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05/10/2013    William A Sachs, DPM

Letter to Gov. Christie About ESWT Coverage

I recently had a former patient return to see me.
I had performed ESWT 10 years ago. She began to
tell me how great the procedure had been and that
she has been pain free for all these years. She
remarked that she heard "it's not covered
anymore" and she's so happy she was able to have
it covered at that time because it really "made a
difference" in her life. It prompted me to write
this letter to Governor Christie. My hope is that
others will take the time to write a letter to
their government officials in the hope that there
may be some transparency and maybe some action
taken to allow us to better serve our patients.

Dear Governor Christie,

I have been in practice for 30 years, and during
that time, insurance reimbursement has declined
more than 50%, while inflation, supply costs,
office salaries, rent and liability insurance
have continued to rise.

Can you imagine if salaries to government workers
would have steadily declined during that period
of time? I’m sure the quality of government
employee and government services would decline,
or stop altogether!

One issue I wish to bring to your attention is
the policy of insurance companies to decline
services which are cutting edge and allow people
to recover faster without significant side-
effects or disability.

I would hope this would pique your interest
because these procedures are minimally invasive
and allow patients to get back to work sooner.
This allows for less time out of work and less
time collecting disability!

The procedures I refer to are called ESWT
(extracorporeal shockwave therapy) and PRP
(platelet rich plasma). They are used for chronic
tendonitis, including plantar fasciitis and
Achilles tendonitis. These procedures are
extremely effective, have been in use for more
than 10 years and are FDA-approved.

Ironically, Horizon Blue Cross covered these
services 10 years ago but then decided they are,
in their terms “experimental and
investigational”. Or in the simplest of terms….
Too many people are opting for this simple
solution and it is having an adverse effect on
our bottom line! There is nothing experimental or
investigational about it. They are FDA-approved
procedures with thousands of patients that are
now pain free.

I appreciate that you are a no “BS” guy. But the
policies of these insurance carriers are
pure “BS”. Patients pay exorbitant premiums for
what they think is the ability to have quality
healthcare. This includes having accessibility to
the best trained doctors utilizing the latest and
most effective treatment modalities. Clearly,
these opportunities are not always available due
to the insurance company’s bottom line.

I am hoping this may shed some light on a very
frustrating state of affairs. I realize this may
be a very small part of the problem but your
attention would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your attention.


William A Sachs, DPM, Toms River, NJ,

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