CMS to expand coverage for artificial hearts

CMS wants to expand coverage for artificial heart devices to provide a "patient-centered approach to treating end-stage heart disease."

The policy change would affect artificial hearts and ventricular assist devices, which are used to treat patients with advanced heart failure. Currently, Medicare only covers these artificial heart devices when beneficiaries are enrolled in a clinical study.

Under the new policy, artificial hearts could be covered without being linked to a clinical study. Coverage determinations for artificial hearts would be made by local Medicare Administrative Contractors.  

CMS said while a small number of Medicare patients receive artificial hearts, the proposed coverage expansion would treat end-stage heart disease without causing delays. 

Read more here.

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