Medical groups push back on Cigna policy change

Medical societies representing 95,000 members have expressed their "profound objection" to Cigna's characterization of closed-loop spinal cord stimulation therapy as "experimental, investigational, and/or unproven." 

"It is our firm belief that such a classification does a disservice to patients and neglects the scientific research, rigorous clinical trials, and evidence supporting the efficacy of closed-loop SCS therapy," the 11 groups said in a Nov. 30 letter to Cigna. Signees include the American Academy of Pain Medicine, American Association of Neurological Surgeons, American Society of Spine Radiology and American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

The groups said they believed closed-loop SCS devices should be covered under similar provisions as other SCS devices. 

"The scientific community at large recognizes closed-loop SCS as an evolutionary and proven advancement, offering patients a level of personalized care that was once unimaginable," the groups said. "Dismissing it as 'experimental, investigational, and/or unproven' not only undermines the years of dedicated research but also restricts patient access to a treatment that has the potential to transform lives."

Cigna did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment. 

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