September 27, 2012
Key Lawmakers Urge CMS to Reconsider New Medicare Chronic Pain Proposed Rule
In a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, 13 physician members of the Congressional GOP "Doctors Caucus" expressed their opposition to the CMS proposal to pay nurse anesthetists for chronic pain management services as the proposal "is not in the best interest of patients."
These physician Members of Congress explained that "While we all support the goals of improving access to quality care, we believe this proposal would do the opposite by mandating Medicare coverage of providers with no education or training in the medical specialty of pain management." They further clarified that "there is no evidence that chronic pain management is a part of nurse anesthetists' education and training" and referenced Medicare contractor Noridian's policy and the testimony from the past-president of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists.
This candid assessment comes on the heels of thousands of ASA members submitting comments to CMS in opposition to this CMS proposal. ASA commends these Members of Congress for their attention to this important patient safety issue.