CMS will now cover acupuncture for low back pain

Spine

Medicare will cover a new solution for low back pain: acupuncture.

Four things to know:

1. On Jan. 21, CMS said it would cover 12 acupuncture sessions over a 90-day period and an additional eight sessions if those patients show improvement.

2. CMS defined chronic low back pain as persisting back pain for at least 12 weeks without any other identifiable systematic cause for the purposes of this decision.

3. CMS Principal Deputy Administrator of Operations and Policy Kimberly Brandt said the agency believes covering acupuncture for low back pain is in the best interest of patients.

4. The decision is part of CMS' efforts to curtail the opioid crisis.

 

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