U.S. Medicare to cover Edwards Sapien heart valve

Reuters News
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Posted: May 01, 2012 4:33 PM
U.S. Medicare to cover Edwards Sapien heart valve

By Anna Yukhananov

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Medicare and Medicaid federal health insurance programs will cover the Sapien heart valve from Edwards Lifesciences Corp, U.S. regulators said on Tuesday.

The heart valve, which is threaded to the heart through an incision in the groin or ribs, is meant for patients deemed too sick to have open-heart surgery.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the valve, which is estimated to cost about $30,000, in November.

(Reporting by Anna Yukhananov; Editing by Gary Hill)