PLYMOUTH, Minn., Nov. 29, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Monteris Medical, the leader in image-guided laser interstitial thermotherapy (LITT), is pleased to announce that health insurance provider Aetna has updated their medical policy for LITT and will provide coverage to its beneficiaries with refractory epilepsy when the established medical necessity criteria for a surgical treatment option has been met. With this expanded coverage from one of the country's largest health care insurance companies, the minimally-invasive NeuroBlate System can now be made available to more patients suffering from refractory epilepsy. Aetna's coverage update reflects continued recognition that LITT is a viable alternative option to an open, more invasive, surgical resection.
"Our aim is to ensure that physicians can choose the most appropriate surgical approach for their patients. For many epilepsy patients, a minimally-invasive alternative will be the right choice," said Martin J. Emerson, CEO of Monteris Medical. "By reducing the barriers for epilepsy patients seeking minimally-invasive intervention options, Aetna has empowered more individuals and their families to pursue options that will best meet their needs."
Epilepsy is a condition that results in recurrent seizures. In some patients, physicians can identify a focal point within the brain, including lesions or abnormal tissue, in which the seizures originate. Historically, epilepsy patients who do not respond to multiple anti-seizure medications may become candidates for open surgery. For many patients, the benefits of surgery to destroy epileptic tissue and disable complex partial seizures are often greater than continued treatment with anti-epileptic drugs alone. LITT is a surgical option for destroying these lesions. Aetna's updated policy will allow epilepsy patients who are considered surgical candidates to have access to a minimally invasive alternative to open surgery. With expanded coverage available to 22 million Aetna beneficiaries, more patients will have access to the NeuroBlate System.
The NeuroBlate System utilizes robotically controlled laser thermotherapy that directs a MRI-guided laser to ablate unwanted tissue in the brain where the lesion, or abnormal tissue, originates. Unlike traditional brain surgery, a procedure with the NeuroBlate System does not require a large opening in the skull. Instead, surgeons create a small hole in the skull, about the diameter of a pencil. While the patient is in the MRI machine, the doctor guides a small laser device (probe) through the hole and into the lesion. The precise nature of the procedure helps to lessen the likelihood of harm to nearby healthy brain tissue. Since market release in 2013, 125 leading surgeons at 60 hospitals across the U.S. and Canada have used the company's NeuroBlate System on more than 2,000 patients. Nearly all those patients have suffered from epilepsy, glioblastomas, recurrent brain metastases or radiation necrosis.
For more information about Monteris and full prescribing information for the NeuroBlate System, please visit www.monteris.com.
About Monteris® and the NeuroBlate® System
Monteris Medical is a privately held company that develops and markets innovative MRI-guided, laser-based systems for the ablation of brain lesions. Current investors include Versant Ventures, SightLine Partners, Birchview Capital and BDC Capital. The Monteris NeuroBlate System is the only minimally invasive cranial access system that enables a robotic interface for the precise and safe delivery of laser energy. The NeuroBlate System is a surgical tool (as opposed to a "treatment") and is not intended to treat any specific disease. Physicians should use their clinical judgment and experience when deciding whether to use NeuroBlate.
SOURCE Monteris Medical