Eligible essential tremor (ET) patients can now access the benefit of reimbursement of focused ultrasound treatment through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in all 50 states.
In July 2016, Insightec’s Exablate Neuro focused ultrasound device was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to treat medication-refractory ET. Since then, the treatment – branded as Neuravive – has gained incremental reimbursement coverage by CMS. US Medicare coverage is divided into 12 regional Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) that administer local Medicare plans. As of July 12, 2020, the final MACs in the US – Novitas and First Coast Service Options – began covering focused ultrasound—based treatment of ET.
With this new ruling, patients in twelve states – Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas – and Washington, DC, join the rest of the US in being eligible for Medicare reimbursement for focused ultrasound—based treatment of essential tremor. Treatment sites in these states include Baptist Hospital of Miami, Boulder Community Health, University of Maryland Medical Center, and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.
“Widespread reimbursement for focused ultrasound therapy is a substantial hurdle in the evolution of the technology and a major initiative for the Foundation,” said the Foundation’s Director of Global Relations, Michael Broad, PhD. “This is a critical milestone for many essential tremor patients, because it offers them more choices for treatment centers, which could reduce travel time and costs.”
This ruling could also reduce wait times at some sites by more evenly spreading out the patient load. According to Insightec, there are 22 treatment centers in the United States currently treating patients on a regular basis. However, it’s important to keep in mind that not all treatment centers accept Medicare patients, so patients should confirm this beforehand.
For more information, see Insightec’s press release.
Learn More about Neuravive Treatment >
If you are interested in learning more about focused ultrasound treatment for essential tremor, it is best to contact the treatment site nearest you.
See a List of Treatment Centers around the World >
(Choose “essential tremor” in the “Search by Disease” dropdown.)
Julia | Essential Tremor
Julia is able to return to her hobbies like needlework and painting after focused ultrasound treatment stilled her essential tremors. This video sharing her story was produced in conjunction with the Consumer Technology Association’s Let’s Go Humans campaign.
Rick | Essential Tremor
Rick has essential tremor, a benign tremor that commonly affects one’s hands. He has suffered all his life with tremors that leave him embarrassed in public and unable to complete everyday tasks. After undergoing focused ultrasound treatment, his hands are still for the first time in his life.
Peter | Essential Tremor
Peter suffered from tremors since his teenage years. As his symptoms worsened and the uncontrollable shaking made everyday tasks like eating, drinking and dressing nearly impossible, he turned to focused ultrasound.
Jodi | Essential Tremor
Jodi suffered with essential tremor for nearly 20 years, and it took a toll on her career and her duties as a mom. After being treated with focused ultrasound, she is able to cuddle her children and hopes to give comfort and hope to others.
Mark and Muffin | Essential Tremor
Mark and his sister Muffin spent years watching their mother’s quality of life deteriorate as her tremor progressed to where she had great difficulty feeding herself. And then both of them felt their own tremor progressing and sought relief.
Sunny | Essential Tremor
The Michigan artist was forced to stop her creative pursuits once it became nearly impossible to work with her hands. After 50 years of dealing with the tremors, Sunny received focused ultrasound treatment at Ohio State Medical Center, and now she’s back to drawing and painting.
Sivi | Essential Tremor
Sivi Krishnan traveled internationally to receive focused ultrasound treatment for his essential tremor in 2013.
Bob | Essential Tremor
Bob Dienst is a man of many talents, but essential tremor sidelined him from his hobbies. That is, until his ‘life-changing’ focused ultrasound treatment.
Beverly | Essential Tremor
Beverly is a family nurse practitioner who researched treatments for essential tremor, learned about focused ultrasound, and then traveled more than 1,000 miles for the therapy.