The national coverage decision opens DRG treatment to some 22 million Aetna members, Abbott said. Aetna already covers treatment with Abbott’s spinal cord stimulation devices, the company said. It acquired the neurostim assets when it paid $25 billion for St. Jude Medical back in January 2017.
“Since its launch in the U.S., Abbott’s DRG stimulation has had a profound impact for people living with complex pain conditions. One of the most challenging stories we hear is when patients undergo a therapy trial, find pain relief and then learn their insurance won’t cover their therapy,” neuromodulation VP Keith Boettiger said in prepared remarks. “While Medicare already covers our DRG system, it’s encouraging to see private payers like Aetna review the clinical data and outcomes, then choose to provide access to DRG stimulation for their members. These decisions build on the momentum of broader national coverage decisions by private insurers and support the FDA’s goals to find new ways to combat the opioid epidemic with alternatives such as Abbott’s neurostimulation therapies.”
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