Limiting back pain treatment on Medicare - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Limiting back pain treatment on Medicare

Millions of people turn to steroid shots to treat persistent pain, especially back pain. But, starting next year, Medicare could scale back on those treatments.      

As it is now, many patients get injections in different areas, but, Medicare is proposing to limit the number of injections a patient can receive.

"If a patient has several areas of problem, then we need to inject all of those areas in order for the treatment to be effective. They're going to limit it to no more than two injections for the entire procedure," says pain management specialist Dr. Daniel Burkhead.

"It doesn't make any sense to me so I am not a happy camper," says Ladonna Robson, who suffers from back pain.

Medicare says it's a safety issue, and claims that over time, repeated injections can weaken your bones, and may not be as effective as the first two shots anyway.      

At this point, it is just a proposal. Medicare says if it does go into effect, patients can appeal.

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