Region B covering the Midwestern states, CGI Federal, Inc., is requesting additional documentation from providers regarding facet joint injections without reported imaging guidance (CPT codes 64470-64476). The requests for additional documentation acknowledge that CMS has not yet approved this issue for complex review and further acknowledge that the RAC […]

CMS has issued revised Interpretive Guidelines for the Hospital Conditions of Participation. The revised Interpretive Guidelines, which are effective immediately, contain significant changes affecting anesthesia providers, including the following: • Labor Epidurals. CMS removed language exempting labor epidurals from the physician supervision requirements. The revised Interpretive Guidelines note that, “there is often no bright line, […]

From the medicine cabinet to the street. 33 people have been charged so far as Buffalo, NY investigators devote increasingly greater resources toward an emerging class of suppliers in the illicit drug trade: medical patients, including many who rely on Medicaid to fund their prescriptions. Often at no charge, patients visit multiple doctors and are […]

As HLP reported, in April, CMS requested that the RAC for Region D remove an anesthesia care package it had posted to its website. Now, the issue has been re-posted, with some changes: Under NCCI Edit rules, the anesthesia care package consists of preoperative evaluation, standard preparation and monitoring services, administration of anesthesia, and post-anesthesia […]

Last year, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger requested exemption from the federal supervision requirement of nurse anesthetists. After unsuccessfully seeking a rescission of the opt-out, on June 3, 2010, the California Society of Anesthesiologists (CSA) and California Medical Association (CMA) filed a lawsuit against the governor. Medicare required a physician to supervise a nurse anesthetist until 2001, […]

By letter dated June 16, 2010, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (“ASA”) continued its efforts to request that the OIG intervene to issue a Special Advisory Bulletin prohibiting what is called the anesthesia “company model.” The ASA originally made the request to the OIG in March of 2009; however, to date, the OIG has not […]