The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have finalized a plan that will cover magnetic resonance imaging scans for patients with implanted cardiac devices, including pacemakers, cardioverter defibrillators and cardiac resynchronization therapy devices. The finalized decision, will allow Medicare patients with MR-conditional devices to have their MRI scans covered by the national healthcare program. Patients with non-MR-conditional devices will also be reimbursed, but only when the MRI machine is 1.5 Tesla or less in normal operating mode.
The proposal was backed with data from a 1500-patient study published last December in the New England Journal of Medicine which found that even scans of individuals with non-MR-conditional devices could be safely scanned. The finalized decision included a handful of changes, including the removal of a proposed requirement that patients not be pacemaker dependent and a proposal that patients must wait at least six weeks after implantation or revision surgeries. Changes also include requiring medical staff with expertise on hand. – MassDevice