January 2012
The essential resource for your practice
Volume XXI, Number 1

NEW: A Dose of Funny

The Health Policy Brief is proud to announce its newest feature: a new regular cartoon by our Practice Management Staff. View this month's "Dose of Funny." see more>>

Table of Contents


Coding Corner:

Are Your Coders Ready for 2012?

FDA approves Botox for specific bladder indications

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved onabotulinumtoxin A (Botox®) for bladder conditions, such as urinary incontinence due to detrusor overactivity associated with a neurologic condition (e.g., spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis in adults), in those patients who have an inadequate response to or who are intolerant of an antiocholinergic medication. Treatment involves injecting the medication into the bladder during a cystoscopy in order to stabilize the bladder and increase the amount of urine it is able to hold. 

Since the FDA approval was announced, many MACs/carriers are amending their current onabotulinum toxin A Local Coverage Determinations (LCDs).

For The Record

HealthTronics Acquires Two Urology EMR Vendors

On October 27, 2011, a news release issued by Endo Pharmaceuticals announced that their recently acquired HealthTronics franchise recently committed to strategic investments in Intuitive Medical Software (IMS) and meridianEMR, Inc., two providers of electronic medical records for urologists.” IMS sells the Urochart software. These two companies have historically marketed their electronic health records (EHR) systems as urology-focused products. 

Make Your Voice Heard at the 2012 Urology Joint Advocacy Conference: March 4-6, 2012

Over the last several years, many of your fellow urologists have made the annual trip to Washington, DC, to learn about major healthcare issues affecting urology and to speak to decision makers on Capitol Hill. The 2012 Urology Joint Advocacy Conference (JAC), the premier advocacy conference for organized urology, will once again provide these opportunities. This year’s program will feature popular election analyst Charlie Cook of the Cook Political Report as well as nationally recognized healthcare leaders and Members of Congress who sit on legislative committees with jurisdiction over healthcare policy. In past years, attendees heard from a number of impressive leaders, including Gail Wilenksy, PhD, former administrator of the Health Care Financing Administration (now the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services or CMS) under President George H. W. Bush and currently a senior fellow at Project HOPE, an international health foundation, and Mark McClellan, MD, PhD, former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and former administrator of CMS, who now directs the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform at the Brookings Institution.