Monteris Medical, the leader in MR-guided laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT or laser ablation), announced today that Cigna, a global health services company and one of the largest commercial payors in the United States, has released a national coverage policy supporting the use of LITT for people with brain tumors and drug-resistant epilepsy.
The medical coverage policy by Cigna considers LITT medically necessary in the treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy and symptomatic brain tumors and radiation necrosis when medical necessity is met, and the patient is not suitable for open brain surgery.
“Many patients with brain tumors face situations in which traditional, open surgery is neither possible, nor the preferred approach. This policy decision by Cigna offers appropriate patients greater access to a targeted, minimally invasive technology that can positively impact their care and improve their quality of life,” said Dr. Peter Fecci, director of the Brain Tumor Immunotherapy Program and the Center for Brain and Spine Metastasis at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, N.C.
A growing body of peer-reviewed clinical evidence continues to show medical advantages of minimally invasive, MR-guided laser ablation technology due to decreased morbidity, faster recovery time, shorter hospital and intensive care stay, and an ability to access lesions not amenable to open surgery. Laser ablation also represents an alternative to surgery for patients with significant comorbidities.
“Cigna and other national payors have progressively widened access to care for the patients we serve. This policy announcement is the latest in a continuum of advancements for LITT, establishing its position in the care pathway for patients and their families afflicted by brain tumors and epilepsy,” said Martin J. Emerson, president and chief executive officer of Monteris Medical.
The Cigna coverage policy follows recently issued position statements on the use of LITT for epilepsy and brain tumors, respectively, by the major neurosurgical societies, inclusion of LITT in guidelines issued by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network®, and Category Level 1 CPT® codes approved by the American Medical Association with an effective date of January, 2022.
Source: Monteris Medical.