HCA accepts public comments on selected technologies

OLYMPIA – The Health Care Authority (HCA) has selected for review five technology topics in 2017 by its Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Program. The public can submit information for consideration in review of these topics until 5 p.m., May 19, 2016, by visiting www.hca.wa.gov/hta and emailing responses to: shtap@hca.wa.gov.

Technologies selected for review include:

  • Extracorporeal shock wave therapy for musculoskeletal conditions: A noninvasive treatment based on ultrasound technology, used for a variety of conditions including treatment of kidney stones.
  • Interventions for treatment of migraines/headaches: Non-pharmacologic treatments for headaches including Botox injections, transcranial magnetic stimulation, nerve destruction, acupuncture and massage.
  • Varicose veins: Chemical ablation, stab phlebectomy and laser ablation.
  • Skin substitutes: Review of skin substitute products for treatment of complex and/or non-healing wounds.
  • Mammogram: computer-aided detection: Technology to improve early detection of disease.

In addition, one health technology previously reviewed by HTA is selected for update or re-review based on  new evidence that may change the previous coverage decision:

  • Artificial disks. New literature and new indications support a re-review.

The HTA Program was created by the Legislature to review health care technologies with evidence-based criteria, making sure that they are safe and effective, and that they offer a significant benefit before recommending their use to state health care programs including Apple Health (Medicaid), the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) Program, and the Department of Labor & Industries (workers’ compensation program).

The ultimate selection of technologies for review is made by Health Care Authority Director Dorothy Teeter, with consultation from participating state agencies.

HCA contracts with an independent entity to produce scientific, evidence-based reports on the selected health technologies. A clinical committee reviews the reports to determine whether state-purchased health care should pay for the technology. Public comment is also accepted for each topic upon publication of draft key questions, draft evidence reports, at public meeting(s) of the Health Technology Clinical Committee, and on draft determinations.

After this public comment period closes, HTA will begin work on these reviews.