Great news about cervical artificial disc insurance coverage

We recently received word that Blue Cross of Idaho has adopted a positive coverage policy for cervical total disc replacement!

BC of Idaho has over 400,000 covered lives and is the top payer in Idaho-a significant addition to the existing coverage for PDC in the state.

Important note: Typically, policy changes take some time to be communicated and thoroughly adopted by the administrators of insurance plans. There may be instances of continued denials of coverage. Please pass on this information to your surgeons’ staffs that do pre-authorizations for coverage. Make sure they have the updated policy to reference.

If you have questions regarding eligibility for cervical disc arthroplasty you may contact your insurance provider. You may also contact a Spine Center proficient in cervical disc arthroplasty, CDA Spine at (208) 765-9100.

“Spine” study suggests that Lumbar Fusion & Instrumentation are Not Connected to More Adjacent Level Reoperation

In a recent study published in Spine ( http://bit.ly/17d1CqS ), researchers performed a subgroup analysis of the Spine Patient Outcomes Research Trial (SPORT) to determine the risk of same segment or adjacent segment reoperation after lumbar stenosis surgery.
The study included 413 patients who underwent surgery for spinal stenosis, 13 percent of which required reoperation within four years.

“The study concluded that lumbar fusion and instrumentation were not associated with increased rate of reoperation at same level or adjacent levels compared with nonfusion surgery techniques. The only specific risk factor for reoperation after treatment of spinal stenosis was duration of pretreatment symptoms more than 12 months. The overall incidence of reoperations for spinal stenosis surgery was 13%, and reoperations were equally distributed between index and adjacent lumbar levels. Reoperation may be related to the natural history of spinal degenerative disease.” (credits to the authors)

It is feasible that current minimally invasive fusion techniques will further lessen re-operation rates by preservation of supporting tissues and more selective positioning of instrumentation to secure the index level and protect the adjacent levels.