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ASMBS calls for CPT Code for bariatric revisions
In the July 2014 issue of its monthly news update, ASMBS Insurance Committee Chair, Dr Matthew Brengman, has called for a CPT code for re-operative procedures that will the society believes could lead to greater access to revisional surgery.
He states that gaining a code for laparoscopic gastric bypass revision is one of the highest priorities of the ASMBS and the insurance committee and is driven by a combination of need, procedure uniformity, safety and efficacy. However, the application to obtain a new CPT code must demonstrate all components in a meaningful way.
“We can effectively demonstrate need,” he writes. “Conservative estimates suggest 20 percent of patients following bariatric surgery have significant recurrent obesity.”
To address the issues of uniformity, safety and efficacy, the ASMBS convened a task force, headed by Dr John Morton, to review the current literature on reoperative bariatric surgery. Their findings were published in SOARD. The paper concluded that: “The indications and outcomes for reoperative bariatric surgery are procedure-specific but the current evidence does support additional treatment for persistent obesity, co-morbid disease, and complications.”
“Our national data registries effectively capture the number of bariatric reoperations very well,”adds Brengman.”However, these databases do not effectively capture the indication for the reoperation or what exactly was done at the reoperation. Because our current registry is CPT code driven, the lack of specific CPT codes limits the resolution of the database to provide meaningful data on occurrence, safety and weight loss outcomes for reoperative procedures directed at recurrent obesity.”
To address this issue, the MBSAQIP Data committee, is working to create a prospective registry of re-operative surgery using codified language, which will collect data on what exactly is being done in re-operative procedures, the complications associated with those procedures and most importantly the effect on weight and comorbid illnesses.
“Clearly this is a multi-year process,” he concludes. “In addition, this process requires pa$rticipation by surgeons who are performing re-operative bariatric surgery, especially for the indication of recurrent obesity. With continued effort and physician participation we hope to be able reach our goal of appropriate CPT codes for re-operative bariatric surgery.”
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