2013 CMS Physician Fee Schedule Includes Payment for CRNA Chronic Pain Services

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Calendar Year (CY) 2013 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule, which includes the controversial section regarding payment to CRNAs for chronic pain services, has been sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review.  The rule is scheduled to be issued as a final rule with comment period.  This means that, while most of the rule will be effectuated on a final basis (as of 1/1/13), certain provisions of the otherwise final regulation will be subject to further comment from the public, though it is unclear whether the chronic pain proposal will be one of those provisions subject to additional comment.

Following the OMB review, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) expects the final rule with comment to be promulgated on or around November 1, 2012.  Most Anesthesiologist oppose this expansion of the scope of services rendered by CRNAs.