The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is reportedly considering the restriction or elimination of coverage for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), used to treat chronic low back pain. The CMS began its review of national Medicare coverage of TENS and its use for chronic low back pain in September 13, 2011.

A Web site designed by Citizens in Support of TENS states that CMS is considering whether Medicare should cover TENS for chronic low back pain at all, or whether it should only be covered when used for patients participating in approved clinical studies. “We are particularly interested in receiving evidence speaking to the health outcomes attributable to the use of TENS in home settings,” CMS says.

The Web site adds that either scenario may negatively impact Medicare patient access to TENS devices for chronic low back pain. The decision may also potentially prompt other insurers and health programs to adopt similar, more restrictive coverage policies. 

The general public can sign a petition designed to communicate to CMS that it should not restrict patient access to the TENS technology, as it may benefit Medicare patients by safely and effectively alleviating chronic low back pain and reduce the need for narcotics and potentially prevent the need for surgical intervention, according to the Citizens in Support of TENS Web site.

To learn more about the CMS National Coverage Analysis, click here.

To sign the petition, click [removed]here[/removed].

Source: Citizens in Support of TENS