Insurers Cover Focused Ultrasound Therapy in Germany, but Not US

Released: 6/21/2011 10:40 AM EDT
Source Newsroom: Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation
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Health insurance reimbursement for MR-guided focused ultrasound treatments is theme of latest FUS Foundation newsletter

Newswise — CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (June 21, 2011) – What’s easier: gaining regulatory approval for a new medical device, or convincing insurers to cover the treatments it provides? According to Susan Klees of the Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation, many experts say regulatory approval is the easier task.

An interview with Klees is one of the reimbursement-related articles featured in the June 2011 issue of the foundation’s online newsletter. As Director of Patient Access, she is deeply engaged in the issues of health insurance reimbursement for MR-guided focused ultrasound in the U.S. In what may come as a surprise, she believes that medical researchers can play an important role in ensuring favorable reimbursement decisions.

Another interview features German radiologist Matthais Matzko, MD. He has not only created the most successful and busiest focused ultrasound center in Europe, but also convinced leading medical insurers to provide reimbursement for the uterine fibroid treatments he performs.

Rounding out coverage is a profile of Stephanie Small, the young and extremely gracious uterine fibroid patient featured recently on CBS Evening News. Denied coverage by her health insurer, she downloaded the Reimbursement Resource Toolkit from the Foundation’s Fibroid Relief website. Ultimately, Small decided to participate in a clinical trial rather than appeal her insurance company’s decision. Now fully recovered, she has become an advocate for MR-guided focused ultrasound and for patient empowerment, especially among young fibroid sufferers like herself.

About the Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation
Driven by the desire to save lives, alleviate suffering and prevent disability, the Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation is devoted to advancing one of modern medicine’s most promising and game-changing technologies, noninvasive magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound (FUS).

Founded in 2006 and based in Charlottesville, Virginia, the Foundation is a high-performance, not-for-profit organization with global reach and an entrepreneurial spirit. To accelerate the availability and reimbursement of FUS treatments, we host symposia and workshops, fund research and fellowships, support the establishment of FUS Centers of Excellence, promote patient awareness and education, and serve as the nexus of a collaborative research network consisting of sites and investigators around the world. Our work is made possible by contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations. For complete information, visit www.fusfoundation.org.


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