Aetna is just the latest insurer to restrict coverage for uterine morcellation since concerns about the potential for power morcellators to spread and upstage undetected uterine cancers were first raised last year.
New York, New York (PRWEB) May 07, 2015
Aetna, Inc. has announced that it will end routine coverage for gynecological surgeries that involve the use of a laparoscopic power morcellator (http://www.morcellatorlawsuit2015.com) because the safety and efficacy of this approach has not been demonstrated. Beginning May 15th, physicians must obtain prior approval for hysterectomies and myomectomies that require uterine morcellation.*
“Aetna is just the latest insurer to restrict coverage for uterine morcellation since concerns about the potential for power morcellators to spread and upstage undetected uterine cancers were first raised last year. In light of these issues, we commend the company for this decision,” says Sandy A. Liebhard, a partner at Bernstein Liebhard LLP, a nationwide law firm representing victims of defective drugs and medical devices. The Firm is providing free legal consultations to women who were diagnosed with advanced uterine cancer following surgery with a power morcellator.
Power Morcellators and Cancer
Power morcellators are used in minimally invasive hysterectomies and myomectomies (fibroid removals) to shred uterine tissue so that it can be removed through a small abdominal incision. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) launched a review of the devices in April 2014, and publicly discouraged doctors from performing uterine morcellation because of concerns that morcellation could potentially spread undetected uterine cancers into the peritoneall cavity. This occurrence could result in an upstaging of the disease, and significantly reduce a woman’s chances for long-term survival.**
This past November, the agency issued a second stronger warning which cautioned against the use of power morcellators in the majority of women who require hysterectomy and fibroid removals. The FDA also asked morcellator manufacturers to add a new black box warning – the strongest possible safety notice – regarding this life-threatening complication to their labels.
According to Bernstein Liebhard LLP, numerous insurers have since taken steps to limit coverage for uterine morcellation. Most recently, UnitedHealthCare announced that it would require preauthorization for all hysterectomies, except those which don’t require the use of a morcellator.*** In September 2014, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania-based Capital BlueCross announced it would discontinue approval for such procedures**** Highmark, Inc., one of the nation’s largest Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance companies, announced similar restrictions the previous month. ***** Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Harvard Pilgrim and Fallon Health have also imposed restrictions on the procedures.******
"It is encouraging that the insurance industry is taking steps to address this serious public health issue, and we certainly hope this trend will continue," said Mr. Liebhard.
Alleged victims of uterine cancers that were spread via a power morcellator may be entitled to compensation for their injury-related damages. To learn more, please visit Bernstein Liebhard LLPs website, or call the Firm directly for a free, no-obligation case review at 800-511-5092.
*news.aetna.com/policy-use-power-morcellator-uterine-fibroid-removal/, Aetna, Inc. May 5, 2015
**fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm424435.htm, FDA, November 24, 2014
*** fiercemedicaldevices.com/story/unitedhealth-require-prior-authorization-gynecological-procedures-amid-morc/2015-02-27, Fierce Medical Devices, February 27, 2015
****capbluecross.com/wps/wcm/connect/cbc-public/cbc/aboutus/press+room/news+releases/2014+news+releases/morcellatorcoveragediscontinued, Capital BlueCross, August 2014
*****in.reuters.com/article/2014/08/02/highmark-procedure-idINL2N0Q80IY20140802, Reuters, August 3, 2014
******telegram.com/article/20140809/NEWS/308099942/0, Worcester Telegram, August 9, 2014
About Bernstein Liebhard LLP
Bernstein Liebhard LLP is a New York-based law firm exclusively representing injured persons in complex individual and class action lawsuits nationwide since 1993. As a national law firm, Bernstein Liebhard LLP possesses all of the legal and financial resources required to successfully challenge billion dollar pharmaceutical and medical device companies. As a result, our attorneys and legal staff have been able to recover more than $3 billion on behalf of our clients. The National Law Journal has recognized Bernstein Liebhard for twelve consecutive years as one of the top plaintiffs' firms in the country. Bernstein Liebhard LLP is the only firm in the country to be named to this prestigious list every year since it was first published in 2003.
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ATTORNEY ADVERTISING. © 2015 Bernstein Liebhard LLP. The law firm responsible for this advertisement is Bernstein Liebhard LLP, 10 East 40th Street, New York, New York 10016, 800-511-5092. Prior results do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future matter.
Sandy A. Liebhard, Esq.
Bernstein Liebhard LLP