For more than 40 years, APMA and PICA have enjoyed a mutual partnership rooted in advocating for podiatric physicians. The following alert is offered to provide risk advice to podiatrists.
In the past five years, a number of physicians, including podiatric physicians, have seen great patient benefits from the emerging use of amniotic fluid injections to treat musculoskeletal conditions, such as plantar fasciitis and tendinitis. Despite these patient benefits, the FDA has recently stated that it has not approved the use of such products and that further study is needed.
On February 28, 2022, all Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) announced that they would be denying claims for amniotic fluid injections effective March 16, 2022. Worse yet, the MACs may be recouping payment for claims going back to December 6, 2019, a period of more than two years. There may be certain legal defenses to recoupment action, but these defenses will have to be developed on a case-by-case basis.
Because of this development, and until APMA and PICA obtain additional information, we recommend that podiatrists: (1) discontinue submitting claims to Medicare for amniotic injections; and (2) notify their malpractice insurer, which may provide administrative defense coverage, if they receive a notice of a post-payment audit from Medicare. Taking such actions will provide the greatest level of protection to podiatrists.