Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

FDA Has Approved Ankle Replacements, So Why Don't All U.S. Insurance Plans Cover Them?

Date:
June 4, 2009
Source:
Loyola University Health System
Summary:
It's been a decade since the US Food and Drug Administration approved the first total ankle-replacement system for patients with severe ankle arthritis. But several insurance companies still deny coverage, orthopaedic surgeons say.

It's been a decade since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first total ankle-replacement system for patients with severe ankle arthritis.

Related Articles


But several insurance companies still deny coverage, Loyola University Health System orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Michael Pinzur writes in a FootForum commentary in Foot & Ankle International, the official journal of the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society.

"It seems curious that the FDA agrees with the [foot and ankle society] that total ankle replacement is a reasonable treatment option . . . while several insurance providers do not find ankle replacement as a reasonable treatment option for ankle arthritis," Pinzur writes in the June issue.

An ankle replacement is an option for certain patients who suffer severe osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or injury-related arthritis that does not respond to more conservative treatments. In such patients, arthritis has destroyed cartilage, so the ankle joint is bone-on-bone.

An ankle replacement is similar to a knee or hip replacement. An implant is attached to the bottom of the tibia (shinbone) and to the talus (the first large bone of the foot). The smooth plastic surface of the tibial implant rotates on the polished metal surface of the talar implant.

Since approving the first total ankle-replacement system in 1999, the FDA has approved two other systems and given tentative approval to a third system. In 2003, the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society issued a statement that said a total ankle replacement "is a viable option for the treatment of ankle arthritis." And Medicare routinely covers ankle replacements.

Nevertheless, several insurance companies still deny coverage. They base their decision on a "meta-analysis" that concluded an ankle replacement was not a preferred treatment option. The meta-analysis compiled data from previous studies. It was sponsored by insurance companies and based on studies published in 2002 or earlier, Pinzur wrote.

"Should insurance companies make decisions on what treatments are appropriate and what treatments are deemed experimental?" Pinzur's commentary asks.

Pinzur is a professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. He has performed more than 50 ankle replacements.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Loyola University Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Loyola University Health System. "FDA Has Approved Ankle Replacements, So Why Don't All U.S. Insurance Plans Cover Them?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090604113928.htm>.
Loyola University Health System. (2009, June 4). FDA Has Approved Ankle Replacements, So Why Don't All U.S. Insurance Plans Cover Them?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090604113928.htm
Loyola University Health System. "FDA Has Approved Ankle Replacements, So Why Don't All U.S. Insurance Plans Cover Them?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090604113928.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins