July 23, 2019
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing coverage of acupuncture for Medicare patients with chronic low back pain who are enrolled participants either in clinical trials sponsored by the National Institutes of Health or in CMS-approved studies. Acupuncture is not currently otherwise covered under Medicare. This is part of CMS’s larger effort to find and support alternatives to opioids for pain management. There is a 30-day comment period for this proposal with comments due August 14, 2019. While the initial coverage would be limited, it opens the door for new coverage and future expansion.