You Expert Opinions and Formal Position Statements are Needed!
support the decision of the U.S. Centres for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to cover acupuncture for low back pain
I am not sure how many of you may be aware, but the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it is considering adding coverage of acupuncture for chronic low back pain. From now until February 14, it is accepting public comments and that includes information on research and both formal position statements from professional societies and professional society guidelines regarding acupuncture for chronic low back pain. They also look for expert opinions as part of their research process.
Medicare is the main U.S. “national healthcare insurance” that every American over the age of 65 qualifies for and this numbers nearly 60 million people. Medicare has never paid for any acupuncture service but with the North American opioid crisis there is a good chance they will approve acupuncture for chronic low back pain. Of course, if the CMS was to approve acupuncture for chronic low back pain after doing this review, this decision would have positive ramifications in many other countries as well.
The Acupuncture Now Foundation is preparing to send in our comments stressing the research and how unreliable sham controlled research finding can be. Other groups such as the ASA and NCCAOM are also preparing information to submit to the CMS.
I urge everyone who work with any professional society they can reach, have them develop and submit their formal position statements in favor of the CMS covering acupuncture for chronic low back pain. You can also submit expert opinions especially on the research involving chronic low back pain. We also need to identify professional guidelines that recommend the use of acupuncture for chronic low back pain such as the recent one by the American College of Physicians.
Matthew Bauer, L.Ac.
President, The Acupuncture Now Foundation