The editor of the Pain News Network makes the case on why reversing a 2016 CMS decision to cut Medicare reimbursement for epidurals is a bad idea.
The bill, which was passed last week by the House Energy and Commerce Committe goes to the full House for a vote next. The legislation would partially reverse a decision made by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in 2016 to cut the Medicare reimbursement rate for epidurals and other injections – seen by many as an alternative treatment to opioids.
Arguing in support of the bill to end the cuts were two Illinois congressman, Rep. John Shimkus and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, both men have received $10,000 in campaign donations from The American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP), which had unsuccessfully lobbied to overturn the rate cuts.
Editor Pat Anson writes Shimkus made the claim during the hearing that CMS created a disincentive for doctors to perform the procedures and encouraged them to prescribe opioids instead.
Rep. Frank Pallone was quoted in the Pain News Network.
“I don’t think we have gotten any objective criteria to suggest that what CMS did is going to lead to more people taking opiates. I don’t think there is any evidence to suggest that this legislation will lead to decreased opioid prescribing or a decreased prevalence of addiction.”
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