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Heat-based back pain procedures denied Medicare coverage

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

CMS issues national non-coverage determination for thermal intradiscal procedures to treat low back pain Sept. 29 after determining that they are "not reasonable and necessary" based on available evidence. A proposal to deny Medicare coverage for the catheter-based treatment was announced in July (1"The Gray Sheet" July 21, 2008, p. 6). Intradiscal electrothermal therapy system maker Smith & Nephew (SpineCath) says it will "continue to work with CMS and support an immediate request for reconsideration." Baylis Medical says it hopes to submit to CMS by September 2009 results of an ongoing study of its TransDiscal disc biacuplasty system that would differentiate it for reimbursement purposes

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