The Multi-Society Pain Workgroup (MPW), representing more than 100,000 physicians and 15 medical societies, has commended the Washington State Health Care Authority’s Health Technology Clinical Committee (HTCC) for preserving access to spinal injection therapies for back pain.
The HTCC held a hearing in March to determine coverage of spinal injections for Medicaid enrollees, workers covered under the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries provider network and state employees. The MPW worked throughout the past year submitting extensive comments in support of these procedures. The HTCC’s decision could have national implications as other states decide whether to cover spinal injection therapies.
“I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to all of the MPW societies for lending their voices in support of continued access to spinal injection procedures that are critical to preserving patient quality of life. The collaborative effort and voices of more than 100,000 multidisciplinary pain specialists was heard loud and clear,” said Paul Dreyfuss, MD, former chair of the MPW and clinical professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine, in Seattle, who presented at the hearing. “These therapies, when performed correctly with contemporary techniques, provide patients with significant pain relief, improved function and quality of life.”
The decision to retain coverage of spinal injection therapies is consistent with the scientific evidence supporting their safety and efficacy, according to a statement from the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA).
“Maintaining access to spinal injection therapies can provide patients with the significant benefits of pain relief, improved function and quality of life, reducing their need for surgery or opioids, which is particularly important in light of the national opioid abuse epidemic,” the ASA stated.
The MPW is composed of the ASA, American Academy of Pain Medicine, American Pain Society, American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, American Association of Neurological Surgeons, American College of Radiology, American Society of Neuroradiology, American Society of Spine Radiology, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, North American Neuromodulation Society, North American Spine Society, Society of Interventional Radiology and Spine Intervention Society.