ASMBS Secretary-Treasurer and Access Chair John Morton reports that the CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) sleeve gastrectomy approval process continues. CMS is allowing coverage by regional administrators but their approval is pending a change in the CMS national non-coverage designation. ASMBS President Jaime Ponce received a letter from ASMBS in August indicating the change would be imminent likely October. ASMBS recommends waiting for final details from your CMS regional administrator. For further details, please refer to ASMBS sleeve gastrectomy FAQs on our website.
As part of health care reform, each state is required to have a model essential health benefits plan. The ASMBS Access Committee along with the Obesity Action Coalition and Chris Gallagher has and will continue to submit comments calling for bariatric surgery coverage for every state as individual deadlines approach.
On August 30, Drs. Matthew Brengman and John Morton met with CMS officials to discuss out-patient gastric banding reimbursement to better match our effort and pending sleeve gastrectomy coverage.
Please let Access to Care know your comments or concerns. John Morton, MD, MPH, FASMBS (Access Chair)