Monteris Medical, the leader in minimally invasive image-guided laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT), announced today that health insurance provider Aetna has updated its medical policy and will provide coverage to its beneficiaries with recurrent brain metastases, radiation necrosis and recurrent glioblastoma. The revised policy also identifies coverage for those who are poor surgical candidates for open resection, when surgery presents prohibitive surgical risk and for tumor locations that are surgically inaccessible, extending coverage to more than 39 million people. This announcement follows a 2018 policy update by Aetna that covers patients with drug-resistant epilepsy when medical criteria are met.
“The inclusion of LITT in Aetna’s policy revision has a tremendously positive impact for those battling brain cancer and its effects,” said Dr. Peter E. 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. “Our LITT patients at Duke have shown a strong preference for a minimally invasive procedure so that they may return to their normal activities quickly. Quality of life and time matters for these patients and their families.”
The NeuroBlate® System utilizes robotically controlled laser thermal therapy that directs the MR-guided laser to ablate tissue in the brain where brain tumors and epileptogenic seizures originate. NeuroBlate provides precise and maximal brain lesion ablation without the invasiveness and recovery of an open surgical procedure. Published evidence shows that those who undergo a NeuroBlate procedure experience short hospitalization, little or no intensive care stay, low complications and low readmission rates.
“The latest policy update by Aetna reflects the forward motion of LITT over the past several years as it has become a mainstream neurosurgical procedure for appropriate patients,” said Lisa Hayden, senior vice president of market access and chief compliance officer of Monteris. “With prospective peer-reviewed evidence generated from our own LAANTERN study, inclusion in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® guidelines, dedicated CPT® codes for LITT and published position statements by the major neurosurgical societies, health insurance providers have responded with expanded access to the NeuroBlate procedure for millions of covered lives.”