NASS Seeks Allograft and Spinal Stim Comments by May 20
Elizabeth Hofheinz, M.P.H., M.Ed. • Fri, May 5th, 2017
Surgeons…time to opine on new coverage recommendations from the North American Spine Society (NASS). You have until May 20, 2017 to comment on Allograft and Demineralized Bone Matrix for Spinal Fusion and Spinal Cord Stimulation.
John A. Glaser, M.D., co-chair of the NASS Coverage Committee and orthopedic surgeon with the Medical University of South Carolina told OTW, “The goal of the NASS Coverage Recommendations is to ensure that patients continue to have access to appropriate quality spine care. As with many of our topics, the debates on these two recently published topics centered around the strength of existing evidence.”
“We would love to have plentiful, very high-level evidence for every topic but that may not be possible in each situation. After an exhaustive review of what can sometimes be hundreds of scientific articles, the members of the NASS Coverage team work together to develop its recommendations. In the absence of high-level data, NASS recommendations reflect the multi-disciplinary experience and expertise of the committee members in order to present reasonable standard practice indications in the United States.”
Asked what they hope will come from the 30-day comment period, he noted, “As an organization, NASS strives for increased collaboration between all interested parties and greater transparency to address important topics which may not yet have high-level evidence.”
“This public comment period is an opportunity for both NASS and interested parties to proactively discuss and develop appropriate indications for common spine care treatments and procedures. In the past, we received constructive feedback on various topics and this additional step of hosting a public comment period has helped us better address the needs of our members and the millions of patients we serve. We hope this 30-day comment period will provide an opportunity and time for subject-matter experts and interested parties to review NASS’ proposed recommendations and make us aware of any important literature that we may have missed during our preliminary review.”
As for his message to spine surgeons, Dr. Glaser told OTW, “Patients rely upon their spine care specialists for the most appropriate and cost-effective treatment options. To provide these specialists with the most current evidence-based recommendations, it is critical that the spine care community works together. We encourage you to share your expertise with NASS by participating in these public comment periods.”
Please click here to access NASS' draft coverage recommendations for Allograft and Demineralized Bone Matrix for Spinal Fusion and Spinal Cord Stimulation. Your comments can be shared with the committee via firstname.lastname@example.org.