The ACR Position Statement
The ACR issued a position statement to support viscosupplementation in 2015 and anticipates updated OA guidelines will be sent to the Board of Directors in early 2019. In Alabama—one state in which coverage has been dropped—the Alabama Society for the Rheumatic Disease (ASRD), with support from the ACR, issued a letter to Blue Cross/Blue Shield requesting reinstatement.4,5
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Since 2015, the ACR’s Insurance Subcommittee (ISC) has continued to regularly respond to viscosupplementation policies; the group has sent eight letters to payers, two of which were sent last May and June.
Dr. Degenhardt hopes rheumatologists, experts in the treatment of osteoarthritis and the ACR can work together with payers to help devise solutions. “We know viscosupplementation is not necessarily the magic bullet, but it should be an option.”
Kelly April Tyrrell writes about health, science and health policy. She lives in Madison, Wis.
- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 2013.Treatment of Osteoarthritis of the Knee, 2nd edition. http://www.aaos.org/research/guidelines/OAKSummaryofRecommendations.pdf.
- Hochberg MC, Altman RD, April KT, et al. American College of Rheumatology 2012 recommendations for the use of nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic therapies in osteoarthritis of the hand, hip, and knee. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2012 Apr;64(4):465–474.
- Bannuru RR, Schmid CH, Kent DM, et al. Comparative effectiveness of pharmacologic interventions for knee osteoarthritis: A systematic review and network meta-analysis. Ann Intern Med. 2015 Jan 6;162(1):46–54.
- ACR Committee on Rheumatologic Care. American College of Rheumatology position statement on intra-articular hyaluronic acid injection in osteoarthritis of the knee. (n.d.) https://www.rheumatology.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=tBiSQaE-9Ds%3d&portalid=0
- American College of Rheumatology, Alabama Society for the Rheumatic Diseases Letter to Blue Cross/Blue Shield. 2015 Mar 4. https://www.rheumatology.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=umDeOAyiNUk%3d&portalid=0
- Kelly J. New AAOS knee OA guidelines likely to be controversial. Medscape. 2013 June 19. https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/806564.