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CMS Fields Many Suggestions And Criticisms On Proposed VAD Policy

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

Several stakeholders are still pushing CMS to recognize “bridge-to-decision” heart failure patients who may eventually be suitable for a heart transplant but are not so at the time they receive a ventricular assist device.

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Tug Of War In The LVAD Market

With the rivalry between Thoratec and HeartWare intensifying in the LVAD space, all eyes are now on recent strategic acquisitions by both companies, as well as ongoing clinical studies and next-generation devices in the pipeline.

CMS Sticks To Its Original Thinking In Final VAD Coverage Decision

The agency’s Oct. 31 national coverage determination for ventricular assist devices differs little from the August proposal – a result that analysts are speculating could benefit VAD maker Thoratec and potentially disadvantage HeartWare.

Physicians Want CMS To Rethink Indications For LVADs, Recognize “Bridge-To-Decision” Patients

The current two-indication system for approving and covering left-ventricular assist devices does not reflect the reality of heart failure patients receiving these devices, according to transplant surgeons.

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