News | February 04, 2008

Premera Blue Cross Covers Microvolt T-Wave Alternans Testing

February 5, 2008 - Premera Blue Cross has revised its Corporate Medical Policy to make Microvolt T-Wave Alternans Testing a covered benefit, as CMS and the American College of Cardiology consider it an important diagnostic test for the evaluation of patients with LV dysfunction.

Premera Blue Cross provides healthcare benefits to more than 1.5 million members in Washington and Alaska. The revised policy now states: “T-Wave Alternans testing may be considered medically necessary as a technique of risk stratification for the evaluation of persons at risk of sudden cardiac death who meet criteria for implantable cardioverter defibrillator placement.”

In its 2008 review of Microvolt T-Wave Alternans (MTWA) testing Premera Blue Cross notes:

“Both CMS and the American College of cardiology consider MTWA to be a medically useful diagnostic test for the evaluation of patients with LV dysfunction at high risk of sudden cardiac death and also a useful risk stratification tool to identify which patients are at negligible risk of sudden cardiac death.”

“We are very pleased with the decision by Premera Blue Cross to expand its coverage policy to include MTWA testing,” stated Ali Haghighi-Mood, Chief Executive Officer of Cambridge Heart, Inc. “By offering this benefit to its members, Premera joins a host of providers who have recognized the prognostic value of MTWA for those at risk of Sudden Cardiac Death.” MTWA testing is currently covered by Medicare, Medicaid and many private insurers including Wellpoint/Anthem BCBS, HCSC BCBS, Aetna, Cigna and Humana.

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