August 04, 2015
ASA Joins 13 Pain Medicine Societies in Response to AHRQ Technology Assessment on Low Back Pain
The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) joined 13 other pain medicine specialty societies in a letter to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) raising concerns with the recently published AHRQ Technology Assessment Pain Management Injection Therapies for Low Back Pain. In the letter, the societies request that AHRQ revisit several aspects of the Technology Assessment to ensure that the best available evidence is addressed scientifically in order to provide an accurate assessment of the procedures reviewed.
Published in March 2015, the Technology Assessment addresses the effectiveness and harms of epidural, facet joint, and sacroiliac corticosteroid injections for low back pain. AHRQ solicited feedback on the research questions in the Technology Assessment in February – March 2014 and ASA issued an Alert to our members on the comment period. In the final report, the authors of the Technology Assessment conclude, among other things, that epidural steroid injections provide small and unsustained benefits. The information contained in the Technology Assessment could be used by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to inform its national coverage decisions for the Medicare program as well as provide information to Medicare contractors.
ASA will continue to work closely with the pain medicine specialty societies on this issue and the societies will submit the letter for publication.
Learn more about the Technology Assessment Program.