- Numerous insurance companies have begun to restrict the use of laparoscopic power morcellators during hysterectomies following the FDA's warning that it shouldn't be used on most women due to cancer risks.
- According to a Wall Street Journal review, insurers covering about 93 million Americans have curtailed use of the device or are considering restrictions.
- Those considering new policies include Health Care Service Corp. and Aetna Inc. Those that have already taken action against morcellator usage include UnitedHealth Group, Highmark Inc., UPMC Health Plan, Blue Shield of California, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and AmeriHealth Caritas.
The fact that insurers are driving change in the provision of hysterectomies has been controversial in the healthcare industry, as Healthcare Dive has previously reported.
"Plans are looking very seriously at this," Karen Ignagni, president and chief executive of America's Health Insurance Plans, told the Wall Street Journal. The group is collecting data on how insurers are handling the subject at the request of US Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania.
Ignagni notes that some insurers are continuing to cover the use of morcellators while they weigh evidence and consider the positions of the FDA and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which seeks to keep morcellators as an available option for some patients.
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