Small Bone Innovations (SBi), an orthopedics company, reported that UniCare, a subsidiary of WellPoint Health Networks, has revised its coverage policy to cover Total Ankle Replacement (TAR) systems that are FDA-approved and cleared.
UniCare’s positive decision on TAR coverage further increases the number of individuals in commercial plans with access to TAR by 7%, according to SBi’s reimbursement consultant, Musculoskeletal Clinical Regulatory Advisers (MCRA).
The increase follows the positive decision by Aetna and CIGNA, and raises the total number of individuals in commercial plans with access to TAR by 24%.
MCRA Health Economics Reimbursement and Public Policy vice president Charles Schneider said the majority of the largest US commercial carriers, such as Aetna, CIGNA and UniCare, have modified or revised their coverage policies to support patient access to TAR procedures having determined that solutions such as the STAR ankle are safe, effective and offer a clinically proven treatment option for patients suffering from end-stage ankle arthritis.
"The STAR ankle in particular has demonstrated superior effectiveness and comparable safety to ankle fusion in a US prospective, multi-center IDE clinical trial," Schneider said.