Content in this section will include the coding article written by Emily Hill, recommendations, guidelines, or any other updates that may have a direct impact on the way pain clinicians practice.

Practitioners May Prescribe Buprenorphine to Treat OUD via Telemedicine Communication

For as long as the Secretary of the Department of Health's designation of a public health emergency remains in effect, DEA-registered practitioners may issue prescriptions for buprenorphine and other controlled substance...
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Six Building Blocks: A Team-Based Approach to Improving Opioid Management in Primary Care

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality released a toolkit offering a structured team-based approach designed to support clinics as they independently implement effective, guideline-driven care for their patients ...
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ASA, AAOS Launch Toolkit to Help Physicians Safely, Effectively Alleviate Patients’ Postoperative Pain with Reduced Opioid Use

The toolkit provides physicians and patients with resources to encourage communication and decision-making to help reduce patients' postoperative pain as much and as safely as possible.

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AAAHC Publishes New Resource for Pain Management

The Pain Management Toolkit provides organizations with current information and tools to educate staff, achieve consistent, standardized processes, and consider key issues that may help in making decisions about managing...
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AMA Releases Coding Advice Related to COVID-19

  The AMA has created a quick reference flow chart for CPT reporting for COVID-19 testing that outlines coding options for testing patients for COVID-19. Although testing is not likely to be ordered by pain medicine practices, the flow chart summarizes the coding options for telemedicine, telephone and "virtual check-in" visits. Most of these options were explained in a previous article.

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Providing and Reporting Medicare Telehealth Services During the COVID-19 Outbreak

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has temporarily lifted restrictions on the use of telehealth services to allow beneficiaries to receive care without going to their physician's office. CMS announced...
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Managing Pain and Related Symptoms during Coronavirus

​ Practical Pain Management editorial advisory board members share their tips for getting pain patients through the pandemic. Full story.
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Intermountain Healthcare First Health System in Utah to Offer Formal Opioid-Free Surgery Program for Patients Wanting Alternative Pain Control Options

The new program was tested for three months as part of a pilot project, in which physicians utilized non-addictive and less-addictive pain management alternatives for surgical patients looking for alternative pain contro...
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Incorrect Billing of HCPCS L8679 - Implantable Neurostimulator

CMS has issued a MLN (Medicare Learning Network) article concerning the inappropriate reporting of HCPCS supply code L8679 (Implantable neurostimulator, pulse generator, any type) for electro-acupuncture devices. These devices are applied behind the ear using an adhesive and/or with needles inserted into the patient's ear and do not require surgical implantation.  

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Upcoming RUC Survey

In the next few weeks we will be contacting a random selection of members to participate in an important AMA/Specialty Society Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC) survey of physician work for codes 64633-64636 which describe destruction of facet joints. The Medicare payment schedule is based on physician work, practice expense and professional liability insurance. Our specialty needs your help to assure relative values will be accurately and fairly presented to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.  

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