FDAnews Device Daily Bulletin

AETNA WILL NOT COVER IMPLANT TO TREAT SEVERE DEPRESSION

April 25, 2006
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The health insurer Aetna said April 21 that it would not pay for a nerve-stimulating implant the government has approved as a last-ditch treatment for severe depression. While some analysts said the national noncoverage decision is a continuation of existing policy that came as no surprise, investors saw it as a blow for the device's manufacturer, Cyberonics. The company, based in Houston, has been citing previous case-by-case approvals of coverage by 8 of Aetna's more than 50 local and regional health plans as a sign of growing acceptance of the device among insurers. The New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/22/business/22device.html?ei=5088&en=bdafe2111364479d&ex=1303358400&adxnnl=1&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&adxnnlx=1145895165-BG8ZhYecMeanuEPEODfWvw)