Heart Rhythm Society Supports CMS' Decision to Expand ICD Coverage - Registry Should Not Delay Implementation

Sep 28, 2004, 01:00 ET from Heart Rhythm Society

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 28 /PRNewswire/ --
     Statement attributable to:
 Stephen C. Hammill, M.D., President, Heart Rhythm Society (formerly NASPE)
     "We are pleased that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
 has decided to expand coverage of implantable cardioverter defibrillator
 devices (ICDs) for heart failure patients at risk for sudden cardiac death
 (SCD). We are concerned, however, that establishing a registry could delay
 patients from receiving this lifesaving therapy.
     "In addition, we support CMS' deletion of the limitation of only
 implanting devices in heart attack survivor patients with a QRS duration of
 greater than 120 ms, as recommended by HRS.
     "As the professional society for heart rhythm specialists who diagnose and
 treat patients with heart rhythm disorders and heart failure, we have other
 concerns with the following requirements listed in the CMS decision:
      * A limitation of coverage to patients with an ejection fraction of less
        than 30 percent;
      * Exclusion of Class IV patients who require cardiac resynchronization
      * The requirement of single lead, shock-only devices as a baseline for
        coverage without additional pacing capabilities.
     "We look forward to submitting comments and working with CMS to address
 these concerns. We strongly support CMS' decision to expand access to a
 technology that has been proven to save lives."
     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.  It has offices in Washington, DC and Natick,

SOURCE Heart Rhythm Society