The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced Tuesday that transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), a less-invasive approach to treat aortic stenosis, will be covered for Medicare patients under certain conditions because the technology is new. Using “coverage with evidence development” as a condition will require that specified physician, facility and data collection be met to ensure patient safety.
Previously, repairing damaged heart valves was only accomplished through invasive surgery. TAVR technology allows physicians to replace an aortic valve via a catheter inserted through a small opening in the leg.
“This decision is particularly important as it highlights cooperative efforts among CMS, the Food and Drug Administration, medical specialty societies and the medical device industry,” said CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, in a press release.