Noninvasive HeartFlow test gains commercial coverage from UHC

UnitedHealthcare (UHC) will now cover the HeartFlow FFRct Analysis, a noninvasive technology that allows clinicians to view a simulated, three-dimensional model of a patient’s coronary blood flow.

HeartFlow announced the coverage decision June 27, which extends the tool to UHC’s 45 million beneficiaries. More than 235 million Americans—approximately three-quarters of the population—have insurance plans that reimburse the technology, according to HeartFlow.

“This decision by UnitedHealthcare underscores the significant value that the HeartFlow Analysis brings to payers, physicians and patients, from both a clinical and economic standpoint,” John H. Stevens, MD, HeartFlow’s president and CEO, said in a press release. “Not only is the HeartFlow Analysis now accessible to tens of millions of additional people, but this advancement also positions HeartFlow as an integral part of the standard approach to heart disease diagnosis and treatment.”

CMS announced its reimbursement approval for 2018 in November. The HeartFlow analysis takes high-quality images from a noninvasive coronary CT angiogram and uses deep learning to map a 3D model of the patient’s coronary arteries. From there, clinicians can see how blockages might impact blood flow and make treatment decisions based on that information.