News & Press: Advocacy

Take Action Now! Help Your Patients Regain Access to Interventional Spine Procedures

Tuesday, November 22, 2016  
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Patients on Medicaid in the state of Oregon no longer have access to ANY evidence-based interventional spine procedures for back pain. Most no longer have access to surgery and none have the option of palliative care with long-term opioid treatment. What are they left with? The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) now recommends acupuncture, manipulation, massage, medications (excluding long-term opioid treatment), cognitive behavioral therapy, physical therapy/occupational therapy, and even yoga as the only viable treatments for back pain.

SIS and the 13 other member associations of the Multi-Society Pain Workgroup (MPW) are continuing to develop a coordinated a response to this critical oversight, but now is the time for you to act!

 What you can do:

Make your voice heard and be your patients’ advocate. But don't stop there. Encourage your patients to do the same. Without reasoned protest from all those affected, many of your patients will be left without effective treatment options and relegated to lives plagued by chronic pain and disability.

Share your concerns and stories. Follow these suggestions for talking points for you and your patients to use in your efforts to convey the importance of regaining access to interventional spine procedures:

PHYSICIANS/HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS

  1. Interventional spine procedures (injections/RFN) are critical tools in my toolbox.
    • Spine injections have helped hundreds/thousands of my patients regain quality of life.
    • These procedures are safe and effective and can help appropriately selected patients.
    • Share a specific patient success story.
  2. Without these treatments, what are my patients left with?
    • Interventional spine procedures are indicated when conservative treatments have failed. 
    • When we have procedures that can help, how can I tell my patients experiencing terrible pain and unable to do the most basic things that all I can offer is an Advil and yoga?
    • What will happen to my patients who don’t have access to procedures that will help them?

PATIENTS

  1. Share your own story or that of a friend/family member.
  2. How will your life be affected if these procedures are no longer available?

Please contact SIS if you need additional assistance or to share information about your advocacy efforts.


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