News & Press: Advocacy

OHA Recommends Against ESIs; Considers Draft Guidance on Percutaneous Interventions

Tuesday, April 18, 2017  
The Oregon Health Authority’s (OHA) Evidence-based Guidelines Subcommittee (EbGS) met April 6 and referred the draft coverage guidance on Low Back Pain: Corticosteroid Injections to the Value-based Benefits Subcommittee (VbBS) and Health Evidence Review Commission (HERC) for review at their meetings May 18, 2017.  Despite multiple comments submitted by SIS, the Multisociety Pain Workgroup (MPW), and others, as well as presentations made by local physicians and patients in attendance, the Coverage Guidance was approved as presented and recommends against coverage for corticosteroid injections. 

The EbGS also heard public testimony from physicians on April 6 regarding the draft coverage guidance on Low Back Pain: Minimally Invasive and Non-Corticosteroid Percutaneous Interventions. Dr. David Sibell, SIS Instructor and Education Division member, made comments focusing on the importance of appropriate patient selection and implementation of meticulous technique for radiofrequency neurotomy, as described in the SIS Guidelines. His comments were well-received and have prompted an OHA invitation to compile materials for OHA’s EbGS consideration in preparation for discussion on this topic on June 1, 2017.  SIS will work with Dr. Sibell to prepare materials for EbGS review.  We will also review and prepare comments for MPW sign-on consideration regarding the draft coverage guidance. 

A special note of gratitude to those who attended the meetings and made presentations: Dr. David Sibell; Dr. Kim Mauer, Comprehensive Pain Center’s Medical Director; and Dr. Sandy Christiansen, who read a statement prepared by Dr. Steven Cohen. Thanks to all the other local physicians and patients for their tireless commitment and invaluable efforts to regain coverage for interventional spine procedures.


SIS remains committed to preserving patient access to safe and effective procedures, and we will continue to advocate for patients and physicians in Oregon State.

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