Thursday, May 19, 2016

CMS Opens NCD on Leadless Pacemakers; NCD on gender assignment surgery to appear June 3

CMS currently has four open NCD topics, the fourth having been opened on May 18, 2016.

Leadless Pacemakers
The newest topic is a coverage decision on leadless pacemakers.   Leadless pacemakers have some advantages (they are - leadless!) but some disadvantages as well.   CMS is soliciting public comments until June 17, 2016, and then will go into research mode until releasing a draft NCD around November 18, 2016.

Gender Reassignment
Another open NCD process is considering coverage for gender reassignment surgery.  CMS had a negative NCD from 1981 until May 2014, when a judicial decision threw out the old noncoverage as not based on reasonable science (the actual decision here).  The new NCD process was announced in December 2015, and a draft NCD will appear by June 3, 2016 (request letter here; CMS website here).   Between May 2014 and a future finalization date of the in-process NCD (September 1, 2016), gender reassignment surgical coverage is at MAC discretion.

Lumbar Surgery; Hepatitis B Screening
To finish the tally of four open NCDs, an NCD for percutaneous image guided lumbar decompression is underway until a draft decision in October 2016, and an NCD on the Hepatitis B screening test coverage is underway until a draft decision in July 2016.