Published in February Issue             

Helmuth T. Billy, MD - Chair, ASMBS Insurance Committee

Hello ASMBS Members,

As we move forward into 2016, I would like to take the opportunity to introduce myself as the chair of the ASMBS Insurance Committee and to invite those of you with coding and insurance questions, issues and frustrations to utilize the experience this committee has to assist you with those questions related to insurance, reimbursement or coding. The Insurance Committee has put together a diverse group of individuals with a wide range of experience with respect to coding, reimbursement and access, and we are available to assist you when issues related to coding come up in your everyday practice. In addition, this committee takes an active role in addressing more national issues with the guidance of the ASMBS leadership and works hard in representing the position of our society and more importantly, our membership with respect to bariatric surgery, our relationship with CMS and other national insurance companies.

It is important for this committee hear from our members to better address those issues surrounding insurance and reimbursement if we are to be an effective voice within our society. We cannot represent our membership without hearing from our members. We work closely with keeping the ASMBS leadership informed as to the struggles our members are facing in their everyday practices. Please take the time to contact the insurance committee so that we can better address your concerns and allow us to stay up to date with those issues which you find as challenges affecting your ability to provide bariatric surgery within each respective community.

Our goal is to understand and represent your concerns and needs, as well as keep the ASMBS leadership up to date with the issues that our members currently face when providing care to our patients. We are here to help.

Please stay connected as we introduce guidelines and checklists to assist you in understanding how to stay up to date with some of the latest issues regarding insurance and bariatric surgery. We look forward to introducing a guideline on how to understand, prepare and experience the ongoing RAC audits, which CMS has instituted nationally on bariatric surgery over the past 12 months, as well as additional toolkits to assist with improving insurance authorizations and reimbursement on issues such as re-operative bariatric surgery and other areas of interest such as duodenal switch. We look forward to 2016 and hope that we can be of assistance in improving the efficiency of your practice with respect to insurance related.