More epilepsy patients could have access to procedures involving Monteris Medical’s NeuroBlate system after a new coverage update from health insurance giant Aetna.
The coverage update, which Monteris Medical announced today, involves Aetna’s medical policy for laser interstitial thermotherapy (LITT). It provides coverage for Aetna beneficiaries with refractory epilepsy who have met the established medical necessity criteria for a surgical treatment option.
“Our aim is to ensure that physicians can choose the most appropriate surgical approach for their patients. For many epilepsy patients, a minimally-invasive alternative will be the right choice,” Monteris Medical Martin J. Emerson said in a news release.
“By reducing the barriers for epilepsy patients seeking minimally-invasive intervention options, Aetna has empowered more individuals and their families to pursue options that will best meet their needs,” Emerson said.
The NeuroBlate surgical system is minimally invasive and robotic. It uses lasers to ablate brain lesions.
The coverage update from Aetna represents more good news for Monteris Medical after a rocky start to 2018, when FDA labeled a Monteris recall as Class I. The recall involving unexpected heating and damage to the tip of the probe when it interacted with an MRI.
Monteris Medical resolved the heating issue last month when it received FDA clearance for a laser probe with fiber optic controlled cooling to use in the NeuroBlate system. The probe replaced metal thermocouple inside the laser probe, and enabled Monteris to lift MR scan restrictions.
Also last month, Monteris announced that more than 2,000 patients have been treated with the NeuroBlate system since its market release in 2013.
Monteris Medical in June announced the completion of a $26.6 million Series C financing.