The special focus of the June 2011 Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation newsletter is reimbursement from health insurers, an important factor in ensuring the widespread adoption of MR-guided focused ultrasound therapies. First up is an interview with German radiologist Matthais Matzko, MD. He has not only created the most successful and busiest focused ultrasound center in Europe, but also convinced leading insurers to provide reimbursement for the uterine fibroid treatments he performs.
Next, is an interview with the Foundation’s own Susan Klees. As Director of Patient Access, she has become immersed in the reimbursement conversation here in the U.S. In what may come as a surprise, she believes that the research community can play an important role in ensuring the success of the reimbursement process.
Finally, we provide a brief profile of Stephanie Small, the young and extremely gracious uterine fibroid patient who allowed CBS Evening News to tape her procedure last December. Denied coverage by her medical insurer, she downloaded the Reimbursement Resource Toolkit from the Foundation’s Fibroid Relief website. Ultimately, Small decided to participate in a clinical trial rather than appeal her insurance company’s decision. Now fully recovered, she has become an advocate for patients, especially young women like herself.
We will revisit the topic of reimbursement as the field of MR-guided focused ultrasound evolves. In the meantime, summer is upon us, and we hope your holidays are safe and enjoyable.