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Expanded Medicare coverage for implantable cardioverter defibrillators is welcome, but the number of additional patients who will qualify for coverage is much smaller than anticipated.
"The news is mixed in the sense that there will be [new] patients who will now qualify for coverage; the difficult aspect of this is that many patients who might truly benefit from this therapy may be excluded by not meeting the criteria that's been espoused," said Dr. Mark Schoenfeld, who is the immediate past president of NASPE (now known as NASPE-Heart Rhythm Society) and a cardiologist at Yale University, New Haven.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced last month that it would expand ICD coverage. CMS also is working on a national coverage decision …