AANEM Practice News Express

AANEM News Express

AANEM Succeeds in Changing BCBS-MA’s Medical Policy

In response to a request from AANEM, BlueCross BlueShield of Massachusetts (BCBS-MA) announced a revised policy to incorporate symptom-based ICD-10 diagnosis codes.

Efficacy and Safety of Deflazacort vs Prednisone and Placebo for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Deflazacort, although already widely used in other countries, was recently approved by the FDA specifically for the treatment of boys with Duchene Muscular Dystrophy. While this study in Neurology does demonstrate better efficacy and lower side effects of deflazacort vs prednisone, the data is 20 years old.

CMS Releases Comparative Billing Reports on Sudomotor-Function Testing

In March, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a national provider Comparative Billing Report (CBR) on Sudomotor-Function Testing. The CBR, produced by CMS contractor eGlobalTech and its partner, Palmetto GBA, will focus on providers that refer patients for sudomotor-function testing (using CPT Code 95923).

Clinical and Radiographic Findings in Patients with the C9orf72 Repeat Expansion and ALS

Two studies in JAMA Neurology and Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry not only describe a new phenotypic model for ALS, but they also provide new imaging modalities for ALS subtyping, linking brain MRI findings with genetic or clinical manifestations.

Register for AMA MACRA/QPP webinar

The American Medical Association (AMA) is hosting a MACRA/QPP webinar on Thursday, April 20, 2017, at 7 PM EDT. The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), represents the most significant change in Medicare physician payment policy in over 25 years. Last fall, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released final policies on implementation of MACRA’s Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and alternative payment models (APMs). Collectively, these programs are part of what CMS now calls the Quality Payment Program (QPP).

2017 Coding Guide Now Available

The AANEM 2017 Online Coding Guide is the most comprehensive source for electrodiagnostic (EDX) and neuromuscular (NM) coding.

AANEM Foundation Funds Study Focused on Quality EDX

The AANEM Foundation has committed over $245,000 to a project evaluating the quality of electrodiagnostic (EDX) studies in patients with suspected carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). “In the current environment of having to prove quality, this study is key for the future for our members,” noted Dr. Vincent Tranchitella, who spearheaded the project while serving as AANEM President in 2014-15.

Posterior Interosseous Neuropathy: Supinator Syndrome vs. Fascicular Radial Neuropathy

This study in Neurology is an excellent review of PIN syndrome and radial nerve anatomy.

Early Diaphragm Pacing in Patients with ALS (RespiStim ALS): a Randomized Controlled Triple Blind Trial

While diaphragm pacing previously held much promise as a novel treatment for ALS, this study in Lancet Neurology indicates that diaphragm pacing reduces life expectancy and is associated with serious complications.

A Comparison Between IVIg and Plasma Exchange as Preparations Before Thymectomy in Myasthenia Gravis Patients

This study in Acta Neurologica Belgica suggests that IVIg and plasma exchange may be comparable preparatory treatments for patients undergoing thymectomy.







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