Big Insurers Consider NuVasive Spine Surgery Procedure Experimental But Laser Spine Is Ok With United Healthcare
Posted Dec 02 2009 10:39pm
This is a minimally invasive procedure that creates a small incision versus a large incision, some local insurers are paying for the surgical procedure but as the article states here the big guys are out as far as paying for it.
In the meantime, press release came out today that Laser Spine has a big contract with United Healthcare. I am not sure if they perform the exact same procedures, but both have minimally invasive techniques. With a contract here you may somewhat wonder what price breaks may be taking place with one company versus the other, in the meantime, what do the doctors have to say? BD
NEW YORK - Shares of medical device maker NuVasive Inc. fell Tuesday, but rebounded off session lows, as investors remained concerned that health insurers will not reimburse doctors who use the company's XLIF spinal surgery procedure.
The San Diego company held a conference call Monday night addressing reimbursement rates by health insurers. It confirmed that recently three insurers have listed XLIF — in which surgeons operate on the spine through small incisions in the side rather than through a large incision in the back — as "experimental."
That means the insurers will not reimburse surgeons who perform it. But NuVasive said surgeons are still performing the procedure and it maintained its profit and sales forecasts for 2009, and its expectations for growth in 2010.
NuVasive said surgeons are still able to get reimbursement for XLIF procedures at local and regional levels, and the company is working to reverse the decision. But analysts said other health insurers might adopt the guidelines now being used by Aetna, Cigna and UnitedHealth Group.