In continuing to follow the nonsense concerning Medicare and TENS, here is an interesting article:
5 Pain Management Experts Respond to CMS’ Cancelled TENS Reimbursement
Written by Taryn Tawoda | June 13, 2012
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services last week announced that most uses of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation will no longer be reimbursed as treatment for chronic low back pain. In a memo released Friday, CMS officials wrote that reimbursement for TENS will be available only when patients are participating in a randomized, controlled trial to gauge the clinical effectiveness of the treatment.
Medicare previously paid for FDA-approved TENS equipment and supplies when prescribed by a physician for chronic pain and reimbursed physicians and physical therapists for evaluating patients’ suitability for the treatment.
Five pain management experts weigh in on the CMS decision.
Pamela D’Amato, MD, Pain Management Specialist, Advanced Interventional Pain Management (Clifton, N.J.): I feel that the CMS ceasing reimbursement for TENS treatment is surprising. In the climate of pain management, with the over prescription of opioid medications, it is always nice to have a non-medication and non-interventional alternative, in my arsenal of treatment options. Unfortunately, we now run the risk of the private insurance companies following the CMS’s stance. It limits the concept of a multi-modal approach to patients with chronic low back pain. A TENS unit can be beneficial for a patient, they can utilize it on their own and often with little adverse side effects.