The Alliance of Wound Care Stakeholders serves as the go-to resource to address public policies that may create barriers to wound patients’ access to care. We monitor regulators and payers and respond quickly to changing coding, coverage, and payment policies. And, when decision makers need knowledgeable input about wound-related best practices, they come to the Alliance for guidance. We are the united voice of medical specialty societies and clinical associations, leading wound care organizations and business entities to advocate for appropriate coding, coverage and payment. Our close relationships with government policymakers, payers, regulators, legislators and other decision makers gives us a “seat at the table” as policies are crafted, debated and updated.

Our Impact in 2021 has been extensive. Highlights include:


  • As a result of the Alliance’s tenacious advocacy we:
    • Obtained a 9.6% increase for disposable negative pressure wound therapy (dNPWT) instead of a 22% reduction in the physician office setting.
    • Accomplished a National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI) edit manual change allowing for debridement and compression to be provided on the same day.
    • Successfully convinced CMS to retract the proposed 2021 Physicians Fee Schedule provision to bundle cellular and tissue-based products for wounds (CTPs, also known as skin substitutes) in the physician office setting.
    • Created language, which was accepted and used by CMS, for an MLN Newsletter article explaining why the new synthetic CPT “A” codes should be treated the same as all other CTPs, and how to correctly bill for them.
    • Obtained a unanimous recommendation from the Advisory Panel on Hospital Outpatient Payment to CMS, which prompted the Agency to begin reviewing recommendations for flawed CTP payment changes.


  • As the ultimate collaborative umbrella organization for wound care, the Alliance impacted change through the following efforts: 
    • Collaborated with FDA staff to shape its agenda and speakers for its April 2022 wound healing workshop so it will be synergistic with the Alliance’s Evidence Summit.
    • Became a charter member and serve on the steering committee of the Wound Care Collaborative Community.
    • Actively participated with the Clinical Labor Coalition to impact change on the significant physician payment cuts.
    • Led the Alliance for HCPCS Coding Reform’s efforts to gain clarification from CMS on submitting new electronic HCPCS coding application and won more time for initial submission.
    • Partnered with a leading group of physicians to advocate to the DMEMACs for coverage of pneumatic compression devices to treat critical limb ischemia.
    • Spearheaded an ASTM workgroup to update CTP standard used by payers for terminology purposes.
    • Partnered with Alliance member associations to send letters of support on issues of importance to both organizations:
          • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to support Global Malnutrition Global Score.
          • American Podiatric Medical Association to update the Massachusetts Podiatry Act.
    • Created a Government Affairs Work Group to partner with our member organizations that have dedicated government affairs staff on legislative issues impacting the wound care community. The Alliance has lent its name to several sign-on letters as well as directly submitted letters to support (or oppose) legislative wound care initiatives.

  • The Alliance shaped policy development as we: 
    • Vocally opposed payment cuts in the proposed CY2022 Physician Fee Schedule by collaborating with the Clinical Labor Coalition and submitting comments to impact change. As a result, the pay cuts were minimized. We will continue to address this in 2022.
    • Championed CTP payment issues by submitting hospital outpatient payment methodology recommendations to CMS.
    • Served as a resource to CMS contractor Noridian medical directors as they developed their wound care LCD.
    • Called for transparency in CMS’ and its contractors’ implementation of the 21st Century Cures Act.

2021 annual report: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

For more information on accomplishments of previous years, see below:
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