The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a memorandum on Friday, June 21, 2019 regarding the updated National Coverage Determination for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR). The original TAVR coverage determination was released in 2012, and the updated memo released on Friday replaces this initial decision. This decision updated the hospital and team requirements to start and continue a TAVR program. It also increased the volume requirement to maintain a TAVR program in established centers.

It also emphasized the importance of a heart team in the care of patients receiving TAVR. At UNC Medical Center, our heart team is committed to providing exceptional care to the people of North Carolina and beyond.

The memo cited 3 of our group’s papers in their decision:

Arora S, Misenheimer JA, Jones W, et al. Transcatheter versus surgical aortic valve replacement in intermediate risk patients: a meta-analysis. Cardiovascular Diagnosis and Therapy. 2016 Jun;6(3):241-9.

Arora S, Strassle PD, Ramm CJ, et al. Transcatheter versus surgical aortic valve replacement in patients with lower surgical risk scores: A systematic review and meta-analysis of early outcomes.  Heart, Lung and Circulation. 2017 Aug;26(8):840-845.

Arora S, Vaidya SR, Strassle PD, et al. Meta-analysis of transfemoral TAVR versus surgical aortic valve replacement. Catheterizations and Cardiovascular Interventions: Official Journal of the Society of Cardiac Angiography and Interventions. 2018 Mar 1;91(4):806-812.

To read the full decision memo click here.