March 21, 2016
ASA Applauds Washington Health Technology Clinical Committee Decision to Preserve Coverage for Spinal Injections
On March 18, the Washington State Health Care Authority’s Health Technology Clinical Committee (HTCC) decided to maintain coverage for spinal injections after considering the evidence and hearing public comment from physicians who perform these procedures. This decision preserves coverage of spinal injections for Washington state patients with Medicaid, Labor & Industries, and state employees (PEBB), and it could have national implications as other states decide whether to cover these procedures.
ASA, with fourteen other medical specialty societies in the Multi-Society Pain Workgroup (MPW), worked together throughout the past year submitting extensive comments in support of these procedures. In the comment letter, the MPW argued that the final evidence report - which would help inform the HTCC’s decision - is an incomplete and methodologically flawed assessment of the evidence and that it may lead to egregious denial of access to these procedures.
ASA thanks Brandon Messerli, D.O. and Paul Dreyfuss, M.D. for testifying at the meeting and Kevin Vorenkamp, M.D. for serving as a technical expert to the HTCC. ASA also applauds physicians from the Washington State Society of Anesthesiologists and other MPW societies who attended the meeting to show their support for preserving patient access to spinal injection therapies.