In October, we alerted you to the advocacy efforts NANS was leading on behalf of 13 medical societies, representing 95,000 physicians, to extend coverage for SCS in Washington State. On Friday, November 17, the State's Health Technology Clinical Committee met to hear from stakeholders on the issue.
Dr. Julie Pilitis, NANS president, provided the opening argument in favor of coverage, followed by ASIPP President-elect Christopher Gharibo. A contingent of Washington physicians including Drs. Brett Stacey, Fangfang Xing and Steven Stanos, provided the bulk of the testimony, dissecting the evidence for SCS and explaining the failures of the state’s report. An industry representative—Dr. Nilesh Patel—and patient advocate also spoke on the critical need for SCS for certain patients.
It looks like the arguments presented were convincing as the majority of the committee voted in a straw poll to cover with conditions SCS for the following conditions:
The committee plans to reconvene in January with coverage language for an official vote. The staff and committee leadership on the call commented that the committee has not yet reversed a straw poll when it comes to the official vote, so NANS is guardedly optimistic that there will be real change in Washington State!
Congratulations to all who joined in this effort to provide patients with access to care to this life-changing therapy!
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