News & Press: Advocacy

SIS Coordinates Submission of Comment Letter to the Washington State Health Care Authority

Wednesday, September 16, 2015  

SIS coordinated the drafting and submission of a letter joined by multiple other organizations to the Washington State Health Care Authority’s (WA HCA) Health Technology Assessment Program. Earlier this month, the WA HCA initiated a comment period for review of the draft key questions that will frame their upcoming re-review of spinal injections. This review of spinal injections is premature, and according to WA HCA, was prompted by new evidence (i.e. Friedly’s LESS study) and new safety concerns (i.e. the FDA’s labeling changes for epidural injection of steroid).  Their proposed inclusion/exclusion criteria stipulate exclusion of non-RCT evidence (unless related to safety), and their proposed questions fail to require subgroup analyses by diagnosis, use of image guidance, or approach/access to ensure homogeneity of patient populations.  With questions and inclusion/exclusion criteria as proposed, the resulting report will do a tremendous disservice to spinal injections, mirroring the recent AHRQ technology assessment.  The difference: WA HCA is performing the review expressly to inform coverage determinations.  

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