In recent years, federal policymakers have increased their focus on the practice of pain medicine, and particularly interventional pain management services. This article will review two major actions recently taken by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on epidural procedures. We will also provide information on what ASA members can do to protect physician payment for and preserve patient access to pain medicine services.

As part of the CY 2014 Medicare physician payment rule, CMS lowered the values for important interlaminar epidural procedures (CPT® codes 62310, 62311, 62318, 62319) by up to 58 percent. These cuts were announced in the CY 2014 Medicare physician payment rule that was released on November 27, 2013, and which went into effect for services performed on/after January 1, 2014.

CMS targeted these services for payment reduction because increased demand for these services was misinterpreted...

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