Sunday, June 24, 2012

Medicare and Medicaid Services put kibosh on TENS for back pain

WASHINGTON -- Medicare will no longer cover most uses of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) for chronic low back pain, according to a memo issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Reimbursement for TENS for low back pain will be available only when patients are participating in a randomized, controlled trial of the technology's clinical effectiveness, CMS officials wrote in the final decision, which was released Friday and is effective immediately.

"TENS is not reasonable and necessary for the treatment of [chronic low back pain]," they wrote.

Currently, Medicare pays for FDA-approved TENS equipment and supplies when prescribed by a physician for chronic intractable pain and reimburses physicians and physical therapists for evaluating patients' suitability for the treatment, which is typically used at home.

No comments:

Post a Comment