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MRI Coverage Proposals: A 'Go' For Blood Flow, 'No' For Pacemaker Patients

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

Use of magnetic resonance imaging to assess heart valve disease in Medicare patients may be an easier proposition for physicians if a June 30 CMS coverage 1proposal is adopted

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MRI coverage decision

CMS will allow local Medicare contractors to cover magnetic resonance imaging for measuring cardiac blood flow under a Sept. 28 1final decision. Until now, MRI for this purpose has been non-covered nationally. However, CMS is still forbidding coverage for MRI in patients who have a cardiac pacemaker. Medtronic, which is pursuing U.S. approval for its MRI-safe EnRhythm MRI SureScan pacemaker, had asked CMS to permit coverage for MRI procedures in patients with pacemakers or defibrillators that have been FDA-approved for use in an MRI environment (2"The Gray Sheet" July 6, 2009). CMS said Medtronic's request was "premature," since no MRI-safe pacemakers or ICDs have yet received FDA approval. Medtronic told "The Gray Sheet" that it expects to gain approval for EnRhythm and launch it in the U.S. by October 2010

MRI coverage decision

CMS will allow local Medicare contractors to cover magnetic resonance imaging for measuring cardiac blood flow under a Sept. 28 1final decision. Until now, MRI for this purpose has been non-covered nationally. However, CMS is still forbidding coverage for MRI in patients who have a cardiac pacemaker. Medtronic, which is pursuing U.S. approval for its MRI-safe EnRhythm MRI SureScan pacemaker, had asked CMS to permit coverage for MRI procedures in patients with pacemakers or defibrillators that have been FDA-approved for use in an MRI environment (2"The Gray Sheet" July 6, 2009). CMS said Medtronic's request was "premature," since no MRI-safe pacemakers or ICDs have yet received FDA approval. Medtronic told "The Gray Sheet" that it expects to gain approval for EnRhythm and launch it in the U.S. by October 2010

Boston, Medtronic Differ On Views For MRI Coverage In Pacemaker Patients

Boston Scientific says it agrees with CMS' decision to refrain from covering magnetic resonance imaging in cardiac pacemaker and implantable defibrillator patients for now

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