CMS Updates NCD on Artificial Hearts and VADs

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on Dec. 1 updated its national coverage determination (NCD) for artificial hearts and ventricular assist devices (VADs).

Of note, CMS is eliminating the NCD for artificial hearts, therefore removing the coverage with evidence development (CED) requirement, and instead will defer to the standard determination process where coverage decisions are made by local Medicare Administrative Contractors. Additionally, CMS has revised the NCD for VADs that will allow for coverage of these devices for both bridge-to-transplant and destination therapy.

The ACC along with the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the Heart Failure Society of America and the American Association for Thoracic Surgery submitted comments in response to the proposed coverage. The societies opposed the removal of the CED requirement for artificial hearts and related devices, supporting the change in approach to coverage of VADs and strongly advocating that durable VADs should be covered for treatment of patients with advanced stage heart failure without distinction between therapeutic goal.

Additional information can be found on the CMS website.

Clinical Topics: Arrhythmias and Clinical EP, Cardiac Surgery, Heart Failure and Cardiomyopathies, Cardiac Surgery and Arrhythmias, Cardiac Surgery and Heart Failure, Acute Heart Failure, Mechanical Circulatory Support

Keywords: ACC Advocacy, Heart-Assist Devices, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S., Medicare, Thoracic Surgery, Medicaid, Heart, Artificial, Heart Failure

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