Medicare Establishes Payment Level for Treatment of Tremor

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has set the institutional payment for focused ultrasound treatment for essential tremor at approximately $10,000. After two years CMS will reevaluate the payment level based on the actual costs of treatments performed during that interval.


CMS logoFocused ultrasound has the potential to improve the quality of life and decrease the cost of care for many patients suffering with essential tremor. For this potential to be realized, focused ultrasound must be widely adopted as a standard of care, which requires evidence of safety and efficacy and sufficient reimbursement to allow healthcare institutions to acquire the equipment and train physicians to use it. 

Robust evidence of safety and efficacy of focused ultrasound to treat certain patients with essential tremor has been achieved through a clinical trial, the results of which served as the basis for the July 2016 FDA approval for this indication. The study’s final data were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in August 2016.

While the level of reimbursement currently approved by CMS is less than desired by the neurosurgical community, it is hopefully sufficient to allow adequate numbers of patients to be treated during the next two years to generate the cost data that will allow CMS to adjust the level of payment.

Focused ultrasound to treat essential tremor is the first brain disorder to be approved by the FDA and the first to be reimbursed by Medicare. These approvals serve as the predicate to treat other brain indications including tumors, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, and reversibly opening the blood brain barrier to enable delivery of a range of cutting-edge therapies for a variety of other neurological disorders that are in earlier stages of research and development.

We anticipate Medicare reimbursement for patient treatments will be available after the first of the year. 

Comments   
0 #33 FUS Foundation 2018-02-05 16:25
Hi Stephen,

Unfortunately, at this time, the treatment is not officially covered by Medicare. In this article, we reported that the first step has been taken, but we are still awaiting full approval for reimbursement.
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0 #32 stephen hurst 2018-01-15 18:23
HI ...we lived in Pal desert, any institution that will take Medicare as a payment for treatment , Thank you for any information
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-1 #31 FUS Foundation 2018-01-09 12:15
Hello Harish,

Focused ultrasound is similar to Gamma Knife in that it non-invasively targets tissue deep in the brain. However, one major difference is that there is significant radiation exposure with Gamma Knife therapy, but with focused ultrasound, there is no radiation exposure. This means that patients can be treated with focused ultrasound as many times as necessary.

Physicians are offering focused ultrasound treatment (branded as Neuravive) at the Ohio State Medical Center. You can find the appropriate contact information here: https://usa.essential-tremor.com/treatment-centers/
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0 #30 FUS Foundation 2018-01-09 12:10
Hello Kay,

Unfortunately, I am not aware of any treatment centers in South Carolina. Here is a helpful link to find sites nearest you: https://usa.essential-tremor.com/treatment-centers/
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-1 #29 Harish 2018-01-07 21:01
since 8 years hands are shaking and now badly worsening. I am from Columbus, Ohio and 76. I appreciate your help if you provide how to start and where to apply.
Did not take any medication for this being worried for side effects. which is better Gamma knife or neuravive treatment? or they are the same?
Thanks in advance for help.
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+1 #28 Kay melba 2018-01-05 20:59
Are there any places in South Carolina doing neuravive. Thank you
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0 #27 FUSFoundation 2017-12-22 15:28
Hello Sally,

Yes, there is one site in Florida that is treating patients with essential tremor. You can find the appropriate contact information here: https://usa.essential-tremor.com/treatment-centers/
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0 #26 Sally woodward 2017-12-17 14:09
Any places in Florida. I live in The Villages where out support group consists of at least 50 peo
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0 #25 FUSFoundation 2017-12-08 15:33
Hello N. Bailey,

Centers in the US treating essential tremor using focused ultrasound can be found here: https://www.insightec.com/us/treatment-centers/neurosurgery
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0 #24 N. Bailey 2017-11-19 21:33
How do I start ? I live in Texas.

Thank you
N. Bailey
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