February 2, 2017 Is Your Chance to Help Oregon Regain Access to Interventional Spine Procedures
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) announced that two draft coverage guidances are on the agenda for the Health Evidence Review Commission (HERC) Evidence-based Guidelines Subcommittee meeting on February 2, 2017. The recently published draft coverage guidance on corticosteroid injections for low back pain will be discussed, along with feedback received during the public comment period last fall. In addition, an initial draft coverage guidance on minimally invasive and percutaneous interventions for low back pain will be shared with the Subcommittee.
Patients on Medicaid in the state of Oregon no longer have access to ANY evidence-based interventional spine procedures for back pain. Most no longer have access to surgery and none have the option of palliative care with long-term opioid treatment. What are they left with? OHA now recommends acupuncture, manipulation, massage, medications (excluding long-term opioid treatment), cognitive behavioral therapy, physical therapy/occupational therapy, and yoga as the only viable treatments for back pain.
On December 8, 2016 SIS and 10 other medical societies warned about the likely negative consequences from the flawed coverage decision. And, on November 22, 2016, SIS suggested ways for you and your patients to take action. Now may be your final chance to take that action.
What you can do:
- Contact your local newspaper and news stations and make your community aware of this important issue.
- Let OHA know what you think. On social media mention OHA and use the hashtag #saveinjections.
- Find your congressional representatives' contact information, and demand action. Visit: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/findyourlegislator/leg-districts.html.
- Attend the OHA meeting and sign up to provide verbal comments.
The meeting will occur February 2, 2017 from 2:00 to 5:00 pm at the Clackamas Community College Wilsonville Training Center, Room 112, 29353 SW Town Center Loop E, Wilsonville, Oregon 97070.
We encourage you to sign up to provide verbal comments. Each commenter who signs up indicating a wish to testify will be invited to testify at the appropriate time. Due to time constraints, such comment may be limited to five minutes per topic (shared among all those who wish to testify). Commenters are encouraged to bring 15 copies of their complete testimony in written form to the public meeting and be prepared with one- and three-minute highlights of their testimony in case time is limited. For more information about the meeting, visit the committee’s website.
Can’t make the meeting in person? Follow the proceedings in real-time. On February 2, 2017 call the public listen-in only line: 1-888-204-5984, (participant code 801373) or register for the webinar stream.
Make your voice heard and be your patients’ advocate. But don't stop there. Encourage your patients to do the same. Without reasoned protest from all those affected, many of your patients will be left without effective treatment options and relegated to lives plagued by chronic pain and disability.
Click here for suggested talking points for you and your patients to use in your efforts to convey the importance of regaining access to interventional spine procedures. Please contact SIS if you need additional assistance or to share information about your advocacy efforts.
Learn about all SIS advocacy efforts and take the next step to extend SIS’s advocacy efforts with your donation.