Clarivein® Coverage by Insurance: A Change is Gonna Come!

Clarivein® Coverage by Insurance: A Change is Gonna Come!

Recently I was sitting on the couch with my kids as they watched an educational cartoon that explained how airplanes fly.  Evidently, there are four forces at play: thrust and lift, which move the plane forward and up, respectively…and these are opposed by drag and weight, which push back and down, respectively. It’s actually a great analogy for progress in the field of vein treatment. The past two decades have seen some amazing breakthroughs in the treatment of chronic superficial vein disease. There has been a shift from more invasive, surgical procedures to minimally-invasive, ultrasound-guided techniques. Each time a new technique is developed, our ability to treat patients is thrust forward. Physicians’ and patients’ spirits get a lift with the expectation of improvements in comfort and effectiveness. But…we have to temper our excitement with the weight of scientific proof: we need to collect data and determine whether “new” really equals “better”. In the case of the state-of-the-art vein treatments (which I provide at my Chicago area vein clinic, Rosen Vein Care) called Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA) and Clarivein®, I think we are soaring miles above the surgical treatments of the past. More than a decade of evidence about EVLA and about five years of data on Clarivein® continue to demonstrate that patient outcomes and comfort have been improved. So far, our analogy has used thrust, lift and weight…I bet you’re wondering what the drag is, right? Well, the drag seems to be getting insurers to recognize that these new treatments are indeed better…and therefore should be coverable under their policies. It took quite a bit of time to move insurers away from surgical vein stripping and toward minimally-invasive endovenous thermal ablation. Unlike surgical stripping, endovenous thermal techniques leave the problematic veins in place and instead close them from the inside using heat to seal them shut. These procedures are able to be done in an outpatient office setting and do not require any sedation…my patients and I chat and listen to music during procedures! Since these techniques use heat…generated from a laser fiber or radiofrequency catheter…they require a dilute solution […]