Novitas Update from Bruce Weiner, AANA President
Friday, August 24, 2018
As of August 16th, Novitas has posted an official note on its website stating that it is not going to implement the LCD as anticipated. You can view the LCD and official note here. (Please note that first-time visitors to the site need to accept Novitas' terms and conditions before viewing the LCD. Once you accept, you will be directed to the LCD.)
Why, you might ask, did Novitas do a complete about-face less than two months after the final version LCD was released? The answer is simple: The tenacious efforts of the AANA Federal and State Government Affairs staff, staff from other AANA departments, the Board of Directors, and AANA legal counsel made this happen. In particular, our federal advocacy team was instrumental in achieving this result. They tirelessly worked their contacts at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), lobbied on Capitol Hill, and exhausted all avenues to exert pressure on Novitas leadership.
It is also important to recognize the contributions of our affiliates, the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) and the National Board for Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA), who weighed in on this matter with outstanding letters to Novitas.
Simply stated, the AANA was not going to allow this LCD to take effect without a fight.
However, there is still work to be done. In late August, AANA, NBCRNA, and Novitas leadership will meet in Dallas to begin negotiating a definitive resolution on CRNA reimbursement for pain-management services. During these negotiations, the AANA and NBCRNA will seek provider neutrality for CRNAs and recognition by Novitas of the nonsurgical pain management subspecialty certification (NSPM) as sufficient training for CRNAs to qualify for reimbursement for providing facet-joint injections and other forms of pain management.