Heart Rhythm Society Commends CMS' Final Decision on Expanding ICD Coverage
Hundreds of Thousands of Cardiac Patients Are Now Eligible
WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is a statement attributable to Stephen C. Hammill, M.D., President, Heart Rhythm Society (formerly NASPE): "We strongly support the final decision of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to expand coverage of implantable cardioverter defibrillator devices (ICDs) for Medicare beneficiaries. Since private insurance companies will likely follow suit, this is a landmark decision that could potentially save the lives of hundreds of thousands of patients with heart failure and heart disease. "As the professional society for heart rhythm specialists who diagnose and treat patients with heart rhythm disorders including ICD implantation, we applaud CMS for implementing coverage immediately and providing patients with access to this lifesaving therapy. "In addition, the Society is supportive of the national ICD registry called for in CMS' recent coverage decision. The registry will track the certification of implanting physicians, which will be extremely important in assessing the quality of care. We agree with CMS' decision to 'strongly encourage credentialing and certification of physicians who insert ICDs by appropriate national organizations, such as the Heart Rhythm Society.' "The Society is working with the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and other stakeholders including CMS on the future ICD Registry. "We also are extremely pleased that CMS has decided to expand coverage to the following patient populations: * Patients with left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) of 35 percent or less due to either ischemic or non-ischemic cardiomyopathy independent of QRS duration; and * Class IV patients who meet criteria for cardiac resynchronization therapy. "CMS also has removed the 'shock-only' language and requirement as a baseline for coverage and will now allow ICDs capable of pacing. "We look forward to helping both CMS to implement its coverage decision and patients to gain wider access to this life-saving technology. We strongly support CMS' decision to expand access to a technology that has been proven as a primary prevention therapy for sudden cardiac arrest." The Heart Rhythm Society is the international leader in science, education, and advocacy for cardiac arrhythmia professionals and patients, and the primary information resource on heart rhythm disorders. Its mission is to improve the care of patients by promoting research, education and optimal health care policies and standards. The Society was incorporated in 1979, and has a membership of over 3,500 physicians and associated professionals in over 65 countries around the world. Its office is in Washington, DC. Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link. Stephen C. Hammill, MD http://profnet.prnewswire.com/ud_public.jsp?userid=500079 Anne B. Curtis, MD, FACC http://profnet.prnewswire.com/ud_public.jsp?userid=500084
SOURCE Heart Rhythm Society
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