Debate Continues Over Medicare Coverage For Carotid Artery Stenting
This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet
Cardiovascular device manufacturers are urging CMS to rethink a proposal issued last month not to expand the Medicare covered population for carotid artery stenting
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In a Sept. 10 1proposal, CMS signals plans to once again decline to expand the Medicare covered population for carotid artery stenting, despite data published since two prior reconsiderations in 2007 and 2008. The agency opened a coverage analysis in March on its own initiative after new data was published by carotid stent makers Johnson & Johnson and Abbott, sparking hopes in the interventional cardiology community that a larger proportion of patients included in FDA-approved labeling would be covered, in particular patients with significant arterial blockage, but no symptoms (2"The Gray Sheet" March 23, 2009). Ultimately, CMS found that the "evidence base for carotid artery stenting continues to be of lower quality." A final decision is expected in December
CMS is again considering whether to expand Medicare coverage for carotid artery stenting
Physicians interested in expanding Medicare coverage for carotid stenting were taken by surprise last week when CMS issued a decision to maintain its current policies just one day before new data supporting the procedure were published