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Washington, D.C. - Today, Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) continued his advocacy to fight the opioid epidemic in America. 

Specifically, Congressman Emmer sent a letter to Tamara Syrek Jensen, the Director of the Coverage and Analysis Group for the Centers for Clinical Standards and Quality, and Dr. Stephen Boren, the Medical Director for National Government Services to express concern regarding the currently proposed local coverage determination (LCD) for epidural interventions and other non-opioid forms of pain-management. 

“The current proposal reduces the use of epidural injections to an unmanageably low level and fails to consider the previously-eligible patients in desperate need of pain management who depend on this procedure. Non-opioid relief choices are already limited and, for some patients, this option has been relied on for 25 years," said Emmer. 

“The opioid epidemic has devastated families and communities across this nation, and our government must support all available forms of non-opioid pain management for patients struggling with chronic pain. Changes must be made to the LCD before it is too late,” Emmer concluded.

In accordance with evidence-based policies put forth by the Multi-jurisdictional Committee, an advisory committee tasked with analyzing the quality of evidence used to make a determination, Congressman Emmer strongly encouraged the following revisions to the LCD:

  • Provide coverage for multiple procedures in the same session, when reasonable and necessary,
  • Expand the greatly constricted inclusion criteria for indications and medical necessity,
  • Increase the number of procedures during the diagnostic or initial phase,
  • Add percutaneous adhesiolysis to the list of eligible procedures, which is designed to break up scarring in the epidural-site in order to relieve chronic low back and leg pain. 

Read the letter here.